Richard Gene Santi
Richard Gene Santi

July 12, 1944 - April 24, 2024
Born in Ames, Iowa
Resided in West Des Moines, Iowa
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In Loving Memory of Richard Gene Santi

Richard Gene Santi was born on July 12, 1944, in Ames, Iowa, to John and Catherine Santi.

After spending the day engaged in his beloved pastimes of golf and yard work, Richard departed this world at the age of 79 on Wednesday April 24, 2024.

Richard's journey through life was one of dedication and triumph. He distinguished himself early on, graduating as salutatorian from Madrid High School in 1962. Richard pursued his education at Iowa State University, graduating with high distinction in 1966. Although he initially planned to study electrical engineering, his academic journey took a different turn, leading him to the University of Iowa, where he earned his law degree in 1969. In 1965, Richard married the love of his life, Carolyn Ackerlund of Madrid, embarking on a lifelong partnership in which they shared 59 years of marriage.

Richard's professional journey flourished in the realm of law starting in 1969 as a law clerk for federal District Court Judge William Hanson in Fort Dodge. After settling in Des Moines with Carolyn in 1971, he became a respected member of the Ahlers Law Firm in 1974, dedicating his talents and expertise to his clients until his well-deserved retirement.

Beyond his professional endeavors, Richard cherished his roles as husband, father, and grandfather. In 1979, he and Carolyn made a home on the Dallas County acreage with their children, Troy and Michelle, instilling in them the values of hard work (especially mowing), laughter, empathy, thriftiness, and golf.

Richard was an avid golfer who loved being outdoors maintaining his acreage, pond, and personal 3 hole golf course. He was a voracious reader and enjoyed playing card games with friends and family. Richard and Carolyn were avid travelers that visited most of the United States, took over 24 international trips, and wintered in Palm Desert, California and Queen Creek, Arizona.

Richard and Carolyn were active, charter members of Valley United Methodist Church who faithfully attended church and volunteered whenever needed. Richard was a member of the Iowa State Bar Association, former President of the Iowa Defense Counsel Association, a member of the Iowa Academy of Trial Lawyers, a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, and an active member of the Des Moines Golf and Country Club where he was the informal golf commissioner for his golfing group.

In Richard's passing, he is reunited with his loved ones who went before him: his parents, John and Catherine Santi, his brothers Ramond and Ronald Santi, and his granddaughter, Alexa Santi. Though they may be physically absent, their spirits live on in the hearts of those who loved them.

Richard leaves behind his wife of 59 years, Carolyn Santi, his children, Troy Santi and Michelle (Beau) Beecher, three grandchildren, Athena Santi of San Antonio, Texas, Dylan Beecher of Bend, Oregon and Jack Beecher of Cedar Falls, Iowa as well as his sister, Kathy Monroe of Indianola, Iowa, who will forever hold his memory dear.

Celebration of life will be held on Thursday, June 6, 2024 at Valley United Methodist Church in West Des Moines, Iowa at 11am followed by a reception. Visitation will be at the church on Wednesday, June 5, 2024 from 4pm to 6pm.

Richard Gene Santi will be remembered not only for his professional achievements but also for the love, kindness, and integrity that defined his character. While his physical presence may be gone, his spirit will continue to guide and inspire all who were privileged to know him.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be directed to Valley United Methodist Church of West Des Moines ( Online condolences are welcome at

Arrangements by Iles Westover Chapel.




Valley United Methodist Church
4201 Ashworth Road
West Des Moines, IA US 50265
Wednesday, June 5, 2024
4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Order flowers for Richard

Guaranteed delivery before Richard's visitation begins.

Valley United Methodist Church
4201 Ashworth Road
West Des Moines, IA US 50265
Thursday, June 6, 2024
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Order flowers for Richard

Guaranteed delivery before Richard's service begins.



Valley United Methodist Church
4201 Ashworth Road
West Des Moines, IA 50265-3052