SANTEE - John R. Tota, 78 formerly of Staten Island, NY, died peacefully Wednesday, October 16, 2013 after a short illness. He had lived in Santee, South Carolina for twenty three years. John was born and raised in Queens, NY. He graduated from City College N.Y. with a Bachelor of Science Degree and worked as a Civil Engineer for the US government until retirement in 1989. John's hobbies included woodworking and building electronics. He played the saxophone in the Army National Guard and playing music became a lifelong pleasure for him. He often played for church holidays and at local nursing homes. Another of John's favorite pastimes was canoeing on Lake Marion and the various rivers of South Carolina with friends. John was active in St. Ann Catholic Church, and Friendship Force, where he and his wife hosted visitors from around the world at their home. He was a loving father who was devoted to his family. John is survived by his wife Providence; sons. John, Frank, and Michael; step-daughters, Denise Castro, Donna Donnelly and Laura Stuhl; 12 grandchildren; and 9 great-grandchildren. Visitation will be Monday 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. at Avinger Funeral Home in Holly Hill. The rosary service will be at 7 p.m. The funeral mass will be Tuesday 10 a.m. at St. Ann Catholic Church in Santee followed by cremation.