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Apr 2, 2024 (0)

Edwardsville, IL — Dr. Runda Alia El-Khatib, 62, of Edwardsville, IL, died Tuesday, March 26, 2024 from heart disease and complications from surgery.

Visitation was held Tuesday, April 2, 2024 at Weber & Rodney Funeral Home in Edwardsville, IL.

Private memorial services were held prior to the visitation at the funeral home in Edwardsville, IL.

Burial was in the St. James Cemetery in Edwardsville, IL.

Memorials may be made to the family for future designation.

Dr. Runda Alia El-Khatib, was born Feb. 18, 1962, and passed away March 26, 2024, from heart disease and complications from surgery. She was a generous, kind and loving person and a calm and knowledgeable physician to her patients.

Runda was born in Oklahoma City, OK, in 1962 to Shukri M. El-Khatib and Joan (Sullivan) El-Khatib. She spent her childhood years in many different places from Oklahoma City, OK, College Station and Houston, TX and Memphis, TN while her parents worked and her father achieved his masters and Ph.D. degrees in biochemistry. She travelled to the Middle East at age 11 with her brother to live with family and attended a private Quaker School for Girls in Ramallah, the West Bank (Palestine) for three years. She then finished high school in Cupeyville, Puerto Rico, skipping the 11th grade and graduating with a full scholarship to Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA. Between her schooling and varied homes, Runda quickly became fluent in Arabic and Spanish, in addition to English.

At Dickinson College, she became an emergency medical technician and volunteered her time with the Carlisle Fire Department in addition to her studies to pursue a bachelor of science in biology which she achieved with honors. She earned her degree Cum Laude in 1983 and was accepted into the Universidad Central del Caribe School of Medicine in Bayamon, Puerto Rico. She successfully completed medical school and earned her doctor of medicine degree in 1987. She was offered an internship at the Institute for Urban Family Health, a Family Practice Residency Training Program at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital, Bronx, NY. In addition to group practice, she volunteered in numerous homeless shelters and soup kitchens in the Bronx area. She honed her expertise in family practice patient care and solidified her commitment to helping others. She was named Chief Resident her final year of training.

Runda began her professional career in medicine at a small private clinic in O'Neill where she was excited to be near her grandmother, aunts, uncles and cousins. In 1996 she relocated to southern Illinois and took positions in Murphysboro and Sparta where she did family practice medicine and was on the staff of local hospitals and nursing homes. In 2005 she moved with her husband and children to Edwardsville, IL, again to be near family. She practiced there at the former Gateway Medical Group (now American Healthcare Systems) until her recent death.

Runda was married to Albert Santiago in June, 1992. To this union came Zackary Santiago (Ember Flint) of Glen Carbon,IL; Joshua Santiago (Bree Patek) of St. Louis, MO; and Gabrielle Santiago (Tabor Chisum) of Tulsa, OK. 

She will be deeply missed by her family, friends and the countless individuals whose lives she touched through her work and unwavering kindness.

Runda is survived by her children; one grandson Roman Santiago, whom she loved and adored; mother Joan El-Khatib of Maryville, IL; one brother Issam (Tina) of Edwardsville; two sisters Hala Taylor (James) of Arden, NC and Mona Martinez (Jorge) of Fairfax, VA; three half-brothers Mohammed El-Khatib (Lubna), Omar El-Khatib (Reem) and Alaa El-Khatib, all of Lenexa, KS; five nieces Kacey El-Khatib, Alyya El-Khatib, Emma Martinez, Jenene El-Khatib and Celine El-Khatib; and seven nephews Kaleb El-Khatib, Ayden El-Khatib, Alyck El-Khatib, Jason Taylor, Simon Taylor, Joseph Martinez and Matthew Martinez. 

She was preceded in death by her father, grandparents, ex-husband Albert Santiago and numerous other relatives.

Online condolences may be left for the family at                         


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