OBITUARY: Perlongo, Mary "None" Cottone
My Sicilian grandmother, Mary, was born to Joseph and Mary Cottone in New York City on June 4, 1926. There, she lived with her parents and her brothers Anthony and Vito and her sisters Vivian, Josie, and Rose until she and Josie met and married Mario and Salvador Perlongo, respectively.
Mary and Mario lived in New York where Mary brought into the world to two daughters, Katherine and Concetta (Kathy and Connie for short). In 1966, the four Perlongo’s moved to Fresno, Calif. and from there to San Jose in 1970. Mary and Mario settled in San Jose while their daughters went off and married. Connie was married to Roy Richner, gave birth to me, Susan, and adopted Eric while Kathy was married to Bob Patrick and gave birth to a daughter, Nina.
Mary spent a lot of time with her grandchildren, and showed them how to decorate Christmas cookies, and make tomato sauce. We called Mary “None” (pronounced Nonie) and Mario “Papa.”
Whenever we would go over to None and Papa’s house, None was usually watching her favorite television programs like Oprah and All My Children, but she always had time to sew Halloween costumes for the three of us, school dresses for Nina and me, and some of my theater costumes. I can’t remember how many times I was Rainbow Brite for Halloween and Eric was the Green Power Ranger. Then, in 1999, None and Papa celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.
In 2000, Mario and Mary moved to Las Vegas to seek medical attention to help fight a form of Parkinson’s Disease that she had developed. Finally, on Monday, March 10, 2003, None passed away at Silver Hills Health Care Center in Las Vegas, Nev. and went to a better place where she was comfortable and not in any pain, and where she could watch over all of us, especially Papa.
Mary was the perfect wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, and neighbor. She was also the best Sicilian homemaker I’ve ever known. I’m going to seriously miss her cooking.
Mary is preceded in death by her parents and her sister Vivian Gannascoli.
She is survived by her husband Mario Perlongo of Las Vegas; daughters and sons-in-law Connie and Roy Richner of Truckee, and Kathy and Bob Patrick of Las Vegas; sister and brother-in-law Josie and Sal Perlongo of Madera, Calif.; sister Rose Villa of Queens; brothers Anthony Cottone of Madera, Calif. and Vito Cottone of Commack, N.Y.; grandchildren Susan and Eric Richner of Truckee, and Nina Patrick of Las Vegas, as well as many nieces and nephews. Good-bye, None… I wish I could have said good-bye to you in person, but this will have to do.
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