Susan Kotta

Obituary of Susan Kotta

Kotta, Susan of Sea Cliff, New York.  Beloved mother of George and Thomas, daughter of the late Henry Russell and Kate Ludlum Cort, sister of the late Henry Russell Cort Jr, died July 7 following a long battle with cancer. She was 84.


Born Susan Cort on August 2, 1932 in Framingham, Massachusetts, she moved with her family to Long Island in 1947 when her father accepted the position of budget director at the newly opened Brookhaven National Laboratory. The salutatorian of Bellport High School class of 1950, she attended Oberlin College, where she majored in French, spending her junior year in France and taking classes at the Sorbonne. In the spring of 1961, while finishing her Master's, she met Nuçi Kotta, an Albanian exile, in a French class at Columbia University. They were married November 4 of that year; just over a year later, their first son, George, was born. Only two-and-one-half years after that, having completed his doctoral thesis at Columbia, Nuçi died suddenly of a heart attack on July 20, 1965. Six months later, their second son, Thomas, was born.


Suddenly responsible for raising two young sons by herself, she taught night classes in French at Suffolk County Community College and Stony Brook University, before moving her family from Port Jefferson to Sea Cliff in August 1972 to teach French at Portledge School in Locust Valley. From 1975 to 1979, she taught English as a Second Language at New York Institute of Technology in Westbury. Along the way, she worked freelance as a translator of French literature. Following stints working at BOCES and teaching adult education classes in ESL, she was hired in 1989 to teach ESL in the North Bellmore School District.


With the collapse of the soviet regimes in the following years, at last she was able to fulfill a long-harbored ambition to work on the ground with several missionary groups for the relief of the newly liberated people in Albania. When she retired in 1998, at last she had the time to give to her gardens and learning the Albanian language.


She is survived by her sons; cousins Allen Ludlum and Polly Davis; nephews Peter and George Phillips. Services will be held at 10:00 AM on Saturday, July 15 at the United Methodist Church of Sea Cliff.  Interment was at Oaklawn Cemetery, Brookhaven Hamlet, New York.


In lieu of flowers, the family asks that those who loved and miss Susan work actively, as she did with her best knowledge and ability, for accountability in government.  Additional information Whitting Funeral Home 300 Glen Cove Ave., Glen Head, NY  11545