Dorothy Tota

Obituary of Dorothy D. Tota

Dorothy Tota was born in Brooklyn, NY to Benedetto and Rosa Tota on February 21, 1921. She was a sister to Marie Castellano, deceased, Victoria Tota, deceased and Fran Genduso. The four women were very close and held a special and unique bond. Dorothy was a devoted godmother to her nephew, Denis Castellano, deceased, and a second mother and devoted aunt to her other nephew, Bruce Castellano and his husband, Gerald Anders. Dorothy was a strong, yet sensitive woman who had an uncanny ability to assess a situation and be the silent pillar when strength was needed. She was an indomitable support in times of family crisis and was the person who kept a clear head and a modest presence, yet was often the core strength for her parents, sisters and nephews. Her humility and physical size belied her ability to manage any crisis with skill and poise. Her entire professional career was spent at Cartier Jewelers, Fifth Avenue, New York. Hired in 1945 as a sales associate, she was quickly promoted to Supervisor of the Fine Jewelry Department. Dorothy was the first woman that the Cartier family hired to hold a position of supervision. She held that position until her retirement in 1986. Always modest about her professional success, she had a treasure trove of stories about the Cartier clientele but was always discreet and respectful. Stories of her encounters with celebrities and NYC society were incredibly entertaining, but respectful of the client as well as the merchandise they consumed. Her family was the center of her life and she was proud of each of them for their accomplishments. A world traveler, she generously shared her international adventures with slide shows and films of trips to faraway places. But her generosity was not limited to her photo and film tours. She was generous in many other ways, particularly to her nephews and niece, showering them with gifts and love at every opportunity. She made holidays special for her family with unique and interesting gifts that were both personal and thoughtful, as she and her sisters planned, cooked and baked for every holiday, birthday, anniversary and event that required celebration. Greatly loved and sorely missed, Dorothy Tota was a legend. A representative of a bygone time who never lost sight of who she was and the importance of sharing her love in many unique ways.
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