ALBANY – Margaret Salvatora Cotazino (Zullo) was welcomed into eternal life just in time for Valentine’s Day by her beloved husband, “Sentimental Joe,” on February 12, 2021. Born in Albany’s South End (lower Madison Ave) on April 3, 1927 to the late Joseph and Paola [Bartillilo] Zullo, Margaret and Joe proudly lived in Albany all of their lives, raising their family, building friendships, establishing careers, and living their retirement years watching their family grow and surrounded by those they love. Margaret S. Zullo and Joseph M. Cotazino Sr. were married on April 11, 1948 in St. Anthony’s Church, and were life-long members of St. Margaret Mary’s (All Saints) Parish since 1951. During 64 years of marriage, they were blessed with 5 children, 6 grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren. Professionally, Margaret worked for the State of NY for 30+ years until her retirement in 2000. Mom had a “green thumb” and nurtured all living things. She was famous for her luxurious multi-species violets, which grew like small shrubs throughout her living room. In addition to plants, Mom nurtured relationships with whomever she came into contact. Anyone who associated with Mom thrived in her presence; she always paid attention to the little things going on in your life and remembered them the next time she saw you, making you feel special. No one was a stranger to Mom. From when we were little children until her death many years later, we remember Mom reciting the birthdays and anniversaries of everyone she had ever known – and also sending them cards on their special occasions, regardless of whether they were still in contact with her! Mom referred to it as “spreading the love” and it sure did.
Mom was a non-stop Baker! A container full of her homemade holiday strudels, snowball and meatball cookies, anisette biscotti, and apple sauce cake was a treasure to be savored. Her Banana Bread was made-to-order (no nuts? no problem); you would try not to eat the whole thing slathered in butter or cream cheese when you got home. Walking up her driveway was a sensory feast! The challenge of that day would be to guess what she was cooking before you entered her house.
And the Meals she would cook! It didn’t have to be a special occasion to walk in the kitchen while she was making her Homemade manicotti or lasagna and meatballs, twice-dipped chicken patties (handed out in foil parcels to whomever walked in the door that day), or impromptu steaming bowls of Peas-and-macaroni, ladled from a large tureen and topped with grated pecorino romano cheese, when anyone visited during lunch time. We were always loaded with delicious to-go containers with whatever was Mom’s inspiration to cook that day.
Mom took the bus back and forth to work for more than 30 years. During her 5 mile ride, She crocheted an Afghan for each child, letting us choose our own colors. Each Afghan was 30 squares that ultimately she crocheted into one large Afghan. She would try to crochet one square a week on the bus, depending on how many people stopped to chat with her, she said. When yours was finally finished, you could see Mom’s Labor of Love in each crocheted petal.
Our Dad predeceased our Mom on August 16, 2012, and from that day forward until her death Mom became a strong widow for the sake of her family. Surviving are their 5 children, the twinkle-in-their-parents’-eyes: daughter Paula Begley (Jim); daughter Constance Jarratt (Jim); son Joseph M. Cotazino Jr. (Joy); son John F. Cotazino (Jackie); and son Christopher E. Cotazino. They are also survived by their 6 cherished grandchildren: James Begley (Brooke); Joseph M. Cotazino III (Laura); Maria Cotazino (Zachery); Candace Cotazino; Nicole Cotazino; and Laura Curtis (Mark); as well as 10 treasured great-grandchildren: Lorenzo, Jade, Christopher, Ondrea, Giovanni, Niko, Talia, Tressa, Anthony, and Patrick. Mom is also survived by Sister-in-law Lena Zullo, as well as many treasured nieces and nephews who have enriched her life. Mom was the sole surviving sibling of her family, predeceased by her brother Anthony Zullo (Lena), and sisters Frances Bruno (Patrick), Carmella Winglosky (Joseph), Maria Santa Maria (Anthony), and Josephine Virgilio (Frank).
The family would like to extend a special thanks to Jack & Mary Kent for their continued friendship and love, as well as devotion to our parents these many years, and also to lifelong neighbors Deb, Maria, and Jean. Mom built special friendships and memories over the years during her “retiree outings” with Loretta, Heidi, Bettina, Freida, Judy, and Joan; all remained very special in her heart.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 12:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 18th, at Christ the King Catholic Church, 20 Sumter Avenue, Guilderland, with Calling Hours at the Church before, from 10a.m.-12:00p.m. Interment to follow at Our Lady of Angels Cemetery, Albany. Mom and Dad were generous of heart and lifelong contributors to St. Jude’s Hospital. In lieu of flowers, donations in their Memory may be made to: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital; 501 St. Jude Place; Memphis, TN 38105 or 1-800-822-6344. To leave a message of condolence for the family, please visit www.HansFuneralHome.com.
One of the GREATEST woman I’ve ever known outside of my mother and wife Mary!!!! My wife and I will miss you dearly but are extremely happy that you are back with you MAN!!!! God Bless Margaret
So sorry for your loss. Margaret was one of the must beautiful and loving person I have ever met. I kinda thought of her like a Mom. May you find peace knowing she is with the love of her life. Your Dad. Please know I am still here if you need anything at all. I have to tell you it hurts to look out my window and see the house so dark. Knowing she’s not there. Love you all. Chris please stop by don’t be a stranger.
Susan Rosette Corrigan
Prayers to you and your family in this time.
You have such wonderful memories I’m sure.
Dear Joe, Joy, and Margaret’s dear Family,
Thank you for a beautiful testimony to your Mom. The read describes a valiant woman, full of life, giving her family all the important treasures of traditions, values, and Love!!
Sympathy and Prayers for all of you as you grieve the loss of her physical presence, and carry her forever in your hearts.
Diane and Joe Welter
My deepest condolences on the loss of your mom. She was a great wife, mom, grandmother, and friend to all those who knew her. May she rest in heavenly peace.
Kate Duclos Cross
My deepest condolences to you and your family. What a wonderful memorial. You’re so blessed with such warm memories.
When my parents were building our new home , at 7 Cross St, Marge made a beautiful birthday cake for me, while we were living with my grandparents, at 442 Magazine St.. This was a very busy time for our family and Marge provided a heartfelt memory at this time. She became a very loving neighbor when we moved to our new home. Sending my love and sympathy to all of The Cotazino Family. Lura (Barkman) Correia
Dear Paula and Jim and your extended family, we are so sorry for your loss. We will contribute to St. Jude’s in her living memory. Treasure your pictures and rest easy knowing she has rejoined your Dad in Heaven.
I did not have the privilege of knowing her but I grew to know and admire her via posts. sincerely, Kathleen Kathy Clarity.
Bettina and Carlton Walker
We are very sorry to hear about the passing of Margaret. She was a wonderful person and devoted friend . We will miss her deeply.
Bettina and Carl Walker
Love and prayers to your entire family. She loved you all so much. We always enjoyed our lunches with Marge. The staff at restaurant were glad when we finally left. We talked so much. I’ll miss her and hope she’ll open th back door of heaven and let me in when my time come
Paul A. Zullo
Dear Cousins and Family,
We were very saddened to hear of the passing of Aunt Margaret on Friday. Please know that you are in our Prayers and Thoughts in this time of sorrow. We have always had fond memories of her and she will be missed dearly.
Cousins, Paul, Tammy, Adara, and Anaya Zullo
Denise Blanchette heiserman
Chris and family I am so sorry for your loss I work for the state for 30 and a half years and I would go get coffee at Sunoco every morning about 10:00 and Mrs catozino was there buying her scratch offs and we would talk everyday she never forgot me and that impressed me so much I am so sorry are you losing not just your mom but your best friend
To the Cotazino Family (especially Paula),
It is with great sadness I extend my condolences to you and your family for the death of your mother Marge. I don’t know if you remember me, I was a waitress at a Western Ave establishment. I left that job to go to work for NYS Dept of Social Services where your mother was my first supervisor. Your mother was a grand lady, and was blessed with a wonderful life. She touched everyone with joy. Please cherish your memories of her. I will cherish mine.
Dear Paula, Connie, Joe, John, Christopher and families,
Please accept my sincerest condolences on the loss of your mother. I remember her, your father, and all of you fondly.
To a beautiful true lady. I’ve known her for over 40 yrs but I wish I still had her with me. Caring giving and loving person is hard to fine. I’ve been blessed to have her as part of my life. I will miss her loving smile and kind words. Rest In Peace and enjoy your life again with Joe.
I worked with Marge for years in Medicaid. She was a joy. Nothing phased her and she was always full of laughter. And she gave me her Italian wedding cookie recipe I use all the time. Loved her to bits. Julie O’Connor
Debbie Barber Strawbridge
To one of the finest people I have ever known…a truly kind woman who made me feel like family from the first time I met her..we are all fortunate to have had her in our lives..what a wonderful memorial the family wrote for her.. fitting tribute to this great lady..I will always look for her whenever I see her kitchen light on. Miss you dear friend but I know you have been reunited with your beloved Joe.
I worked with Marge in the 70’s at DSS. I have many of her recipes and she taught me to crochet. She made Easter basket cookies for my children and always treated the office with her delicious baked goods. A special co-worker and friend. Condolences to the entire family.
Donna Zanella Patker
Paula and fsmily, so very sorry to learn of your Mom’s passing. She must have been a wonderful Mom and friend. May she rest in peace.
Donna Zanella Parker, Mercy high, ’66
My thoughts and prayers are with all of her family. Marge was a sweet friend for over 30 years. The love she had for her family and friends was the essence of who she was. I am thankful for her years of friendship and our long, laughter filled lunches together!