Obituary of Janet Marie Cottone
Janet Marie Cottone died Friday, June 9, 2023, in Largo, Florida, after a short illness, with her beloved children at her side. She was 85 years old.
Warm and genuine in life, Janet made new friends easily and kept a close connection with old friends and family as well. On many occasions, new neighbors or colleagues turned into lifelong friends. Janet loved so many things— listening to music and singing, shopping and dining out, playing cards and Dominos, spending time with friends and family, and playing with her beloved dog—Bandit. Many will remember Janet as a great hostess, lots of fun to be with, and an easy person to talk (and laugh) with—the quintessential best friend.
Janet was born at home in Whitehall, Pennsylvania, a small town outside Pittsburgh, to parents Andrew (“Andy”) and Eda Hornick. An only child, Janet’s “sisters” and “brother” were the cousins who shared the family home. When Janet was in high school, she and her parents moved to Daisytown into a new home that Andy built. Not long after, Janet left home for nurse’s training and eventually became an R.N. with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, the first person in her family to earn a college degree.
Janet met the love of her life, Anthony (“Tony”) Cottone, in a butcher shop in California, Pennsylvania, where she was encouraged to go shopping by her matchmaking cousins and aunt. Tony and Janet met, went dancing on their first date, and quickly became inseparable. They were married a few years later and, right after their wedding reception, drove down the Pennsylvania Turnpike to a new home and life in Newark, Delaware. Janet’s first job in Delaware was in the maternity ward of Memorial Hospital, where her four children – Andrea, Deborah, Daniel, and Rachel – were eventually born.
Tony and Janet worked in the public schools in Delaware for most of their working lives – Tony as a teacher and guidance counselor and Janet as a school nurse – making a positive difference in the lives of the children in their care. In the early 1980s, Janet pioneered a health care program for children with autism at Jennie Smith School and won “school nurse of the year” for the state of Delaware. Janet was joy personified at school and at home – making every space she was in warm, welcoming, and where you wanted to be.
In their lifetimes, Tony and Janet camped up and down the East coast, from Canada to Florida, with the family and traveled with friends to the West Coast, Alaska, and Italy, before retiring to Myrtle Beach and Florida.
Janet is survived by her four children who miss her dearly, Andrea Cottone (Mark Kelly), Deborah Cottone-Todd (John Todd), Daniel Cottone (Sam Fazio), and Rachel Cottone (Charles Hwang). She is also survived by five loving grandchildren, Carly Todd (Scott Dickson), Brian Todd (Irina Frampolsky), Erin Todd, Phoebe Cottone Hwang, and Ivan Cottone Hwang, as well as two great-grandchildren, James and Grace.
Janet was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 61 years, Tony, as well as her parents, Andrew and Eda. She is survived by her cousins Rose Densmore, Frances Campbell, Mildred “Honey” Gaisbauer, and Virginia Bair as well as more than 20 loving nieces and nephews.
A celebration of Janet’s life will be held at a time and place to be announced. In lieu of flowers, donations in honor of Janet Cottone may be sent to Empath Suncoast Hospice, Missionary Association of Mary Immaculate USA, or the American Red Cross.