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Catherine Mott: East Rockaway matriarch was 'always there to listen' 

Catherine Mott died May 3 after battling the

Catherine Mott died May 3 after battling the coronavirus for six weeks.  Credit: K. Mott-Schutt

Taking care of family was Catherine Mott’s favorite activity. A mother of three and grandmother of four, Mott was a matriarch her entire family could depend on.

“The only thing I could say of my sister is that she was the best of the best,” said Mott’s sister, Emily Cantanzaro. “The mother, the sister, the aunt, the friend, the mother-in-law. She just was a good human being.”

Mott was 70 when she died May 3 after battling COVID-19 for six weeks, her family said.

Patrick and Josephine Tolan already had one child, Emily, when Catherine was born in Brooklyn on Oct. 29, 1949. Mott’s mother died three days after giving birth to Catherine, and her father died five years later. Josephine’s sister, Lena, and her husband took Mott and her sister into their family of three children.

Mott moved to East Rockaway when she was 10, graduating from East Rockaway High School in 1967. Four years later she married Eddie, the best friend of her sister Emily’s husband. The Motts raised their children in Baldwin, where they lived for 20 years.

Mott worked for a chiropractor and later the Nassau County Office of Assessment. Most recently she was the secretary to the receiver of taxes for the Town of Hempstead. Her intelligence was obvious to the people she worked with — the lawyers in her office often gave her their documents to proofread, her daughter said.

“She always had a great work ethic, and she definitely passed that on to us,” said her daughter, Kelly Mott-Schutt. 

In 1999, Mott and her husband moved back to East Rockaway to be closer to family and friends. Mott-Schutt and her son, Samir, moved closer to her parents about 10 years ago, and Mott was always there to make sure her grandson was taken care of.

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“She was there at the drop of a dime,” said Mott-Schutt. “She was always there to listen to people. Nobody would never say anything bad about her. Everyone who came in contact with her is just like, oh wow, she’s an amazing person.”

After their children were older, Catherine and Eddie went on cruises and trips to Alaska, and Mott-Schutt traveled with her mother to Italy and Salem, Massachusetts, at Halloween. When they weren’t off on vacation, Mott and her daughter enjoyed just being together. They got foot massages and manicures together, and spent time shopping.

“I loved going away with them, and just spending time in their house,” Mott-Schutt said. “She was just the best mom, the best grandma.”

In addition to her husband, sister and daughter, Mott is survived by sons Kevin and Kristopher; daughters-in-law Amanda Mott and Rachel Oventhal; son-in-law, Thomas Schutt; grandchildren Samir, Thomas, Aidan and Molly; siblings Peter Monella and Nancy Uddo; and many nieces and nephews. A service has been held and the family plans to hold a memorial at a later date.

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