Ernestine Botti Cutler died June 26th after a brave eight-month battle with pancreatic cancer.
Born November 14, 1935 and raised in Somerville, NJ, Ernestine developed deep friendships in the community. She graduated from Somerville High School and is an alumna of Wellesley College. She also met her lifetime love and husband, Benjamin S. Cutler (aka Ben or Sheff), through mutual friends while she was working at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.
Ernestine had a clear set of priorities in her life: family, faith, education. After marrying Sheff, the couple moved to Philadelphia, where Sheff earned his MBA at the University of Pennsylvania, and she enrolled in classes toward a Master’s degree in education. This was also where their first child, Benjamin F. Cutler, was born. After school, they returned to Ernestine’s family home in Somerville, NJ, where they raised their five children. She was an ever devoted and loving mother.
Ernestine firmly believed that education was critical for enriching the lives of future generations. She strongly yet gently encouraged her children in school, and became a dedicated educator. She started her teaching career at Immaculate Conception School, then Mount Saint John Academy, and ultimately at Montgomery High School, where she taught for 20 years. She fought hard and often successfully for her Chemistry teams to achieve top ranks in state Chemistry competitions. The many thank you letters she received from students and parents attest to her quest for excellence in education.
An avid bridge player, she and her husband played in clubs and with friends, taught bridge lessons, and traveled extensively to play in tournaments. Both she and Sheff welcomed the availability of online bridge, so they could play even more.
Ernestine loved her family with an intensity that brought her great strength. The challenges endured by prior generations of her family, in particular escaping poverty in Italy to come and build new lives in America, gave her a deep appreciation for the opportunities afforded by life in this country. She was ever-caring and compassionate, while always encouraging toward others no matter their station in life. She was an active member of the Immaculate Conception Church community, and a member of the Holy Rosary Society.
She is survived by her children Benjamin F. Cutler (wife Satomi) of Seattle, WA, Christopher E. Cutler of New York, NY, Lucy Cutler Cook (husband Steven) of Medford Lakes, NJ, and Mary Cutler Drummond (husband Hugh) of Winchester, MA. She was an attentive and caring grandmother to Holly, Grace, John, and Benjamin Stern; Elise, Brendan, and Clara Drummond; and Ariana Cutler. She was pre-deceased by her husband Benjamin S. Cutler, and her son, John David Cutler. She is also survived by her brothers, John Botti of Canton, OH, and Robert Botti of Gates Mills, OH, as well as numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Visiting hours will be held on Wednesday, June 28th, from 5-8 pm, at the Cusick Funeral Home in Somerville, NJ. The funeral mass will be on Thursday, June 29th at 9:30 am at the Church of the Immaculate Conception, also in Somerville.
In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to the Lustgarten Foundation www.lustgarten.org, or the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (lls.org).