Arthur James Catotti, 89, passed away peacefully on March 28, 2014, in his Gainesville home after what he considered a full life with no regrets. Art was born on February 16, 1925, in North Adams, MA to Columbina and Giacomo Catotti, and he spent his childhood in Williamstown, MA. When he turned eighteen, he left college to enlist in the U.S. Army during WWII as a member of the 10th Mountain Division, the “ski troops.” He became a 60mm mortar man and fought in Italy where he earned a Bronze Star and a Combat Infantryman Badge. After leaving the Army, he returned to Williams College and earned a BA and MA in Chemistry.
He met his one and only true love, Phyllis Tidd of Bennington, VT, in 1947. They were married in 1948, and they remained faithful to each other throughout their lives. Art wished to be a teacher and entered North Adams State Teachers College where he earned a MEd. He taught in Arlington (VT) Memorial School for two years, a position that was personally rewarding but poorly compensated, so with a growing family he took a job with Aerovox Corporation in New Bedford, MA as a Senior Research Chemist. In 1956 he took a research position with General Electric in Hudson Falls, NY and purchased a farm with a small apple orchard in Granville, NY. In 1961 he was the technical member of a small task force that determined that there was a business opportunity for GE in batteries. The business section was moved to Gainesville in 1963 with Art as a principal technology person, and he held patents on numerous electrochemical devices and processes.
Art and Phyl were especially proud of the fact that they raised seven children in the 60’s and 70’s to be successful professionals, good citizens, and loving parents: Carol Sarisky (Jim), Gainesville; Donna Catotti (Rob Goldberg), Haines, AK; Claire Warren, Miami; Charles (Diane), Durham, NC; Janis Catotti (Don Speed), Aiken, SC; Christopher (Donna), Oviedo; and Anne Butler (Danny), Knoxville, TN. In addition to his seven children, Art is survived by 18 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by Phyllis, his wife of 58 years, as well as his brother Edward and sisters Louise and Felice Catotti.
Throughout most of his life, Art enjoyed hobbies such as hiking, camping, playing golf, cooking, and gardening. He and Phyllis were avid Gator fans, and both had a love for their Boston terriers.
A mass of Christian Burial will be held at Holy Faith Catholic Church on Wednesday, April 2, at 9:30 a.m. after which Art will be entombed alongside Phyllis in the mausoleum at Forest Meadows Memorial Park Central, 4100 NW 39th Ave. Visitation will be held Tuesday, April 1 at Forest Meadows Funeral Home, 725 NW 23 Avenue, from 6-8 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Haven Hospice or Catholic Charities in his memory.