October 14, 1941 ~ June 6, 2021
Cota, Anthony R. “Tony” Sr. – of Methuen formerly of North Reading, Reading, and Somerville passed June 6th surrounded by his loving family after a courageous battle with cancer and kidney disease.
Born in Somerville, MA, Anthony was the son of the late Anthony F. Cota and A. Adeline (Bocchino). Anthony attended Somerville Schools then went on to graduate from St. John’s Prep. He always talked about his time at St. John’s proudly and would extend his hand always when someone would mention they were also alumni or current student. He followed in his father’s footsteps and graduated from the New England Institute of Embalming and carried on the family business after his father’s untimely death in 1968. Many people don’t know that Anthony also worked for many years as a deputy sheriff in Middlesex County working in prisoner transport, a job he loved and talked about frequently.
Anthony met the love of his life Maria in 1961, of course, while working at the family funeral home. It was love at first sight and they wed on July 4th, 1966. They settled in Reading, Ma, and began their lives and family welcoming their son Anthony in 1967 and Philip in 1970. Family was a very important part of Anthony’s life and all that were lucky enough to be part of his family knew that for sure. His famous question to his nieces and nephews would be “Who loves you”? Of course, the answer was always Uncle Anthony.
“Tony” as many people in the Funeral industry knew him as was one of the most compassionate and understanding funeral professionals in the business. For well over 55 years he comforted and eased people’s concerns and emotions during some of the worst times in their lives. He could always be counted on to say the right thing, the right gesture, and yes sometimes the right smile or joke to help people in their grief. He mentored countless people in the industry and to this day those people speak fondly of him and always say “that man is the top shelf”. He prided himself on being deeply involved in the Funeral industry. Anthony was a member of the MFDA and NFDA. His proudest moment was being named President of the MFDA. A position he strived for and was honored to hold. Anthony also spent many years driving limos (because back in the day only funeral homes had limos) on countless weddings, proms, and nights on the town. He also ran transportation for many years in Boston for several conventions. If you didn’t know how to get anywhere in town or close by you couldn’t look it up on the internet so you called Tony, he knew where everything was.
Anthony wasn’t always about business, he enjoyed being involved in the community including; Lions Club of Somerville where he was President following in his father’s footsteps, Past President of the North Reading Businessman’s Association, member of the Reading/North Reading Chamber of Commerce and member of the Wilmington Sons of Italy. More than anything Anthony loved coaching sports. He spent years coaching baseball and football in Reading, MA where he touched the lives of countless kids, mentoring them and bringing out the best in their athletic talent. Countless players even today talk about “Coach Cota” with the highest regard and mention that he taught them sportsmanship, teamwork and help mold them into the men they are today. He always talked about those days coaching with the biggest smile on his face and would so look forward to seeing his players all grown and after seeing them would turn and tell anyone in earshot “he played for me”.
Anthony was the beloved husband of the late Maria J. (Filosi) Cota. Loving father of Philip Cota and his wife Tammie of Pelham, NH and his beloved late son Anthony R. Cota Jr. Adored Papa of Shannon P. Cota and Kayla M. Carter and her husband Brendan both of NH. Nonno of his beloved princess Kadence and his fur buddies Griffin and Winston. Brother-in-law of John Filosi and his wife Margaret of Somerville, Phyllis Marciano and her husband Tony of NH, and Gus Filosi and his wife Dolly of FL. Anthony is also survived by many nieces, nephews, cousins, godchildren, extended family, and friends.
Visitation will be held for Anthony in his Cota Family Funeral Home on, Thursday, June 10th from 3-8 pm. Relatives and friends are invited to attend a Funeral Mass on Friday, June 11th at 11 am in St. Theresa’s Church, 63 Winter St., (Rte. 62), North Reading, PLEASE GO DIRECTLY TO CHURCH. Burial will follow laying Anthony to rest with his beloved wife Maria in Riverside Cemetery, North Reading. In lieu of flowers please make donations in Anthony’s name to the CSF Dollars for Scholars Endowment Fund, P.O.Box 529, North Reading, MA 01864.