What’s Wrong With This Picture?
My favorite aunt, Catherine “Cappy” H. Gottfried, of Hackettstown N.J., died last Friday. She was 85.
My mother’s younger sister, Cappy was a fun-loving caring woman, quick with a joke, often a dirty one. She was a lifelong resident of New Jersey. Born Nov. 11, 1922, in Montclair, N.J., to Percy and Marguerite Guthrie.
She married Philip Gottfried, lived for 50 years in Whippany and raised a family of four children. I spent part of the summer of 1969 with them before attending New York Institute of Photography.
Her husband Phil, a former Army Major, gave the outward appearance of being a gruff man. He was stern, but fair and as a couple, they had a running comedy routine seldom matched. Cappy could blunt Phil’s remarks in a way that reassured those around him without putting him down.
I would take a 40-mile bus ride into New York City from Whippany and spend the day photographing. One day, I noticed in the newspaper that Bernadette Devlin, left, an Irish socialist and the youngest member of the British Parliament, was in town to meet Secretary General of the United Nations U-Thant, right. She was then going to receive the keys to the city from Mayor John Lindsay. I said I thought I’d take her picture. “Don’t bring her home for dinner,” Uncle Phil said. Cappy winked and said, “But, if you do, call and I’ll set an extra place at the table.”
She worked on an assembly line at Colgate-Palmolive in Morristown, N.J. and later became an Administrative Assistant in the Morris County Prosecutor's office. She had an understanding of my police work because of her association with the investigators with whom she worked.
Cappy was preceded in death by her husband, who died in 2004, and her son Richard.
She is survived by: her daughter Carol Falzo, sons Douglas and his wife Maureen Gottfried and Nick and his wife Joanne Gottfried, all of Northern N.J., many grandchildren, her sister, who my mother, Constance Bralley of the Sacramento, Calif. area, and their brother, Norman Guthrie of Birmingham, Ala.
She is seen here, left with my mother and father when she visited Albuquerque in 2003.