94 & Counting

    Many are lucky and healthy enough to be 94. Dorothy Elizabeth Anne Terlep Azzolino chose to be 94 & Counting! That means Dorothy recognized and was thankful for the blessings in her life and worked to continue living that life.

    Born on September 1, 1925, to John Terlep & Mary Theresa Terkel Popish, Dorothy Elizabeth Anne Terlep was the youngest of 9 children.

    She married Mike Azzolino in 1949 and remained his wife for 60 years until his death in 2009.

    She was mother to Agnes Marie, Nicholas Joseph, Michael Anthony, Jr., Dorothy Elizabeth Azzolino Lydon, John Thomas, Anthony Charles, Philip Samuel, and Theresa Louise (11/22/60 to 11/27/81).

    She was grandmother to Mike Vinik, Julie Anne Azzolino Cody, Lizzie Azzolino, Katie Lydon, Johnny Azzolino, and Tianna Lydon and great-grandmother to Karolina Cody, Nick Vinik, and Alanna Cody.

    She was a founding officer of Group Tours, a BCREA member, and a GSA Green Circle Leader.

    She and Mike, at various times, owned homes in Lodi, NJ; Lake Swannanoa, NJ; Township of Washington, NJ; and Fort Plain, NY. One they built from scratch, one they had built, and to the other two they made substantial modifications. Even at 90, Dorothy was negotiating fixing the roof on the farm, straightening the barn, and repairing the driveway. Many senior citizens find it too much to take care of one home. With the help of her sons, she cared for two.

    But the above only speak about part of who Dorothy was.

    She loved: Nick's cooking and ALL NICK DID, corned beef and cabbage for St. Patrick's Day, a ham for Easter, making deviled eggs w/her eldest on a Saturday night, a sumptuous Chinese dinner or an Italian food feast with John and Nick, getting (and then displaying) cards from Julie, Phil, Eileen, or so many other people, playing the piano (think "Beer Barrel Polka", the "Wood Pecker Song" - the clean one, "Good Night Irene", "Adeste Fideles").

    She loved leaves on the trees, clouds in the sky, elephants, the color orange, sunflowers, wild turkeys and deer at the farm and in Washington Township.

    Most of all she loved the frequent phone calls from her childen, grandchildren, a supported chats with the great-grandchildren old enough to speak, and neices, nephews, and other family and friends. She was in regular contact with her children, grands, and greats.  She was always intimately involved in the lives of her children and grandchildren and always aware of the goings on in the lives of her great-grandchildren. She treasured the visits and calls from family and friends.

    GG, great-grandma, spoke to her children at least once a day. Phil phoned and sent postcards from his tours -- like the one after he traveled to Omaha Beach and visited GG's brother's grave. John called her from all over the world. Tony called each night before she'd fall asleep, but also before he saw his last patients. Kip called at random times but a least once or twice a day, depending on what he was doing with his grand children. Nick, always there & wonderful, usually answered the phone. Agnes would call, once from school, once or twice or more times once she got home. Agnes had an exceptional talent for reaching her when she was "not in her chair" so she'd call later, some times just to say that Ancient Aliens was on channel 47. Dottie phoned every day after school and GG loved every call.

    She had a tug boat named after her, the DOROTHY ELIZABETH. What? Why? Yes, years ago, Mike Vinik, her oldest grandson, honored her for all she had done for him in his life.   This special love between grandmother and grandchild was not unique to GG & Mike. It existed with each grandchild. Just one more example for now.  Katie lived three thousand miles away from GG tried to see her whenever she could, including by flying back once or twice a year to make the trip to WT. When she lived in NYC, she came out for weekends. When she was shopping for her wedding gown, she called to share her plans with GG.   Even though Katie was told by her mother not to come to see GG when she became sick, Kate borrowed sick days she'd has been trying saving for her son's birth and risked her pregnancy during this virus craze in order to spend several days with her grandmother. Later, once GG was in her final days, Katie spent hours online researching GG's condition and for rehabilitation homes in which to move GG, then personally visited several homes. Much love existed between GG and her grandchildren and it existed both ways.

    She raised her 8 children with experiences like: running up and down the Statue of Liberty; collecting stones for building patio walls; driving to the Great Falls in Paterson and Garret Mountain in her blue station wagon; taking Aunt Mary for a boat ride in the row boat "Agnes;" playing cards using Kit-Kat bars as chips; taking trips with Kip to the St. Anthony Shrine in Paterson, or to the cemetery to visit her sister Mary, her daughter Teri Lou, her husband Mike, her mother- and father-in-law, Agnes & Nick Azzolino, and her brother and sister-in-law, Tony and Cis.

    She told her children stories like: waiting on opposite NYC street corners until both she and her future husband decided to cross to the other side of the street to see if perchance their future spouse was waiting on the other side. Yes, they met in the middle of the street.

    She was a brilliant mother and teacher. She taught by example how to be a caring and contributing member of society and sometimes she handled situations a bit differently. Given there were eight children in a house, accidents sometimes happened. If the milk spills, the children in other households get a scolding by their mother because each child blames the other. Not in Dorothy's house. "Patrick the Ghost did it," and no one was to be blamed or demeaned, and the milk was quickly cleaned up.

    With great help from Nick, and Kip, and Dottie, and John, she survived hospital and extensive care facilities and died at home, as she wished.

    Due to the world virus issue there will not be a viewing. Mass and funeral services will be private. Please, do not send flowers or any donation. Instead, please take a moment and through thought or prayer, help honor Dorothy Azzolino's life. A celebration-of-life party will be held at a future date. On-line respects can be delivered below and viewed at this site and the website of Becker Funeral Home, 219 Kinderkamack Rd, Westwood, NJ.

    Dorothy Elizabeth Anne Terlep Azzolino was 94 & Counting!

    She is loved and mourned by those who know her well. She was a great daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt, friend and matriarch. Please join the family in honoring her.

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