Margaret M. “Nini” Gootee, 89, of Cambridge passed away on Wednesday, February 17, 2021, peacefully at her home. She was born in New Bethlehem, PA, the first generation of Italian immigrants, Esther and Jerome Bertolini, on April 14, 1931. On June 16, 1951, she married Claude L. Gootee, of East Cambridge, where they made their home. Mr. Gootee passed away on September 17, 2018. They were married for 67 years. Claude and Nini had one son, Mark.
After being employed at Frankel’s and Sears Roebuck, she was best remembered as co-owner and operator of the Plaza Gift Shop. In 1972, Nini and Claude purchased the Plaza Gift Shop business, and after several temporary locations, purchased property and built its final location on Crusader Road in 1982, where they remained until their retirement in 2005. She developed many close relationships with customers, with whom they considered dear friends. Nini and Claude’s kindness and generosity were known and enjoyed by many. Nini was a member of St. Mary’s Refuge of Sinners Catholic Church in Cambridge.
Her retirement allowed her to enjoy the loves of her life—her family. She especially adored her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was very fond of all small children and made the holidays special for everyone.
Survivors include her son, Mark; two grandchildren, Sara Gootee (fiancé Shane Laureska) and Matthew Gootee (Carlie); one great-granddaughter, Mia; and one great-grandson, Maverick. She is also survived by a sister, Mary Vaughn of Silver Springs, and two nephews and three nieces. Other than her parents and husband, she is also preceded in death by a sister, Emelia Bertoli, of Italy.
A walk-through visitation will be held on Wednesday, February 24, 2021, from 12:00p to 1:00p at Thomas Funeral Home, P.A. in Cambridge. Due to COVID restrictions, the service and burial will be private. Memorial contributions can be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place Memphis, TN 38105 / firstname.lastname@example.org or a charity of choice.