Annunziata "Nancy" (Cotticelli) Hurst
July 18, 1937 – January 11, 2020
In lieu of flowers, Nancy asked that you consider making a donation to St. Jude's Children's Hospital.
Annunziata "Nancy" (Cotticelli) Hurst passed away on January 11, 2020 with her daughter Francesca by her side.
Nancy was born July 18, 1937 in Salerno, Italy. She had 3 younger siblings, Silvana, Pippo, and Caterina. Her father Mario was killed during the war when she was only 6 years old, and her mother, Tina, kept the family going, and thriving, through many difficult times during and after the war.
Nancy went to school with the nuns growing up in Italy, and took piano lessons as a child. Until just recently, she could still sit down at the piano and play the pieces she remembered learning with her teacher from those early lessons! At the age of 19, she decided to move to Paris to study French, thinking she might be an interpreter one day. She had a gift for languages. Her mother was a modern woman and allowed her to go, which was unusual for a girl (from southern Italy) in 1956. She worked as an au pair and took French. While in Paris, she met Jim Stolt, an American navy man, who was stationed there. They got married in Salerno, and went on to live in Paris, London, and Naples, and Jacksonville, Norfolk, and Washington, DC.
Nancy's first trip to the US included a trip to Minnesota, Jim's home state, in winter. She had never seen snow before, and the drifts were so high you couldn't see the cars coming around the corner. She stayed in the house that entire trip. She hated the snow, but she loved her in-laws, and they loved her too, and they stayed in touch for the rest of her life. Nancy had a different shock waiting for her when they moved to Jacksonville from Paris. Snakes, bugs, no pasta and terrible white bread all tortured her, and she was taken aback by segregation, which she didn't understand. It was a rough time. She was learning English at this time too, and always credited "I Love Lucy" for teaching her.
After being stationed back in the DC area in the ‘70s, Nancy began taking flamenco lessons, and used to give impromptu performances at her house. She also played the guitar, read tarot cards, and loved going to the ballet. She and Jim divorced, and Nancy moved to Foggy Bottom, where she opened The Chocolate Box with Carlo Maggi in the Watergate, the first shop in Washington that sold Godiva chocolate. After The Chocolate Box closed, she opened Marble Décor, another shop in the Watergate, and also a perfume shop with her friend Janet, in the Crystal City underground, in 1976. During that time she met Bill Hurst and they were married in 1978. Nancy always wanted a big family with several children, but was blessed with just one. Her daughter Francesca was born in 1978 and fulfilled Nancy’s greatest wish. From that moment on, Nancy dedicated her life to Francesca and did everything she could to be the best mom she could be.
The shops closed, and Nancy went on to work for the Watergate Hotel with her friend John, eventually becoming the assistant director of catering. She loved working there because she enjoyed meeting so many different people. After the Watergate, she moved on to the Embassy Row Hotel where she was the director of catering. She always had a flair for parties, decorating, and presentation, and loved to host friends for dinner. She was an excellent cook and an even better baker, and was known in Washington among her friends for making the best pastiera.
After making the decision to leave the catering business, Nancy went to work for private Italian companies in Washington, including IRI and Finmeccanica. She was loved by her coworkers, and developed special friendships that lasted the next 20+ years. Many of them became like family, and they stayed close even after she retired. Nancy chose to spend her retirement half in Italy and half in the US, enjoying amazing summers at the beach in Italy, and coming home to DC during the year to be near her daughter. We remember Nancy for her smile, her grace, her sweet disposition, her patience, her wisdom, her style, and her goodness.
Funeral services will be held Monday, January 20, 2020 at 10:30 AM at Holy Rosary Church, 595 3rd St. NW, Washington, DC, 20001. Following the funeral service will be a committal service at 1:00 PM at Fairfax Memorial Park, 9900 Braddock Road, Fairfax, VA 22032.
- St. Jude's Children's Hospital
Holy Rosary Church
595 3rd St. NW
Fairfax Memorial Park
9900 Braddock Road
Annunziata "Nancy" (Cotticelli) Hurst
January 20, 2020
Quando lei arrivava in Italia, la prima cosa da fare appena entrati in casa era aprire le sue valigie piene di regali e pensieri per tutti...persino il mio cane salterellava lì intorno sapendo che sarebbe arrivato qualcosa di bello anche per lui!
Penso che mia zia Nunù non sia mai riuscita ad odiare nessuno nella sua vita, era troppo impegnata ad amarla la vita... Amava leggere, guardare i film, viaggiare, dipingeva e amava l'arte in tutte le sue forme, il teatro, il balletto, gli amici. E la sua famiglia, la sua Francesca e la sua Caty in modo particolare... Zia Nunù era un'ottimista cronica, vedeva quasi solo il bene ovunque e non si arrabbiava mai, non alzava mai la voce, e non tradiva facilmente il suo nervosismo , tanto che spesso la si sentiva litigare nel sonno di notte, non si è mai saputo bene con chi, in un linguaggio italo-inglese simpaticissimo.... Lei era una vera principessina, aveva un gusto raffinato e amava la bellezza, sapeva sempre riconoscerla... Così principessina che non mi sarei aspettata, forse, tanta umiltà nella sofferenza e tanto spirito di sacrificio. Io non dimenticherò mai l'esempio che ha dato in questi ultimi due anni, la forza, l'infinito coraggio che ha avuto nel lottare per restare con noi, senza lamentarsi MAI, senza arrendersi mai. Perché lei non si è arresa, avrebbe continuato ancora a lottare se avesse avuto una piccola possibilità ancora...Ha avuto una vita bella, zia Nunù, non libera da sofferenze eppure piena di amore e di soddisfazioni, come quelle che le ha regalato la sua adorata figlia...lei ha sempre sognato che diventasse una pianista...Mi mancherà da morire, ma cercherò di sentire la sua dolce e leggiadra presenza in tutte le cose che farò. Di portare con me per sempre il suo sorriso sincero e pieno di tutto quello che era lei...che è LEI.
January 19, 2020
Non riuscirò a trovare le parole giuste per descrivere mia zia Nunzia e quello che provo per lei. Zia è una parola bellissima in una famiglia, eppure per me è così riduttivo per definire lei...lei è stata molto, infinitamente più di questo.
Quella in cui sono cresciute mia madre e mia zia Nunzia è stata una famiglia meravigliosa: con i loro due fratelli, loro hanno vissuto un'infanzia difficilissima a causa della guerra e della morte del padre, eppure al tempo stesso bellissima e piena di ricordi indimenticabili. Mia nonna è stata una donna eccezionale, e nonostante l'iniziale disperazione e i grandi sacrifici, è riuscita a crescere ed educare i suoi quattro figli nel miglior modo possibile, con grande forza ed assoluta dedizione, donando loro qualcosa che li ha uniti tutti a doppio filo dal principio alla fine e che non li avrebbe lasciati mai: l'Amore puro.
La mia zia Nunù era una persona speciale. Buona, dolce, generosissima. Lei non è mai stata solo una zia, lei era parte in senso stretto della nostra famiglia. Casa nostra, cioè della nonna Tina, era la sua. Prima della nascita di Francesca, c'eravamo solo noi, i suoi adorati nipoti. Poi è arrivata Lei, la gioia, l'amore, la ragione della sua vita e niente e nessuno poteva più competere... E'stata così lontana, eppure così vicina, che più non si poteva immaginare... Come posso dimenticare le nostre interminabili attese: delle sue lettere, che gioia quando arrivavano! Tutti intorno alla mia nonna per sentirci raccontare cosa diceva dall'altro capo del mondo la zia "americana"...delle sue telefonate, una volta al mese forse, per poter sentire la sua voce; e finalmente di quel bellissimo momento in cui potevamo correre a prenderla in aeroporto, per poterci abbandonare a quei lunghi abbracci che sembravano restituirci in un attimo quello che ci mancava ogni giorno.... Due giorni fa ho sentito la mia mamma Caterina sussurrare tra le lacrime: "Sin da piccola...l'ho aspettata per una vita intera..."
January 18, 2020
Francesca , our prayers are with you and your family. I remember so vividly meeting your mom at our Girl Scout events. Her smile and cute laugh. Jessica and me loved being around both of you. When you and your mom came to Key West for Jessica’s wedding we were thrilled and honored. Such a gracious and multi talented person as are you.
Love Jessica (Katz) Barrows
January 18, 2020
I will never forget Nancy: a straightforward and sincere friend, an honest and loyal colleague, an exemplary mother to her daughter Francesca.
January 18, 2020
Nancy & I met in London over 50 years ago, as both our servicemen husbands were stationed there. I took to Nancy’s vivacious personality instantly – especially since I was half Italian on my mother’s side!! We remained close friends for all these years, and destiny brought us back together again in Virginia. Nancy with her JOIE DE VIVRE was the BOUTE- EN-TRAIN of our little group of international men & women. In all our gatherings, she would entertain us with her guitar playing, her ability of reading our palms and telling some Italian stories in the Neapolitan dialect that she knew. I can still see her standing there, as the delivery of her speech was a feast for the eye and the heart.
These past 2 years were difficult for Nancy – and yet, she NEVER once complained about them. She had a serenity within herself that I admired. Nancy was smart, kind, and the most gentle soul that I have ever known. I will ALWAYS remember her sweetness and that cute little smile of hers. I will miss her greatly.
January 16, 2020
I met Nancy in the early 90s through our mutual friend Liana. I was immediately impressed with her gracious hospitality, and the way she had of making you feel as though you had known each other for ages. Even though she didn't know me that well, she agreed to come to my wedding, and to let Francesca be in the wedding party, a couple of years later she honored me by agreeing to be Godmother to my son. As life got busy and we both experienced changes we lost touch for long periods of time, but each time we saw each other we could pick up immediately were we left off, it was thanks to the easy way Nancy had to make you feel a part of her world. She was a beautiful soul, I know she touched countless lives, and her memory will live on in the hearts of many. May your immortal soul rest in peace in the glory of God the father my friend.
January 16, 2020
Nancy and I met in a French conversational class at the Watergate in Washington D.C. We were the same age. I was in the midst of a painful divorce, a single mom with three children. Nancy lifted me up with her joy and loving playful spirit. For many years, until I moved to California, our lives were enmeshed. We played, laughed and dated men who were friends. But, I never saw her so happy as when she became a mom to her beautiful little Francesca.
A generous, supportive friend, Nancy will live in my heart with warm memories of joyful evenings at her home, evenings filled with laughter and delightful conversations and, of course, Nancy's delicious meals. I am grateful that I was privileged to have known her.
I hold you close in my heart as you grieve her loss, Francesca, but we both know that she will always be with you. You were the greatest gift in her life.
With much love, Hennie
January 16, 2020
Thank you for sharing this wonderful obituary. John and I knew, the minute that we met Nancy, that she was a wonderful person. We therefore loved reading about her life and adventures. What a great life: one filled with love, warmth, great friendships, globe-trotting and many adventures. We feel so blessed to have spent the little time with her that we did. We also feel so very blessed that we can count her daughter, Francesca, as our friend. - Francesca, please know that we are thinking of you at this time. All our love, Jennifer and John xxoo
January 16, 2020
I will miss her so much she had the most beautiful smile .when she would talk about here daughter she would light up ,she was loved from so many of us she was a good friend to so many us .she will be in our hearts for ever
January 15, 2020
Nancy and I both came from Italian parents, and each time we met at The Top Side Aviation meeting, we just loved speaking Italian to one another. She always had fun stories to tell me, and stories about her trips back and forth to Italy where her sister lives. She was kind, generous and always had a great sense of humor. She will be missed by all of us at the club.
May you rest in peace dear Nancy
Ciao bella che vediamo pronto!!
January 14, 2020
Such an amazing person! I will forever remember the sweet smell of espresso that filled the air in her home. A sweet, Italian mother figure that was adored by all. The bond that Nancy and Francesca shared was simply incredible to see first hand. Nancy's pride and joy! Francesca's love and devotion; tremendous admiration!
With sincere condolences & sympathy.
Amanda & Frank Emami