Ed-itorlal: Muss Bertolino’s widow passes, as does part of Kenner’s rich history

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NORWICH, ENGLAND - JANUARY 28: A general view of the stadium floodlights ahead of the Sky Bet Championship match between Norwich City and Birmingham City at Carrow Road on January 28, 2017 in Norwich, England. (Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)

A part of Kenner’s rich history passed this week.

Mrs. Rita Marino Bertolino died at the age of 88. Mrs. Bertolino was the widow of former Kenner councilman Muss Bertolino.

The football stadium, and the playground on West Esplanade Avenue are both named in his honor.

As a child, I knew Mrs. Bertolino in passing.

Her story, is one of courage.

On December 11th, 1975, her husband died suddenly, leaving Mrs. Bertolino to raise their six children.

It was a daunting task, one she handled with aplomb.

A life event like a husband’s passing can shape a person’s entire being, and it did so for Mrs. Bertolino.

She was proud and strong.

And, she had every right.

Her husband was one of Kenner’s best. He loved his city.

He believed that Kenner should have its own network of playgrounds, and its own hospital. Those things happened.

And, he believed in service.

In a TV interview taped in the fall of 2016, one of the Bertolino’s six children, Sal, summed up his father, perfectly.

“There were times when he was gone,” said Sal. “And, we understood that. We knew we had to share him with everyone.”

Sal’s sister Rita said the Bertolino family name lives well past the Kenner city limits.

“When people hear I am a Bertolino, they ask are you related to Muss Bertolino?” said Rita.

“And, the next thing they say is what a wonderful man.”

Muss and Rita Bertolino were separated in December of 1975. 

This week, they were re-united.

And, their names live on, as a part of Kenner’s proud history.