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  • Writer's pictureThe Hammonton Gazette

Dorothy Molinari Cartica

Dorothy Molinari Cartica, 90, legendary girls’ field hockey coach at Saint Joseph High School, passed away peacefully at home on June 17, 2021 after a brief illness.

Dottie was born in Hammonton on February 22, 1931 and remained a resident for 90 years. A member of the National Honor Society, she graduated in 1948 from Hammonton High School where she excelled and earned the highest number of letters for girls’ sports. 

Along with her parents, Anthony and Nellie Molinari, her sister and brother-in-law, Rita and Dan Benedetto, Dottie was instrumental in the building of the “original” Town House Restaurant in 1950. They continued ownership of the restaurant until the mid-1970s.

In 1953, she married Raymond Cartica, a local carpenter, who then joined the family business. Dottie and Ray were married for 47 years until his death on June 21, 2000. 

While still involved in the Town House, she enrolled in Glassboro State College and began a teaching career at Saint Joseph’s High School in 1968. There she coached girls’ basketball and cheerleading. Upon graduation from GSC, she taught physical education, history, driver’s training and served as moderator of the National Honor Society and the Forensic Team. Dottie also produced and directed approximately 10 major school plays at St Joseph.

In 1971, she brought girls field hockey to St. Joe’s. She and her girls won the Cape Atlantic League Title 14 times. During her career she received many honors and accolades including being named Coach of the Year by the Courier Post and Atlantic City Press. In 1993, she was inducted into the NJ Interscholastic Coaches Association Hall of Fame. Coach Cartica (“Ma” as she was affectionately called by her girls) was also inducted into the NJ Coaches, the SJHS and HHS Hall of Fame for her accomplishments in women’s sports. She was also a nationally rated basketball and field hockey official.    

Dottie served as chairperson of the Atlantic County Jr. Miss Scholarship Program for 20 years and was appointed to the State Committee. She also served as the Atlantic County Juvenile Conference Committee Chairperson and was a longtime volunteer at Kessler Hospital. The Soroptimist Club of Hammonton honored her as a “Women of Distinction” for her outstanding service to the community. 

After retiring from teaching in 1996, she worked as secretary at Saint Anthony of Padua Church, retiring in 2010. She continued to serve at the Parish as Eucharistic minister and lector for many years.   

In 2010, she was presented with the Wildcatters Fidelus Award for her many years of devoted service to St. Joseph High School.   

After retirement, Dot enjoyed the “rides” to the casino, the Canoe Club, traveling with friends as well as her Friday Boggle and Yahtzee games with Maureen and Candy. She also enjoyed her nightly dining at Rocco’s Town House, often with her cousin, Nancy Ruberton Maiorano. 


She is survived by her nephews Daniel Benedetto, his wife Maria and their daughter Danielle (Michael Sacco); Richard Benedetto, his wife Renee, and family Nicole Tracy (Michael) and Matthew. She is also survived by niece, Sandy Galletta (Dan); Gina Locotos; and several other nieces and nephews from the Cartica Family. Also surviving is goddaughter, Jackie Kincaid along with a host of very dear friends and former students, who always remembered her throughout the year.

A church visitation will be held on Tuesday, June 22 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at St. Anthony of Padua Hall, 285 Rt. 206, Hammonton, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 11:30 a.m. Burial will be in Greenmount Cemetery 124 S. First Rd. Hammonton, N.J.

Donations in Dottie’s Memory may be made to AtlantiCare Hospice 6550 Delilah Rd STE 210, Egg Harbor Township, NJ 08234, St. Mary of Mount Carmel Parish 226 French St, Hammonton, NJ 08037, or the Atlantic County SPCA 334 Steelmanville Rd, Egg Harbor Township, NJ 08234. To share condolences please visit

Arrangement entrusted to the Marinella Funeral Home.


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