Anita Kohut was born on August 3, 1918 in a little country house in Taylortown, outside of Boonton. Her mother, nine months pregnant was on the way to Boonton for supplies when she met her doctor who told her to go straight back home. There she gave birth to Anita in the kitchen. Anita was preceded to Vivian who six years older, and a couple of boys were lost in between. Her brother ? was born two years later.
They were poor but didn’t no they were poor. There was no heat in house other than was produced by the iron stove in the kitchen. They would swim in the pond, and when they needed milk her mother would send Anita across the way to the farmer who would milk the cow while Anita waited.
Anita remembers her father clearly, though she lost him early. They would go out hunting squirrel and rabbits together. When she was eight, her father died working for Jersey Central when a gas valve broke in his face. He came home but died there. Anita’s mom was left to fend for herself, which was a tough change from what she was accustomed to. Her mother had owned a hotel near West Point, so she was accustomed to comfort, being cared for by a nanny. She was of German descent. Anita’s father, of Dutch descend (Kanuse) was from Boonton and worked as a mason, and spent an extended time working at West Point laying bricks. He stayed at the hotel, which is where they met. When he married her, he brought her back to New Jersey. So when her husband died, she was without her family, though her husband’s family looked out for her.
Anita graduated from Boonton High School in 1936, and upon graduation began working along with her sister in a lawyer’s office, Bean and Kelly. Anita worked for Judge Kelly, a state senator. She met her husband John who worked for Cerbo’s Autho and would pass her by everyday. They were married in 1937. Shortly afterwards Johnny told Anita that he didn’t want her working outside the home; he would earn the living, she would be responsible for the home front.
In 1939 she had her first baby, also named Anita (which in later years would get extremely complicated.) Marcia came in 1943, then John, followed two years later by Bill, with Melanie born last in 1954.
When World War II broke out, Anita’s husband was going to enlist. In preparation for his departure, Anita’s father-in-law moved the family into town to the house she would live in for the rest of her life in Boonton. As it turned out, John wasn’t allowed to enlist apparently because he was considered too old.
Her brother did enlist in the Marines and survived the Battle of Iwo Jima, when all of his fellow soldiers were killed. He came home shell shocked, overwhelmed by survivor’s guilt, but eventually was healed with the help of a psychologist. He went on be a successful businessman.
John worked as a mechanic, eventually beginning his own air conditioning business in Paterson, which involved a long commute. In the summers he would take the family in the truck down to the Jersey Shore, drop them off and go back to work. He’d call each day, and then come back to pick them up after a week. The children enjoyed the week immensely, but Anita was constantly kept constantly vigilant watching out for the five children. One time Johnny mistook a log for a shark, which led the lifeguards to clear the water for an hour. When they got back home there were all those clothes to wash.
John Jr. was a pitcher and Bill a catcher, but on different teams, which sent Anita going in two directions to catch parts of both son’s games. Their father was always working.
One time the boys were setting off fire crackers by the Fireman’s Home and a pilot flying overhead thought they were firing at him, leading to Anita having a policeman at her doorstep tell her to go get her boys. Anita had a gun and liked to go shooting with John until the time their shooting frightened the people next door at the high school, leading to the police permanently taking away the gun. Fortunately in the small town the police were friends with Anita and nothing serious game of these sorts of mischief.
As the years passed, Anita would have her heartbroken twice when two of her children died, Marcia and John? Both to cancer. Marcia’s two children, Arlene 19 and Bill 14 moved in with Anita.
Anita’s husband ended up dying of emphysema after having been a heavy smoker and drinker.
All in all Anita was grateful for the life she lived. She declared that it was her faith in the good Lord that brought her through life. He was there in the good times and in the bad times. She lived an active life up until the last year of her life, and found it difficult when she was forced to live dependent upon others, having been accustomed her whole life of being up and doing. She was grateful to Jean, the home health aid who came to live with her from December of 2014 until her death?