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Gina Carole BORTOLOTTI (d. 9.20.2006)

[San Mateo County Obit Board]

Posted by Newspaper Transcriber on Saturday, October 21, 2006 at 19:00:41 :

Gina Carole Bortolotti

Gina Carole Bortolotti once determined that she had spent an average of 200 days a year at sea in each of the past 13 years.

She worked as a deckhand and navigator, and planned and arranged meals at sea and on waters off Costa Rica, the Caribbean, South Africa and the Mediterranean.

It was the essence of life for Ms. Bortolotti.

Ms. Bortolotti died by drowning Sept. 20 at the Yale-New Haven Hospital in New Haven, Conn., following a boating accident in the Long Island Sound off New Haven. She was 29.

"The ocean was a large enough venue for her dreams," said Ms. Bortolotti's mother, Margie Havice of Half Moon Bay. "She outgrew Half Moon Bay. She was fearless."

"She steered her own destiny," said Ms. Bortolotti's stepfather, Donald Carey of Half Moon Bay. "You couldn't tell her what to do. She knew what she wanted to do."

Ms. Bortolotti was born Sept. 30, 1976 in San Francisco, but grew up on the coast. Her grandparents Barney and Tye Bortolotti owned Dan's Place Italian restaurant in Moss Beach, which Barney inherited from his father, Dan.

Ms. Bortolotti attended Coastside schools from kindergarten until getting her high school GED. She briefly studied junior-college-level business and accounting, and worked as a deckhand for Capt. John's in Pillar Point Harbor. She also did two brief stints on fishing boats off Alaska.

Around age 18, she left the coast to work on yachts around the world.

"She had a lot of dreams," said her stepfather. "She wanted to see the world more than anything."

In 1999, she attended the Chapman School of Seamanship in Stuart, Fla. The program covered all aspects of professional mariner training including navigation, ship mechanics, radio, charting and more, and she received her diploma in 1999. That same year, she also got a U.S. Coast Guard license as a master of steam or motor vessels of not more than 100 gross tons, upon near-coastal waters. She renewed it in 2004.

Ms. Bortolotti also took a Silver Service dining course that covered cooking, food arranging and dining service with cuisine and boating traditions of different seas.

"She touched everyone's life," said Ms. Bortolotti's stepfather. "When she came in the room, she was like the center of attention. Not in a bad way - you were just absorbed by her. She always had an adventure to tell you."

At her death, Ms. Bortolotti and fiancÚ Nardus "Blue" Bothma of South Africa, had bought a house in Lewiston, Calif., and were planning to start a family.

Ms. Bortoloti is survived by her fiancÚ, Nardus "Blue" Bothma of South Africa, her mother and stepfather Margie Havice and Donald Carey of Half Moon Bay, her father and stepmother Daniel John and Linda Bortolotti of Lewiston, Calif., and grandfather David Havice of Half Moon Bay.

She is also survived by aunts, uncles and cousins from the Coastside and elsewhere: uncle Andy Havice of Michigan, cousins Jessica and Brock Boyer of Illinois and Brandon, Kevin, Jacob and David Havice of Michigan; aunt and uncle JoAnne and Larry Rosseel and cousins Dave Rosseel, Kate and Bill Ziegler and daughter Nona and Scott Rosseel, all of Michigan; aunt and uncle Debbie and Ed Yerby of Redwood City, aunt and uncle Janice and Pete Peterson and cousins Seth and Heather Peterson of San Gregorio; aunt and uncle Donna and John McClung and cousins Jessica, Megan and Kaitlyn McClung, and Gustavo Solari, all of Moss Beach; aunt Gale Holden of Foster City and cousins Steven Holden of Palo Alto and Keith and Meredith Holden, of El Granada; and aunt and uncle Daniel and Kathie Havice of El Granada and cousins Kevin Havice of Oregon, Jacob Havice of San Diego and Ryan Havice of Hawaii.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 8, at the Community United Methodist church at 777 Miramontes St. in Half Moon Bay. Ms. Bortolotti had requested to be cremated; inurnment services will be private.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Ronald McDonald House of Connecticut, at 501 George St., New Haven, CT 06511.

Half Moon Bay Review and Pescadero Pebble, Wednesday, September 27, 2006

copyright © 2006 Pamela Storm and Ron Filion. All rights reserved.
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