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Dorothy "Dot" Lepori
November 25, 2023


On Saturday, November 25th the world lost a little of its light. Dorothy “Dot” Lepori passed away at the young age of 52 after battling cancer since her diagnosis February of 2022. She was surrounded by family and showed her wonderfully strong spirit until her time here was over.

Dorothy grew up in upstate NY and received her bachelor’s degree in Restaurant Management from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI. It was there that she met her person and soulmate Mario Lepori. After graduating in 1993, Dorothy and Mario started their careers together in Boston at Milano’s Italian Kitchen where they became inseparable and demonstrated their ability to share every moment of life together.

Over the next 30 years, Dorothy wove threads of empathy, strength and kindness into her work and life. She touched the hearts of all who crossed her path. Whether you were one of her many loyal regulars, a member of her extensive work family or a stranger that she found a random reason to talk to, she had the ability to make you feel like the most important person in her world. Anyone who spent time with Dorothy experienced how she immersed in the world around her – many times leading to distracted outings as she stopped to interact with every thing and person around her. We would laugh as we asked “where’d she go?” and “who’s she talking to now?”. She discovered and created joy all around her.

Last year, along with partner Mike DiSarro, Dorothy and Mario achieved a life-long dream of opening their own business together, even while dealing with her diagnosis. She was a driving force behind Neroli Mercato and Neroli Ristorante located in Westwood, refusing to let cancer steal that dream and pouring her passion into every detail of bringing it to life. After years of working separately, sharing their workday again brought out the best in both of them and has created a business that is uniquely theirs. Her legacy will carry on with every story told over a delicious meal and every laugh heard around the dining room.

Dorothy is survived by her devoted husband of 25 years, who will forever be changed by her compassionate love and fierce heart. She is also survived by her mother Patricia Kotary who barely left her side during months of treatment, her two sisters Amy Wilson and Kara Lakatos, brothers-in-law David Wilson and Kurt Lakatos, and her beloved nieces Mia and Maggie Lakatos whom she affectionately called her children, along with many more extended family members. She now joins her father Darwin “Buck” Kotary, grandparents Marmish and Fred George, in-laws Mario and Polly Lepori, along with other family and friends who will be waiting with open arms.

Visiting hours will be held at Gormley Funeral Home at 2055 Centre Street in West Roxbury on Tuesday December 5th from 4-8pm. A celebration of life will be held at Neroli Ristorante at 282 Washington Street in Westwood on Wednesday December 6th from 12-3pm. For directions and guestbook

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Gormley Funeral Service
2055 Centre Street
West Roxbury, MA 02132