Isabelle (Betty) Presto

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“I believe, but I wonder.” Those were the words Isabelle Presto used about the mystery of life. Isabelle passed away peacefully in Newton, NJ, on October 16, 2021, at 94 years old. She was born Isabella Lanza on August 4, 1927, in New York, NY, and was known to many as “Betty” or even “Betty Boop” to some. Her playful nature was evident to all who knew her. If Betty made you laugh, she had fulfilled her purpose.

In her 94 years of life, Isabelle had many purposes, like being a wonderful mother. She leaves behind two children and four grandchildren: her son, Patrick Presto and his wife, Georgette Presto, and their two sons, Vincent and Anthony; and her daughter, Linda Presto and her two children, Jessica and Ryan Mullin and his fiancé, Hanna Balatero.

Isabelle is predeceased by her husband of 47 years, James Presto, a resident of Andover, NJ, and her parents, Joseph Lanza and Laura Buttaci Lanza, who were born in Sicily and immigrated to the New York area, as well as her two brothers, Louis and Alphonse Lanza. She is survived by her sister, Joan Coppola. Isabelle and her brothers and sister were raised in New York and northern New Jersey. Isabelle worked for an insurance company in Manhattan for many years. She raised children, cared for parents, and hosted endless parties and family gatherings. Her home was always bustling with loved ones to whom she was: cousin, aunt, friend, sister, parent, mentor, confidant, and patient listener.

Isabelle was also a prolific writer whose memorable stories were published in various magazines and enjoyed by her friends and family. Her essay, “Fridays at McDonald’s,” about her senior group friendships was displayed proudly at the Newton McDonalds. Betty was a member of the Greater Andover Seniors for nearly 20 years, and her jokester qualities were legendary. She made people laugh. It was her gift and her greatest pleasure.

The family will be holding visitation on Wednesday, October 20, 2021, at 2-4 and 7-9 PM in the Iliff-Ruggiero Funeral Home #156 Min St. Rt. 206 Newton, NJ. A Funeral Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Thursday, October 21, 2021, at 10 AM at St. Joseph’s RC Church on #24 Halsted Street, Newton NJ. Online condolences through

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