William J. (Bill) Cotter 69, of Keene, New Hampshire passed away on July 15, 2019 after a brief battle with pancreatic cancer. He was the husband of his high school sweetheart Betty Anne “Betsy” (Brice) Cotter and passed just one day after their 46th wedding anniversary.
Bill was born December 4, 1949 in Valley Stream, New York, to the late, William and Alice Cotter. He grew up in Valley Stream and Skaneateles, New York. He attended Holy Name of Mary Elementary School in Valley Stream. Upon the family moving to Central New York, he graduated from Skaneateles Central Schools where he met his future wife. They married July 14, 1973 in Skaneateles.
He attended LeMoyne College in Syracuse, NY and was a member of the Air National Guard from 1969-1975, based in Syracuse.
In 1973 the couple moved to Keene, New Hampshire where Bill arranged financing and insurance for mobile home parks throughout New England. In 1975 he was named manager of Tanglewood Estates in Keene where he established life-long friendships with park residents.
In 1985, Bill and wife Betsy operated the Grand Slam Restaurant on Court Street in Keene. In 1988 he began his own carpentry and construction business “Bill Cotter Construction” which he operated until his retirement in 2017. His reputation for providing quality workmanship and honesty earned him loyal customers and long-term friendships throughout the community and beyond. Never advertising, his business was successful based solely on “word of mouth.”
Bill was an active member of the Keene community offering his time and energy to various groups and organizations. He coached boys t-ball teams, was a past commander and past district commander for the American Legion Post 4, a member of the board of directors for Center Stage Cheshire County, a past member of the Keene Kiwanis Club, and volunteer for many years for the Keene Realtors’ “Fix-a-Home” projects.
He was a mentor to apprentices and young people to whom he taught his carpentry trade and whose character he helped shape. He was a life-long and avid Red Sox, Patriots and NASCAR fan.
In addition to his wife, Bill is survived by his beloved daughters; Jessica and husband, Andy Carpenter and Kathryn (KC) Cotter, both of Keene, and two granddaughters Morgan and Camryn. He is also survived by three sisters; Carol Schneider, Mary Cotter, Alice Herlihy and husband Paul. Two brothers; James Cotter and wife, Anne Grebert and Donald Cotter, and brother-in-law Chuck and wife, Linda Brice. He is also survived by three step-granddaughters; Lyndsey and Elisha Carpenter and Emma and husband Zach Byam; by his aunt, Joan Dykeman of York, PA. as well as numerous; nieces, nephews and cousins.
Bill loved his granddaughters with all his heart and soul. As their special “Bumpa,” he was available to them whenever they needed a bed built, a bike fixed, a trip to Dunkin Donuts, a hug, and so much more. Those who knew Bill, know there was nothing he would not do for Morgie and Cam.
The family wishes to thank the friends and well-wishers who surrounded Bill in life and throughout his final days. In addition, the family wishes to personally thank Lori Guyette and Julie Wolf for their loving care for Bill. Also, thanks to the staff of Dunkin Donuts who served Bill his coffee nearly every morning.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Bill’s name for pancreatic cancer research to:
Lustgarten Foundation via Lustgarten.org
415 Crossways Park Dr. Ste. D.
Woodbury, N.Y. 11797
or to a charity of your choice.
Burial will be private. Friends and family are invited to a casual gathering prior to the celebration of life service in the funeral chapel, on Sunday, July 21 from 2 to 3pm. with the celebration service to follow. All services are under the care of Cheshire Family Funeral Chapel and Crematories, 44 Maple Eve. Keene, NH. 03431. WWW.cheshirefamilyfh.com