Ellen J. Cotter
Nov 2nd, 2019
Ellen Joan Cotter, 78, of West Dennis died on November 2, 2019. Ellen Joan Cotter was born prematurely in Middletown, NY to loving parents the late John and Ida Cotter. Ellen’s premature birth did not allow certain developmental sequences to have occurred and she would fight various illnesses all her life. While fighting rheumatic fever at the age of 6 months, she was administered antibiotics. Antibiotics, taken before age 1, usually lead to obesity. This became another struggle in Ellen's Life. Her health struggles were a mixed blessing. She developed a healthy fighting spirit and she joined youth groups like I.O.R.G. where she further developed a pleasant extroverted personality.
By age of 14 she was Worthy Adviser, a youth leader at Hoffman Lodge’s Rainbow Assembly #16. By age 15 she was a Grand Officer for the organization on the State level. She would go on to graduate high school with honors, and thereby earn a scholarship to Drew University. There she studied under adviser Dr. Charles Smith. He was from the school of: “USA will not need to worry about falling into totalitarianism on the left, but will need to work, to not succumb to those on the far right; with rhetoric wrapped in OUR flag, and while sitting in the ultra-right churches.
Upon graduation, Ellen worked as a social worker at Horton Hospital and shared an office with Dr. Samuel Shorter for several years. (He was champion for Native American’s and father of Olympic Medalist Frank and he had positive influence on Ellen.) While working at Horton, she attended New Paltz University part time. She earned her Masters in elementary education.
By the mid-sixties she had begun the journey of a career as educator to last over 30 years. She felt a sense of accomplishment in that she taught over two thousand Middletown School System children the three R’s; how to read, write and do Arithmetic. When the confusing, so called new math, came along, Ellen would include photo copies of her older math lessons, so that her students were able to stay ahead of the Bell Curve at testing time.
When Ellen took an early retirement option in the 1990s, several mothers begged her to stay on until their youngest children were able to learn from Ellen’s method.
But Ellen had a new mission; to move to her weekend home in Cape Cod, and to be near her parents where she looked upon them with love until their passing. Next Ellen became very active in her love for doing, and supporting, crafts. She was active in several Cape Cod churches and finally found the Brewster Baptist Church community more than a decade ago. She was active in the local Eastern Star, chapter #158 Matakese, which is out of Howard Lodge. She financially supported other health organizations dealing with blindness, diabetes, cancer prevention and so forth. For months she fought the good, and painful, fight of duodenal cancer until she went to be with the Lord. She died in her sleep.
She is survived by cousin Lawrence Caruso, and his wife Jackie of Homer NY, and two nephews Richard Mcphillips of NY and D. John and Diane Mcphillips of Jacksonville Florida.
Visitation will be at the Hallett Funeral Home, 273 Station Ave, South Yarmouth on Thursday, November 7, 2019 from 5 pm to 7 pm. The Christ Centered Funeral will be held on Friday, November 8, 2019 at 11:00 am at Brewster Baptist Church, on route 6a in Brewster Mass.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her name to: Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired, 1155 Market Street San Francisco, CA 94103 tel: (415) 431-1481.