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Obituary of Helen M. Cotton
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Helen Moreland Cotton died peacefully in her sleep on January 11, 2023, after a long and wonderful life. Born in 1927, she spent the first 7 years of her life in Brazil, followed by several years in Virginia. She married her college sweetheart Clare Cotton in 1949 and had 4 children, Lisa and Quincy who were born in the US, and Christopher and Martha who were born during a 12 year stint in London, England. In London she welcomed many stray Americans into our home (in addition to the locals and others from “the continent”), but the Americans were easiest to spot on the street. She loved living in London, but an American voice was the sound of home - it drew her like a magnet. She started with conversation and ended with an invitation. They might come for the weekly pancake breakfast or become part of the household and stay for months. If they were really lucky, they got to be a guest at the Players Club for some English Music Hall, a musical theater sing-along that required rowdy audience participation. Helen and Clare were long term members and very enthusiastic participants. You always introduced your guests to the crowd - Americans were welcomed as visitors from “the revolting colonies”. After London came four decades in Boston where the living room was much larger and could regularly accommodate a bigger crowd, even a wedding reception for a friend and the annual Boston Marathon party (where middle-aged waistlines required that pancakes be replaced by crepes). In the early days, it could also hold the Brookline Chorus. Helen and Clare were founding members – but the singing became beautiful, the chorus thrived and outgrew the living room long ago. It continues to perform regularly as the Metropolitan Chorale. Helen and Clare had been married 63 years when Clare died in 2015. Helen is survived by her 4 children and 9 grandchildren. They will forever remember her covered in dirt and blackberry juice in the garden, and up to her elbows in flour, kneading bread. They will never forget her lecture on the benefits of mud, her rummaging around in her “glue library” in search of the perfect adhesive, nor her unbounded optimism that somewhere out there was a magical product that would help her be more organized. In our memories, she is still joyfully singing English music hall songs at the dinner table. The family would like to express their deepest gratitude to Dr. Ann Costello and the wonderful staff at Kendal for their excellent care. On-line condolences may be sent to Helen’s family at Ithacacremationservice.com
A Memorial Tree was planted for Helen
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Ithaca Cremation Services
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In Loving Memory
1927 - 2023
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