Joseph Eugene Cotter, professor, husband,
brother, son, and friend passed on 21 September 2002. Here are
some friends' remembrances, gratefully aggregated by Clark Quinn.
I am grateful I had a chance to catch up with Joe relatively
recently when he and his wife Cheryl were in the Bay area; after
years of struggle, he seemed to have found a comfortable niche
and was at peace with himself and the world - or as much so as
a rabble rousing, argumentative, opinionated soul such as his
could ever be. From San Pedro to the 10th floor of Tioga Hall
(where we first became friends) to Mexico City to Augusta Georgia,
he left his mark on us all, and we are far the better for it.
Friendship is not measured soley by frequency of contact but
also by depth of feeling, and in that sense he was a true friend.
He was a stalwart companion in many a youthful adventure, with
a generous nature and a good heart, and he never failed to challenge,
amuse, and annoy me, often all at the same time. I am proud to
have called him my friend, and I will miss him.
I met Joe on the 10th floor of Tioga, when he roomed with Martin.
We stayed in sort of touch throughout. I am also saddened by
his passing on but pray that he finds peace on the other side.
Joe was always a great guy, with great ideas and a wicked sense
of humor. I spent hours with him at one point in my life, hanging
out and enjoying life. He was fun to be with and I shared in
his success at teaching. I remember hearing he scored his tenure,
and being very, very happy. And now I'm sad, but happy I knew
him for the time I did.
Clark and I didn't wrap you in every piece of clothing we could
find, make a shelter, and stuff you into a sleeping bag while
we stood around outside in the rain twenty miles from the trailhead
wondering what the hell we should be doing just so you could
bail on us...
Sports-car cruising, Joe in the TR-7 and me in the Fiat, going
up Mt. Palomar in the dead of winter, top down (or roof off in
the case of the X1/9), dressed in ski jackets and hats with the
heaters going full blast...
Jumping in my truck whenever it rained heavily, and driving over
to the La Bajada dip to watch the idiots get stuck trying to
cross (which Joe dubbed "flood cruising")...
Seemingly endless discussions on small group dynamics (or, why
it's just about impossible to get more than 6 or 8 people all
moving in the same direction at the same time, especially on
Watching MTV in it's infancy, making wise cracks about the VJs...
Driving up to Gardena in the Fiat with Joe, ice chest in the
front trunk, to visit the New Meiji Market and bring back fish
for making sushi at home...
So maybe he was "rude, crude, and socially unacceptable"
but I always thought he was a good guy. Heck - even my Mom liked
Joe! Did Joe have any living relatives? I still have some 35mm
slides in storage that I believe were his father's, along with
a number of books (mostly military history)...
I met Joe Cotter in the tenth grade, and we remained friends
throughout life. Although we hadn't been in close contact in
recent years, I am saddened to learn of his passing. We all have
our "stuff" to deal with and Joe was one to be a friend
through all manner of times. I want to thank you all for being
my friend and to let you know that I love you even if we don't
have close or regular contact. The thought of you warms my heart
and I am thankful to have Joe Cotter as my personal friend.
Thanks for the news about Joe....I have many humorous memories
of him, as does Johnny Murphy, who has the office next to mine....I
can't believe one of us is already dead....which tells you that
you should live life to the fullest everyday! Thanks again
I will remember him as the very good friend you cared a great
deal about. I am very sad. I am glad that he lived in a family
that really loved him, and whom he cared about. I am also glad
that he had a good friend in Clark, who met him in Mexico, who
went to his wedding, who has many memories of him. We trusted
him enough to let him drive our VW Station Wagon to Northern
California to pick you up after a canoe trip on the Eel River,
so that you could drive back to LA! Of course some people might
have said that we were a bit silly! But I am content that we
Others who communicated thoughts and wishes include Clifton Quinn
& Jay Sak.
Disclaimer: some editing has been performed.
Rest in peace, amigo.