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Date of Birth October 23, 1933
Date of Passing February 14, 2019
James Edward Cotter
from Somerville, Massachusetts, United States
James (Jim) Edward Cotter was born in Somerville, MA, a city located directly northwest of Boston, in 1933. He was the eldest of three children and had two brothers, Richard Frances Cotter and John Patrick Cotter. His father worked as a postal carrier and both his parents, Patrick Richard Cotter and Mary Ellen Lynch, were of Irish descent. One of Jim's fondest childhood memories was riding down the boblsed tracks in Lake Placid, NY, with his uncle, Olypic bobsledder Joseph Meconi.
In 1951, he graduated as valedictorian from St. Clement's High School. He then attended Boston College where he graduated with honors and obtained a Bachelor's degree in Economics and a minor in Statistics in 1955. He continued on to earn a Master's degree in Economics in 1957.
While in college, he held various jobs including kitchen worker, clerk, postal sorter, and warehouseman. After a long night spent at the warehouse he could often be found fishing at historic Walden Pond in Concord MA, a nearby town. In addition to his many jobs, Jim spent his college years as a member of the Fulton Debating Society and Gold Key Society. Upon his graduation in 1955, he received an award for being the student who best represented Boston College's motto - "Ever to Excel" - and had his name written on a plaque in the senior lounge in recognition of this achievement. Before electronic calculators became commonplace, he enjoyed teaching a class on how to use a sliderule.
After college, Jim served in the Navy from 1957 to 1960 and attended officer's candidate school in Athens, Georgia. He was then stationed at the USS Fulton in New London, Connecticut. As payroll clerk, he sailed to the North Pole on August 3, 1958 to pay the crew of the USS Nautilus, the first nuclear submarine to dive to the North Pole. After serving as an Ensign, he was promoted to Lieutenant Junior Grade. Afterwards, he worked at the Naval Shipyard in Boston. In 1960, James began a career in the telecommunications industry at AT&T headquarters in Manhattan, New York and lived in Great Neck and Huntingtion, Long Island. An avid reader, James always had a book by his side and, to pass the time on his daily commute, he once read the entire dictionary word for word.
In 1964 he relocated to Washington D.C. where he became the District Staff Manager of Business Research in the Comptrollers Department for C&P Telephone (Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone Company) and assumed responsibility for producing outlook reports on the economy. When C&P Telephone merged into Bell Atlantic in 1987, Jim became the District Staff Manager of Business Planning and Economic Analysis in Arlington, VA. While at Bell Atlantic, he was promoted to Director of Business Research where he led a team of 60 managers located in Arlington, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, and Newark in providing economic, mathematical, statistical, demographic, and marketing research for company planners and forecasters. While in Washington, James was a member of the President's Council of Economic Advisors, occasionally testifying before Congress and delivering television reports about the low cost of telephone service. He retired in 1991 at age 58.
As an adult, Jim was active with the Knights of Columbus, served as President of the PTO of St. John's school, and was the official bus driver of his local Boy Scout troop - something in which he took great pride. Throughout his life, James was an enthusiastic observer of birds and wildlife. He could often be found gazing out of the window as he watched the deer and birds dart throughout his backyard.
Jim died of cancer at the age of 85 while in hospice care at Iliff Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Dunn Loring, VA. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Diane Louise (Hemmer). He had seven children, James, Thomas, Edward (deceased), Diane, Stephen, Richard, and Paul, as well as six grandchildren. He was a member of St. John the Beloved Catholic Church in McLean, VA, and is buried at Oakwood Cemetery in Falls Church, VA.
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