Cotton, Richard Harrison "Gypsy" "Papa" "Pompa" 6/15/29 - 9/29/12 Passed away surrounded by family after a long battle with leukemia. He lived and died a fighter with tremendous stamina and remarkable toughness. He was born Richard Harrison Cotton on June 15th, 1929 to Delia and Clarence Cotton. Richard was the second to the youngest with two brothers and two sisters. Raised in "Nordeast" Minneapolis, he married Evelyn Mielke in 1948. Together they raised eight children. He was very proud of their many years of marriage. Richard was a character to remember with a quick wit and great sense of humor. He loved his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren and cherished hundreds of photos of them that he displayed in his home. Richard loved music, motorcycles, and memories. He was a friend to birds and animals. He enjoyed creating beautiful jewelry which he gave as gifts to family, friends, and anyone that he thought needed to smile. Richard was a long time employee of Quality Lincoln Mercury and a member of the Teamsters Union. Preceded in death by his wife of 64 years, Evelyn D. Cotton; his parents, Clarence and Delia Cotton; brothers, Lloyd (Alice) and Clarence LaPointe, and sister, Dorothy "Dolly" Tallman. He is survived by his children, Colleen (Mac) Maguire, Richard Cotton, Adrienne (Keith) Bystedt, Bernadette (Norm) Botoshe, Maurice (Patricia) Cotton, Judith (Kelly) Devitt, and Jeffrey (MaryBeth) Cotton; special niece, Marlyse (Dick) Bauch; and many other nieces and nephews; grandchildren: Desiree Sennie; Erin Maguire; Tracy (Dennis) Nelson; Justin and Jessica Botoshe; Matthew and Michelle Cotton; Paul, Emma and Adam Devitt; Harrison and Austin Cotton; great-grandchildren: Vincent, Sydney and Julia Nelson; Lily Sennie. Also survived by other loved ones, sister, Marlene Lau; sister-in-law, Mary Jane LaPointe, Dayna Jaster, special friend, Steve Ronholdt, and other neighbors and friends. Special thanks to Dr. Gary L. Grammens and to the University of Minnesota Masonic Cancer Center for your months of extraordinary care. Richard generously donated his body to the University of Minnesota Anatomy Bequest Program. Per his request, family will hold a private service. Memorials preferred to the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota, c/o Minnesota Medical Foundation, P.O. Box 64001, St. Paul, MN 55164-0001 or on the web at www.cancer.umn.edu/development/waystogive.html Dad's advice was to look, listen, have fun, dance, sing, and love your family!
Published in Star Tribune from Oct. 6 to Oct. 7, 2012