William A. Coti Colonel, USMC (Ret.)
Died suddenly on July 14, 2020 following a massive stroke he suffered the previous Sunday night. He had celebrated his 89th birthday on July 7 and looked forward to his 66th wedding anniversary in September. Born in Brooklyn, New York, Colonel Coti enlisted in the Marine Corps at the age of 17 and fought in the Korean War. He was part of the contingent who survived the Chosin Reservoir Campaign in 1950. He exited the Marine Corps in 1953 to attend St. John's University attaining a degree in psychology and later reenlisted as a commissioned officer. After an extended tour in Vietnam, he entered the Marine Corps Reserves, retiring in 1991. He spent 20 years with the Department of Defense and traveled around the world, notably in the U.S.S.R., Central and South America and the Horn of Africa. During this time, the family was based in London, England for five years. Col. Coti rode and trained horses in cross country and dressage, a passion that began in England and ended in his 80s. He will always be remembered for his positive outlook on life, his encouragement and mentorship, his generosity and humility. He is survived by his cherished wife Mary; daughters Dianne and Susan; son-in-law Sadegh; two grandchildren, Alex (Kimberly) and Melissa (Eric); and two great-grandchildren, Ethan and Ellie. He is predeceased by his beloved grandson Niall who was killed in Afghanistan in 2012 while serving as a U.S. Marine. A funeral will be held at a later date at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors.
Published in The Washington Post on Aug. 2, 2020.