Mary Carolyn Gruger Cotton, 84, of Bellingham, passed away November 2, 2015 at home after a long struggle with cancer. Born March 4. 1931, Carolyn was the 3rd child and only daughter of William and Eleanor Gruger of Seattle. Raised predominately in Boise, Idaho, Carolyn attended college after high school until fate crossed her path. Not having a date for the dance during the Christmas holidays, her father took matters into his own hands, crossed the street to the local boarding house and cornered Tom Cotton. “Do you have a date for the dance tonight?” He inquired of a surprised Tom. “Why not?”, he persisted. “Well”, he continued, “I have just the girl for you” as he guided Tom back across the street to meet his daughter Carolyn. That dance was the start of a dance that lasted 60 years and took Carolyn and Tom on adventure after adventure as Tom worked as an agricultural engineer. Traveling to Afghanistan, Haiti, Egypt, Sri Lanka and several homes in the lower 48, Carolyn became a master mover and wrangler of several small children at once, five in all. Carolyn was an exceptional sewer, having a small home business and making all her daughters’ wedding dresses. She even received a sewing machine by winning the National Wool Growers competition with a stunning wool suit. After the children left home, Carolyn became active in the Bellingham Assistance League where she worked in the second hand shop and made items for the yearly fund raising auction. As well as sewing, Carolyn was an avid knitter, enjoyed a rousing game of bridge and loved square dancing with Tom, while showing off her latest dance dress creations. Tom couldn’t hang around for the final dance and made his final bow three years ago. Since that time Carolyn has looked forward to joining him again to rekindle the smitten love they had for each other. Carolyn is survived by her five children; sons David Cotton of Boise, ID, and Dan Cotton of Denver, CO; daughters Janie (Kirk) Nafsinger of Caldwell, ID, Ann (Martin) Osborne, and Karen (Bruce) Duim, both of Bellingham; and five grandchildren. Carolyn’s family will be hosting a festive event in celebration of her life. Friends and family friends are invited to join the family at the Roeder Home, 2600 Sunset Dr., Bellingham, the afternoon of Sunday, November 15th, at 3:15. Memorial donations can be sent in her name to Assistance League Bellingham, P.O. Box 2998, Bellingham, WA 98227.
Celebration Of Life
- Date & Time: Aug 15, 1116 (No Time)
- Venue: The Roeder Home
- Location: 2600 Sunset Drive Bellingham, WA - (Get Directions)