1886 – 1955 (December 21)
William Henry Cotter was born in Syracuse, New York, on June 25, 1886, to Michael Cotter and Margaret McNierney. He entered the novitiate at Villanova, Pennsylvania in 1909, pronounced simple vows on June 25, 1910, and pursued his AB degree at Villanova College. From September, 1912 to June, 1915. He did theological studies in Rome, and there, on October 22, 1913, he made his solemn profession. He returned to the United States, and was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop McCort at Villanova on July 1, 1915. The following year he obtained his MA at Villanova.
Father Cotter served in our parishes at Holy Rosary in Lawrence, Ma, from 1916 to 1918, at St. Mary’s in Waterford, until 1921, and at St. Nichols of Tolentine, the Bronx, New York. In 1922, he became a member of the Province Mission Band, with residence first in the Bronx and then in Rosemont, Pa., and Altantic City, New Jersey. In 1935, he was named prior and pastor of Saint Clare Parish in Chicago, Illinois.
From 1939 to 1947, Father Cotter served as prior and pastor of Saint Joseph Parish, Greenwich, N.Y. In 1947, he was named prior and pastor of Saint John's, Schaghticoke, N.Y., and in 1950, he served in the same capacity at Saint Augustine's, Troy, N.Y.
Father Cotter was 69 when he died on December 21, 1955, at Mount Loretto in Amsterdam, N.Y., after some years of retirement because of illness. His funeral Mass was celebrated at St. Augustine Parish, Troy, at which Bishop William Scully offered the final commendation. Father Cotter was buried in Saint John's Cemetery in Troy.
Father Cotter was very approachable individual, prudent in his ways, and endowed with a simplicity of manner.