Cover photo for Lorraine Cotter's Obituary
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1925 Lorraine 2022

Lorraine Cotter

April 13, 1925 — November 25, 2022

We have lost a truly beautiful soul with the passing of Lorraine Katherine Blahnik Cotter, aged 97, affectionately known as Rainey. She peacefully passed away at home after a long illness on Friday, November 25, 2022. Rainey was born on April 13, 1925 on the dairy farm of her parents, John and Tillie Blahnik near Slovan in Kewaunee County, Wisconsin. She was the oldest of six children including John, Arlene, Ellie, Grace and Bernice. After graduating from Casco High School in 1942 she attended secretarial school in Manitowoc where she was recruited to work for Western Union during World War II. She was assigned to the office in Menasha and was befriended by Lucy Cardin who worked in the office in Neenah. Lucy introduced Rainey to her dashing cousin, Ed Cotter. It was true love and they were married on June 12, 1948. Rainey and Ed shared a beautiful loving relationship until his death in 1987. They made their home throughout mid-eastern Wisconsin living in Appleton, Neenah and Fond du Lac before settling in Two Rivers. Together they produced seven children, Kathy, Ed (known as Bud), John, Barb, Terre, Steve and Mary, raising them in a home filled with love and laughter. An eighth child, Diane, was stillborn.


While primarily a mother and homemaker, Rainey worked occasionally in outside jobs, most notably driving special education students to school in Sheboygan and Green Bay. Her husband, Ed, managed the school buses for the Two Rivers School District for many years. Rainey was an accomplished seamstress who made a lot of the clothing her children wore. In later years she became a gifted quilter and was a member of the Lakeshore Quilt Guild. She estimated she made around 70 quilts, most given to her children, grandchildren, sisters and other family members. She also made a number of quilts that were given to first responders to use when a child was involved in an accident or other incident. She has won several awards for her quilts. She liked to think of giving a quilt as giving a hug to someone.


Rainey and her sisters were big sports fans from the days in their childhood when they listened to Green Bay Packer games on a radio powered by a Delco battery before electricity came to their farm. She tried to never miss a Packer game and had a large collection of Packer sweatshirts, mostly given to her as gifts. She also regularly followed the Milwaukee Brewers and Milwaukee Bucks, college and high school sports. It was not unusual to hear her and her sisters discussing last night's game. Rainey loved word games of all sorts, especially Scrabble where she was a formidable opponent. She often played sheephead and other card games at family gatherings and was known to carry a bag of pennies in her purse just in case a game broke out.


As her children grew older and scattered about, Rainey often traveled to see them or to go places with them. She has been cruising in the Caribbean, crossing into the Arctic Circle in Alaska, eating lobster in Maine, riding a pirate ship in Disneyworld, picnicking in Yellowstone, doing the hula on Waikiki Beach and sleeping on a Chicago sidewalk to see King Tut. Above all she just loved being with her family, be it her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, brother and sisters, in-laws, nieces, nephews, cousins and anyone else who asked her to be a friend on Facebook. She was always ready to give a big smile, hug and kiss to the people she loved.


Overall Rainey's deep love of God and her Catholic faith has been paramount to her. Those who knew her are firmly convinced that she is with God now and very happy. She was the closest thing to a living saint any of us will ever know. She was rarely seen without a rosary nearby. While she loved life she was very prepared for the next level and asked us not to be sad. We will try Mom but it will be very, very hard.



Lorraine was preceded in death by her parents, John and Tillie Blahnik; husband Ed Cotter; daughter Diane; grandson Shawn Shoulak; brother John Blahnik; sisters Eleanor Obry and Bernice Anhalt; brothers-in-law Bob Anhalt, Whitey Armstrong, Lucian Cotter, James Cotter, Bob Mauer and Marvin Obry and sisters-in-law Julia Armstrong, Elsie Blahnik, Elaine Cotter and Selma Cotter.


Lorraine is survived by her sisters Arlene Mauer and Grace Witte (husband Don); daughters Kathy Shoulak (husband Larry), Barbara Abell (husband Mike), Terre Holada (husband Bob) and Mary Hieatt (husband Brian); sons Ed Cotter, John Cotter (wife Debbie) and Steve Cotter (wife Tina). She is also survived by her grandchildren Cora Cotter-Dryja, Christine Sinkula (husband Pat), Amy Cotter, Mathew Cotter, Jessica Arnold (husband Russell), Tammy Carey, Kevin Cotter, Sam Holada, Hannah Janz (husband Josh), Zachary Cotter, Levi Cotter, Stephanie Cotter, Chris Hieatt (wife Katie), Ashley Randall (husband Ben), Cameron Hieatt and Shawn Hieatt along with many nieces, nephews, cousins, great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren.


Family and friends may visit at Cotter Funeral Home-Denmark (536 County Hwy R), on Wednesday, November 30 from 4-7pm. A parish prayer service will be held at 7:00pm. Visitation will continue on Thursday at St. Francis of Assisi Parish-Grand Church Site (1416 Grand Ave, Manitowoc) from 9:30am until 10:15am. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30am with Fr. Jason Blahnik officiating. Burial will be in Holy Cross Cemetery, Two Rivers.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Lorraine Cotter, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Thursday, December 1, 2022

9:30 - 10:15 am (Eastern time)

St. Francis of Assisi- Grand Church site

1416 Grand Avenue, Manitowoc, WI 54220

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Mass

Thursday, December 1, 2022

10:30 - 11:30 am (Eastern time)

St. Francis of Assisi- Grand Church site

1416 Grand Avenue, Manitowoc, WI 54220

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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