Joel Cotter, 79, passed away on Jan. 6, 2020, alongside a loving family following a hard fought battle with cancer and COVID-19. It’s difficult to say Joel lost his fights, because he won each day in the manner in which he lived.
Joel was born May 3, 1941, in the Bronx, New York, to William and Molly Cotter. After graduating from high school and spending a semester at Brooklyn College, Joel ultimately decided that he wanted to enlist in the U.S. Navy. He served in the Navy from ages 17 to 21. Joel extended his service in the Navy by an extra month due to the Cuban Missile Crisis.
It was when Joel was stationed in Jacksonville, Florida, that he met his loving wife of 60 years, Sandra. Joel, 19, met Sandra, 18, while stopped at a red light, each of them in cars with their respective groups of friends. It was love at first sight for Joel and he told Sandra that day he was going to marry her. From that day forward, they had been together ever since.
Joel was known for his passionate work ethic. Over the years, Joel kept himself busy with a variety of work. He began his career at Coit International and eventually co-developed his own linen business. After selling the business, Joel went to work as an office manager for his son-in-law at VisionCity.
Joel’s hobbies were endless. He was known for his green thumb. Joel maintained a beautiful garden with a dynamic assortment of plants. Joel shared his love of traveling with his family on yearly cruises. He could always be found lounging on the pool deck as he dozed off to the sound of the waves.
Joel’s dedication as a husband, father and grandfather is unmatched. He was preceded in death by his parents Molly and William Cotter, in-laws Rebecca and Helman Setzer, and grandson Mitchel Scott Uzick. Joel is survived by his loving wife, Sandra; children, Stacy (Kenny) Uzick and Marc Cotter; four grandchildren, Brandon Cotter, Jennifer Cotter, Michael Uzick and Ryan Uzick; siblings Annette (Herb) Pilelsky and Lynn Lerner; sisters-in-law Merle Hacker, Beverly Budman, Rhonda (Douglas) Taub; and numerous nieces and nephews.
A funeral and memorial service were held for Joel on Jan. 8 at Shearith Israel Cemetery. The recorded livestream of the funeral is available on the Congregation Shearith Israel Life Cycle Facebook page. Donations can be made in honor of Joel to the ASPCA or to Congregation Shearith Israel.
Lastly, the family would like to thank Rabbi Adam Roffman for facilitating a beautiful funeral for Joel. The family is forever grateful and appreciative of his support.