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The Reverend Canon Dr. Charles Graham Cotter

St. Mark's Anglican Church
51 King Street, Port Hope

Saturday, February 10, 2024

11:00 AM
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St. Mark's Anglican Church
51 King Street, Port Hope

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St. Mark's Anglican Church
51 King Street, Port Hope

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The Reverend Canon Dr. Charles Graham Cotter

January 12, 1925 - January 31, 2024

Anglican priest, theologian, social activist, thinker, creator of labyrinths, writer, poet, punster, fixit-man, beloved father and grandfather, friend.

Graham Cotter died at the Bridge Hospice in Warkworth, Ontario on January 31, 2024. Healthy and active until six weeks before his death, he was writing, thinking, planning projects and making puns right up to the end, when he slipped away quietly into the Quantum Universe he so delighted in.

Born in Jamaica to parents Norma Wright Cotter and Charles Sylvester Cotter, Graham attended St. Andrew’s College, Ontario, then Trinity College at the University of Toronto, where he obtained his PhD in English Language and Literature. He maintained a lifelong connection to Trinity College and served on the university’s first Governing Council. Ordained as an Anglican priest in 1958, he was the Executive Secretary of the Diocesan Council for Social Services until he became the parish priest at St. Mark’s, Parkdale, Toronto, in 1965. He stayed at St. Mark’s till 1983, when he left to become an associate priest at St. Cuthbert’s, Toronto. Since 1990 he has been the honorary assistant at St. Mark’s, Port Hope. Dedicated to exploring alternate forms of liturgy using drama and dance, he wrote, directed and produced several liturgical plays in his various churches. He created meditative labyrinths at his home and at St. Mark’s, Port Hope. Along with his wife Evelyn, he co-founded the Sacred Arts Trust of the Anglican Foundation of Canada, which provides grants to actors, dancers, artists, and musicians in liturgical drama, dance, and visual arts. In 2014 he was awarded the Companion of the Worship Arts, an honour bestowed by the Anglican and Lutheran churches in Canada in recognition of significant contribution to worship through the arts.
A prolific writer and thinker, he is the author of memoirs, children’s books, poems, plays, articles, a weekly blog and a book on the intersection between science and theology, The Quantum Christ, which will be published posthumously. Graham made friends wherever he went and was known for his deep devotion to God, his passionate concern for his fellow humans, his generosity of spirit, and his sense of drama and fun.

Graham married his beloved Margaret Evelyn Cotter (died 2013) in 1950. Father of Sean (Nancy Warner), Charis (Robin Cleland), Cate (Charles McQueen), Simon (Trudy Ruf). Grandfather of Colin Warner, John Hamlin, Charles Hamlin, Zoe Cleland, Emilia Cotter, Alexander Cotter, and Michael Cotter. Foster father to the late Ernie Lindsay (Heather Kemp), Sally Raymond (Allan Raymond), the late Marjory Noganosh, and Marie Smith. Foster grandfather to Christopher Raymond, Michael Raymond, Peter Lindsay, Joey Lindsay, and Patty Lindsay. Honorary grandfather to Lana, Primrose and Kyle Gallant. Graham married his dear Margaret Lilian Baily (died 2018) in 2016. Stepfather of Monica, Michelle, Andrea and Eric.

The Funeral and Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, February 10, 2024 at 11:00 am at St. Mark’s Church, Port Hope with a burial to follow at St. Mark's Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Anglican Foundation of Canada or St. Mark’s Anglican Church, or The Bridge Hospice.

Message Of Condolence

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Frank and Penelope Brathwaite - February 15, 2024 DONATION

A Memorial Donation has been made to the following charity:

St. Mark's Anglican Church

Robert Fair - February 15, 2024 DONATION

A Memorial Donation has been made to the following charity:

St. Mark's Anglican Church

Robert Grandy - February 15, 2024 DONATION

A Memorial Donation has been made to the following charity:

St. Mark's Anglican Church

Matthew Grandy - February 15, 2024 DONATION

A Memorial Donation has been made to the following charity:

St. Mark's Anglican Church

Natasha (McQueen) Amero and Jessy Amero and Family - February 10, 2024

To Cate and Family. Our sincere condolences to you all. I am so happy I had the opportunity to meet Graham. He will be greatly missed may he rest in peace. We are sending our love and prayers for you all in this time of grief. With love, The Mcqueen/Amero Family

Susana Brown - February 10, 2024

Charis, Simon, Kate, and the Cotter family, Sending lots of love for Graham on his next adventure, and for you all, lots of love and hugs. I was watching along, beautiful! Hope you enjoy the funeral sandwiches; we always had heated debates about which were better, Anglican, United or Pagan funeral sandwiches. Of course, Graham thought, Anglican. So when I got up to stretch, have a brain break, and make my funeral sandwiches during the Communion, I told Graham mine must be Anglican, as they were created during Anglican communion. Love you! I'll eating my tuna with mayo on bagel with Trini hotsauce, and a dill pickle, green onions and avocado on the side, as I think of Graham dancing in the Quantum Universe, one of the Ancestors/Stars now, and I will weep, or maybe try to wait, as it's hard to weep and eat funeral sandwiches at the same time. All love! Blessed Be! Sue Brown <3 <3 <3

Tania Caryi - February 10, 2024

On behalf of my Mother Audrey Caryi and our family we feel blessed to have known such a lovely soul. Audrey and Graham worked so beautifully as an Illustrator and Writer of exceptional talent. Grahams words came to life through her pictures in his several books. He was a valued, generous and kind friend. We will cherish memories and his books forever.

Claudette Taylor - February 8, 2024

We have been blessed for having this wonderful human being in our lives. He will never be forgotten. My condolences to the family.

Phyllis Joyce Creighton - February 8, 2024

I honour Graham and mourn his death. Graham had a wonderful sense of gentle humour. You could see it in the mischievous twinkle in his eyes. Graham was a great humanitarian, full of compassion for struggling fellow human beings. His generosity and love for children were manifest in his welcoming of foster children as well as his own. I met him some 80 years ago, when my eldest sister, a fellow student at Trinity College, Toronto, invited him to our home. In the early 1970s he wrote the only humane resolution on abortion for diocesan synod that I have ever seen. I had begun teaching about natural childbirth at the Catholic Information Centre in Toronto and he brought me into the group of family life leaders that he provided training for. He put me on his marriage and family life committee, and indeed in charge of its work when he took a four-month sabbatical to study with US scientists in American universities. I undertook to move the successful motion on abortion that he had written, a debate the newly elected Primate Ted Scott attended. Since he thought my speech had much good sense, he later put me on his own Task Force on Human Life. (I became its writer and eventually published a handful of books on reproductive technologies.) Recently I suffered a series of hospitalizations that reduced the telephone contacts he had re-established with me. In hospital, reading his two, part fantasy - part reality books centred in Warkworth were among the diversions that gave me real pleasure. I miss our chats, and I treasure my memories of this extraordinary friend who walked the way of Jesus, whom we both loved and have tried to serve. May he rest in peace, his memory hallowed by all the good he did for so many years.

Mary E Thompson - February 8, 2024 DONATION

A Memorial Donation has been made to the following charity:

St. Mark's Anglican Church

Bernice and Dave Johnson, Northern Bay - February 7, 2024

Sorry for your great loss.He was surely a great person. You have so many memories.

Karen Smith - February 7, 2024

Charis and Zoe, sending sincere sympathy for your loss. Thinking of you at this difficult time.

John and Bonnie Crummey - February 7, 2024

Charis and families, so sorry for your loss, sending our condolences. John and Bonnie Crummey , Western Bay.

Jill Koehler - February 7, 2024

My thoughts are with your family during this difficult transition. I love the image of your father dancing in the quantum universe! I'm so grateful to have been connected with your father through my parents, Mary and Barry Koehler, who took their marriage preparation with your dad and then went on to lead marriage preparation courses for many years. They connected me with your father in my late teens/early 2os as I was questioning my beliefs. Your father was so generous with his time in corresponding with me and engaging with all my questions. What a wonderful man, he has most certainly made the world a better place. Thinking of you all.

Bruce Moore - February 6, 2024

It was ,to me a gift to have known Graham and Evelyn Graham’s perspective on all aspects of life , his ever present quiet chuckle ,his brilliant mind and his kindness were always in evidence when we spoke. Age seemed to have no effect whatsoever on these wonderful traits nor on his unstoppable creativity fed by what seemed a boundless curiosity I think he possessed a rare intellect I shall miss him He shall always remain an inspiration as to how to view life and it’s many twists and turns and I shall never forget that chuckle ( at life ) To be in the presence of Graham and Evelyn was always memorable as the perfect expression of Yin and Yang Please accept my sincere condolences Bruce moore

Dorothy Geale - February 5, 2024

Graham lived in the joy of the Lord, all his days. His positivity was inspirational. His love for his fellow man unrestricted. He brought Light to all around him. Graham will be sorely missed on earth but welcomed in Heaven by all who have gone before him. We all bask in his afterglow. He would say do not weep for me but rejoice in the love and memories that we shared.

Marian White - February 5, 2024

Charis and family. Beni and I are thinking of you at this time and sending our condolences after the passing of your dear father, Graham. We so enjoyed spending time with him when he visited Newfoundland. Now he is part of the sea, the sky and all points beyond the universe. Blessed Be.

Beni Malone - February 5, 2024

My condolences go out to Charis, Zoe and all the extended Cotter family. Graham was a wonderful magical man. You were all so blessed having him in your life for so long.

Penny Semlitch - February 4, 2024

This saddens me… I always loved my visits and chats with Graham while I was his mail lady… such an insightful, knowledgeable man. And always a gentleman… he will be missed.

THE SHIELDS FAMILY - February 4, 2024

Cotter family, we are so very sorry for the loss of such a powerful, empowered and extraordinary human - Graham! He will forever dance in the labyrinths of our hearts and minds! Sending mega hugs to all!