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The Valley Remembers Edward J. Cotter, Jr.

by Eugene Driscoll | Jan 23, 2012 1:09 pm

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Posted to: Ansonia, Derby, Oxford, Seymour, Shelton

Photo: ElectronicValley.org

Edward J. Cotter, Jr., a towering figure in the history of Derby’s fire-ambulance services and a well-liked photographer for the Evening Sentinel and the New Haven Register, died Saturday at the age of 91.

The following is a collection of statements from the Valley Indy Facebook page, Twitter and the Valley Indy comment section from people who knew or worked with Cotter.

Click here to read Cotter’s obituary.

A second collection of thoughts is also posted below, mostly from journalists who worked with Cotter.

Ed Boylan: “Ed Cotter was a great guy and friend. We will all miss him. He was always there to help the DERBY FIRE DEPARTMENT. Those of us that knew him well will forever miss “Eddy Cotter – Car-8”. God bless him may he Rest-In-Peace.”

Jack Kramer (former editor, New Haven Register): “With the death of Eddie – and the recent passing of John Mongillo – we have lost two journalists who knew more people, more cops, more firemen, than anyone in Connecticut journalism history. Eddie was fun to be around – a humble – but proud man – who I considered to be a friend, as was Johnny Mong.”

Michael Foley (former Sunday editor, New Haven Register): “All you young reporters and shooters, Eddie is legend because he hustled, had great contacts and sharp instincts. When he walked into the newsroom, you knew you were tearing up Page 1.”

State Rep. Themis Klarides, (R-Derby): “One of the people who made the Valley a place to be proud of and love. My thoughts are with the entire Cotter family on this sad day.”

Article continues after photo gallery of Cotter’s Flood of 1955 photos, as published in the Evening Sentinel’s book “A pictoral history of the floods of Aug. 19, 1955 and Oct. 15, 1955 in the lower Naugatuck valley of Connecticut.”


Marc Garofalo (former Derby mayor): “Well, that is a sad day for Derby, the Valley and the State. May he rest in Peace.”

Jack Zibluk (former Evening Sentinel staffer): “Legend has it that Life magazine sent world-famous photographer Margaret Bourke-White to cover the 1955 floods, but the magazine chose Eddie’s work over hers because his humanity . . . He was a gruff, outspoken cuss who didn’t like me at first because, at 21, I thought I knew more than I did. But he went out of his way to make amends later on, and sort of apologized for the bullying. It takes a big man to do that, even at 5’6” in heels.”

Tom Dudchik (former state lawmaker, runs CT Capitol Report): “Knew Ed Cotter well, he will be missed. The last of his kind, great newspaper man.”

Rick Dunne: “There will never be another Ed Cotter. The nicest thing is that we will continue to be reminded of him because there are so many things that he created around town that will stand in testament to his legacy
(Rest in Peace and say hi to Pancho for me Ed).”

Kristen Young: “He and my father (Bill Jecusco) worked at the Sentinel together…my thoughts are with his friends and family at this time. May he rest in peace.”

Dona Martin: “My father often spoke of the respect he had for the fair, professional & courteous manner in which Mr. Cotter did his job whenever their paths crossed at the newspaper office, at court, at the Seymour PD, the town meetings & other newsworthy events in the Valley. Sincere condolences from the family of Det. Sgt. Andy Martin.”

Ronald Burgess Jr.: “You would always catch him from the corner of your eye. Snapping photos and moving along. I can only imagine all the incidents he’s captured. RIP Mr Cotter. Keep hitting the shutter button up there.”

Jim McGuire: “I knew Eddie Cotter from when I tagged along with my father to fires in Derby. When I was in the Army at Ft. Benning in Georgia in 1990 somehow he tracked me down while he was doing a story on Valley kids in the service. We met up and he interviewed me and took a picture that was published in the Sentinel. I still have that article. He was a heck of guy. “

James Stewart: “Great guy, I got a chance to ride with him as a fireman on the ambulance. I said to him ‘I’m not an EMT.’ He said ‘You’ve got to arms to push the stretcher.’ I could not stop laughing, while he drove to the call. My condolences go out to his family.”

Georgeann Erhardt: “To the Cotter family . . . A sad loss for the Valley.”

Bob Bomba: “Such a nice person. I remember him when I was a kid He was always around .R.I.P. Ed Cotter.”

John Camp:RIP Mr Cotter!”

Mike Kellett: “Rest in Peace Ed. No matter if it was at a working fire or a ceremony you always managed to catch our best side.”

Patricia Fadden Rimkunas: “Oh I loved him so much! He once brought together the Derby fireman and a group of firemen from Germany at the Arbeiter Mannerchor club in West Haven for a social gathering. He used to call me ‘telephone girl.’”

Alice Fritz: “A legacy of a great man . . . Helped with the fireman, ambulance to help so many, and all the stories and photos in the papers. Always there to lend a hand . . . first class guy . . .Condolences to the family.”

Janet Hyman Weeks: “This is truly sad news. I’m glad I had the chance to meet such a kind person. My thoughts and prayers are with the family.”

Bernie Conlon: “A great man.”

Rita Dykes Jaffer: “R.I.P. Mr Cotter and thoughts & prayers to his family.”

Ruthann Haluschak: “Our sympathy and prayers to his family. My husband knew him; fantastic guy. He’s going to be missed!”

Christine M. Greene: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Lenarts. I often used to see him sitting on the front porch.”

Debra L Butler: “Prayers goes out to the family. I remember back in the 80’s about Ed Cotter. he was good at what he did. everyone knew him.”

Linda R. Goodman-Mills: RIP Pa! We’ll miss you!”

Barbara Pollard Lynes: “Thoughts and prayers to all family and friends of Ed. He always was there for the Valley. A good friend of my Dad’s . . . Will be missed by all who knew and loved him.”

Tom Batchelor: “I am sorry to hear this; I worked with Ed on EMS stuff here and there way back in the day; he was sometimes a bit difficult to work with, but he had a good heart. Condolences to the family but I know that he had a good, long life.”

Sylvia Stevens: “Great man,may he rest in peace. I use to work at the Evening Sentinel in the Billing Dept. and Ed was there as a reporter and photographer. I remember the old Storms Fire House on Elizabeth St. across from the Hotel Clark and near the theater. He will always be an Icon to me for all he did for the valley. His family lives on in his footsteps and he will always be remembered in the Valley.”

The Valley Independent Sentinel staff recorded this podcast talking about Cotter’s impact on journalism in the Valley.

Navel Gazing 28: Ed Cotter Jr. Tribute by Valley Indy

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