Margaret Mary Caine, known as Peg to her family and friends, was born on May 15, 1920, in Harlowton, Mont., to the late Ira Michael and Mabel Margaret (Murphy) Caine. She grew up in Harlowton, moving with her family to Roundup and Miles City. She graduated from Custer County High School in 1938 and attended Montana State College (MSU) at Bozeman, graduating May, 1942 with a Bachelor of Science degree. She taught high school at Westby, Mont.
Answering the call of her country, she enlisted in the United States Navy on April 28, 1943 and received her commission shortly thereafter. She served in the Joint Operations Center of the Northwest Sector, Western Sea Frontier as an air traffic controller responsible for planning air coverage, air sea rescue, anti-submarine warfare tactics and air coverage for off-shore patrols in the Pacific. She was honorably discharged as a Lieutenant on April 29, 1946.
Mrs. Cotter returned to Miles City and married William (Bill) Cotter in Sacred Heart Parish in Miles City, on September 12, 1946. He preceded her in death on October 9, 1979.
She had three children: Michele Marie, Michael William and Mary Margaret Cotter. The family traveled extensively throughout the Northwest and Midwest in conjunction with Bill's employment. The family lived in Seattle, Tacoma, and Spokane, Wash., and Minneapolis, Minn., and San Francisco. Education was her passion, and in each location she was an active member in her community's schools and libraries.
Mrs. Cotter's hobbies included piano, baking, knitting, crocheting, gardening, golf and bridge. She was an avid reader, and enjoyed politics. In her later years, she worked as a docent at the capitol Olympia, Wash. She traveled extensively to attend family reunions and the births, baptisms, graduations and weddings of her children, grandchildren and nieces and nephews. Through her letters and storytelling at reunions, she kept alive her family's history of the West, the Milwaukee Railroad and the hardships that visited families during the Depression and World War II. She was steeped in Irish tradition and the Catholic faith, which she shared fervently with her family.
She was a member of the Navy Wave Auxiliary (Seattle), the Marine's Memorial, the Chi Omega Sorority, the Ladies Altar Society, her Bridge Club and proud alumnus of Montana State University as a "Silver Bobcat." She was proud of her service to her country, as well as that of her siblings, Marie, Don and Paul, and her son, her nephews and in-laws, all of whom served their country in uniform.
She was preceded in death by her husband, William John Cotter; father, Ira Michael Caine; her mother, Mabel Margaret Caine; sister, Marie Lillian (Caine) Nicol; and her brother, Donald Michael Caine.
She is survived by her children: her daughters Michele (Jim) Tuchscherer, Plover, WI, and Mary Cotter, Tumwater, WA; and her son, Michael (Pat) Cotter, Helena, Mont.; and by her brother, Captain Paul (Nancy) Caine (USN Ret.), San Diego, Calif., and her sister-in-law, Mary Faye Cotter, Miles City. She is also survived by five grandchildren: Josh (Sara) Tuchscherer, Jess Tuchscherer, Kathryn (Charles) Franklin, Jack Cotter and Kathleen Cotter; three great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in her memory and that of her husband Bill to the Custer County Class of 1938 Scholarship Fund in care of Jack Regan, 1604 Main Street, Miles City, Montana.
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BIRTH 15 May 1920, Harlowton, Wheatland County, Montana, USA
DEATH 6 Sep 2008 (aged 88), Olympia, Thurston County, Washington, USA
BURIAL Calvary Cemetery, Miles City, Custer County, Montana, USA