Our beloved Karen Cottam, who was an angel on earth, returned to her Heavenly Father January 18, 2024. She was born to Verna Leavitt and Arthur Ronald Cottam on February 7, 1939, in St. George, Utah.
She attended school and was raised in St. George, as well as at the ranch in Veyo, Utah. Karen was very kindhearted. She blessed the lives of all she knew with her positive attitude, forgiving nature, and truly Christlike attributes. She valued her great pioneer heritage and was devoted to her faith and family, living a life of service and love.
Karen was a faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She had a beautiful voice and enjoyed years of singing with the 5th and 6th Ward choirs. She eagerly fulfilled her callings working in the nursery, library, and serving as a Family Locator (which spurred her love for doing family history work). Karen’s service in the St. George Temple was exemplary. She not only worked in the temple nursery and kitchen but enjoyed years of service in the temple baptistry. Her dedication there and performing other ordinance work blessed the lives of thousands.
She valued her 15 years of work at Dixie College’s cafeteria. While employed there she enjoyed going on a wonderful trip to Hawaii with a special group of people. Her other interests included embroidery, old movies, musicals, playing games (especially Rook and Ticket to Ride), doing word puzzle books, and cooking. She eagerly shared her favorite recipes with others. Karen also enjoyed a lifetime friendship with Leona Schmutz.
Despite significant health challenges and complications in her youth, Karen possessed an extraordinary memory. She was the detail “go to” person for names, birthdates, phone numbers, and facts of people’s lives around her. Karen especially excelled at learning and remembering limericks, songs, and stories (including ones about a neighborhood talking parrot she loved so much). She freely and enthusiastically shared her stories and poems with both children and adults. Her 29 nieces, nephews, and their extended families knew they were cared about by Aunt Karen and returned that affection to her. Karen loved children and spent time caring for many of them. She remains an important part of their adult lives today.
Karen is survived by siblings, Dean L. Cottam (Sharon Holyoak), Lynda Cottam Paxman (Arthur Paxman), and Arthur L. Cottam (Jillyn Smith). She was preceded in death by her parents and her siblings, Ronald Kenton Cottam (Marty Singleton), Margaret Cottam Erickson (Donald Erickson), Gery Sidney Cottam (Beth Allred), infant brother and sister, Thomas P. Cottam and Connie Cottam.
Karen’s family wish to acknowledge and express gratitude to Tom and Alison McArthur for their years of extraordinary ministering and friendship to Karen. We also want to thank Applegate Home Health, and especially Shelley Rarick, for the special care they provided her. Finally, heartfelt gratitude to Sharon Cottam for her loving care and attention that blessed Karen’s life with security and happiness. Thank you.
Funeral services will be held Friday, January 26, 2024, 11:00 am, at Spilsbury Mortuary, 110 South Bluff Street, St. George, Utah. A viewing will be held just prior to the service from 9:00 - 10:30 am, also at Spilsbury Mortuary.
Interment will take place at the St. George City Cemetery, 650 East Tabernacle Street, St. George, Utah
Friends and family that are unable to attend the services in person are welcome to view them virtually by clicking the link below:
Arrangements are made under the direction of Spilsbury Mortuary, 110 S. Bluff St., St. George, Utah (435) 673-2454.
Friends and family are invited to sign Karen Cottam’s online guest book at www.spilsburymortuary.com