William Edward McCotter

Published 3:42 pm Friday, December 2, 2022

William Edward McCotter, a talented craftsman and beloved teacher known for his humor, intelligence and his service to community and church, passed away peacefully after a brief illness Dec. 1, 2022.

He was born in Washington during World War II to parents Louise Grist Faucette and Joseph DeLoan McCotter. He attended Washington City schools, Woodbury Forest and graduated from Washington High School in 1962.

From an early age, he showed an aptitude for building things. In the 1950s, he built his own air conditioner to install in his boyhood room. The unit worked so well it prompted his parents – whose bedroom had no AC unit – to swap rooms with him. As a senior in high school, he won the North Carolina Science Fair with a waterfall project that demonstrated the physics of water.

Bill served in the U.S. Navy as a seaman and attended North Carolina State University, where he graduated in 1971 with a degree agriculture. Alternately working and attending college, Bill accepted a blind date with Jane McCall Wright of Elizabeth City, N.C. in August of 1966. Their first date was picnic under a pine tree at McCotter’s Marina, founded by his father, where Jane said she was quickly impressed by his intelligence and amused by his story telling and wit. In one instance, he told her that as a boy, he’d chased a burglar from his parent’s home and shot the fleeing man’s toe off. Years later, he told her he’d made it all up.

Bill was so smitten after that first date, that just weeks later – on Labor Day – he asked Jane to marry him. The two tied the knot, Jan. 28, 1967, in Elizabeth City.

Bill was co-owner of McCotter’s Marina with his father and brother, where he worked before accepting a teaching offer from Washington High School in 1989. For many years, he taught drafting and shop class there.

Over the decades, he was active in his community, holding many posts at St. Peter’s Church in Washington, including senior warden, a role on the building community and more. He helped found the Washington Historical Society, serving as the group’s first president, and he was a member of the Tranter’s Creek Herring Club and the Washington Yacht and Country Club. He enjoyed fishing and boating on his beloved Pamlico River and spent many happy years at his lovely home on Broad Creek, just up the road from McCotter’s Marina.

Both teachers, he and Jane traveled the world extensively during their summers off or in retirement, enjoying in the sights together or with friends in places as far-flung as China, Germany and Scotland.

Bill is preceded in death by his parents and his brother Joe. He is survived by his wife, Jane, his son William Edward McCotter Jr. and his wife, Jessica, daughter Sallie Leigh McCotter Dixon and her husband Chris, grandchildren Jayna Louise McCotter, William Edward “Cam” McCotter III, Andrew Lee Ferguson and William Faucette Ferguson.

Jane extends her deepest thanks to EJ and Mary, Bill’s caregivers for some time.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Beaufort County Community College Foundation, https://www.beaufortccc.edu/foundation/home.

Arrangements are pending. Online condolences may be offered to the family by visiting www.paulfuneralhome.com.

Paul Funeral Home & Crematory is honored to serve the McCotter family.