Helping Families and Friends Honor Loved Ones Since 1959

William R. “Bill” Cotton

William Ray “Bill” Cotton

William Ray “Bill” Cotton was born August 12, 1963 to James William “Bill” and Mary Evelyn (Hall) Cotton.  He was welcomed home by his Savior and Mom on Wednesday, September 27, 2023.

As a little guy, Bill (known by his family as Billy Ray) was very active in little league Baseball.  He spent a lot of time with family, having the opportunity to grow up with his cousins around, who were more like a brother and sister to Bill than cousins.

In December 1968, Bill became “Big Brother” to twins, Tim and Tammy.  He took those responsibilities very seriously and was the “Best Big Brother” to them.  He was their protector when they were young, and the voice of direction and reassurances, till his death.

Bill continued to play Baseball throughout his High School years, and added Football Quarterback to his sporting adventures in high school.  He also tried his hand at Basketball and Wrestling, but Baseball and Football were his loves.  One summer, Bill had the opportunity to try out for the minor leagues in Omaha.  He didn’t make the team, but his pitches were clocked at 95 mph.  Bill’s love for sports was passed down to his son, who is now a high school football coach.  Up to Bill’s death, he and Anne attended many of their son’s games.  Bill was also an avid Chiefs and Tigers fan, too.

After high school, Bill attended SMSU.  He met the love of his life there.  On August 3, 1985, Bill married Anne E. (Weishar) Cotton.  To this union two children were born; Laura Anne and Jeffrey William.

Bill and Anne raised their children in Lee’s Summit, Pleasant Hill, and Columbia.  They were a very active family with choir, sports, and church activities.  Bill and Anne were always cheering their kids on, in any activity they were involved in.  Family was the center of their lives, and with such a large extended family, there was always fun to be had.

Bill was very talented in the medical field.  He held a BSN, a Master’s degree in Hospital Administration, and a Master’s in Business.  Through his career, he was an ER/Trauma Nurse and Director of several Emergency Rooms.  He was also an Educator, and taught many different classes associated with his field.  He loved talking medicine and even after his health no longer allowed him to work, he still helped Anne with furthering her degree and tutored students.  He was so knowledgeable about medicine that others sought him out for his expertise.

As Bill and Anne’s children married and started families of their own, they relished becoming Grandparents.  Bill loved being Pappa to MaryJane, AnnaBeth, Addison, MaryAnne, and Granddaughter #5, coming soon.

Bill was such a kind, gentle soul.  He will be dearly missed by so many.  A book could be written about his life because he lived with love, laughter, and a very strong will to overcome the obstacles that came his way.

Bill was preceded in death by his mother, Mary Evelyn Cotton, his paternal grandparents, Buford and Rachel (Hamilton) Cotton, and his maternal grandparents, Arthur and Virginia (Twilling) Hall.

He is survived by his Wife, Anne E. (Weishar) Cotton, of the home; daughter, Laura Anne (Cotton) Mancinelli & husband Anthony (Tony), Omaha; son, Jeffrey William Cotton & wife Karli (Ditter), Columbia; five Granddaughters; father, Bill Cotton, Pleasant Hill; brother, Tim Cotton (Cindy), Raymore; and sister, Tammy Kelley (Kirk), Pleasant Hill; mother’s-in-law, Doris Gleason and Beverly Weishar; the Weishar brothers and sisters and their spouses, and many Nieces and Nephews, whom he loved dearly.

The family of William Ray “Bill” Cotton will receive friends on Tuesday, October 3, 2023 from 5:00 – 7:00 the Wallace Funeral Home, Pleasant Hill, Missouri. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, October 4, 2023 at St. Bridget Catholic Church, Pleasant Hill, Missouri with Father Mike Clary officiating. Casket Bearers will be Jeffrey Cotton, Mike Minick, Doyle Weishar, Greg Weishar, Kevin Weishar, Rick Dalzell, David Cousins, David Hagebusch and all the nephews of Bill Cotton. Interment will be in the Pleasant Hill Cemetery.  

With love and deepest regards for his mother, Mary Evelyn Cotton, it was Bill’s wish that contributions be made to the Alzheimer’s Association in his memory.



16 Messages

  • Leigh and Angie Smith Posted September 30, 2023 6:58 pm

    Eternal rest grant unto William O Lord. And let perpetual light shine upon William. May the soul of the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.

  • Mary Pat Slover Posted September 30, 2023 7:29 pm

    I’m so sorry for your loss, my mother was cousin to the Cottons. I remember Mary Evelyn because that was my mom’s name too.

  • Sharon Scroggs Eikel Posted October 1, 2023 7:26 am

    Tammy and family, I’m so sorry for your loss. Please know you are all in my thoughts and prayers. God Bless.

  • Barney & Ann Barnhart Posted October 1, 2023 2:06 pm

    Bill, we are very sorry to hear about your son. Prayers to the family.

  • Annetta Kirkpatrick Posted October 1, 2023 7:16 pm

    Dear Bill and family:
    Sending loving thoughts of sincere sympathy at the passing of your son.
    Praying for added strength to you and your loved ones at this time, and in the weeks ahead.

  • Charles G Tye Posted October 2, 2023 11:41 am

    Sorry for your loss our thoughts are with your family.

  • Connie and John Fogarty Posted October 2, 2023 2:46 pm

    Bill, so sorry to hear about your son. Prayers for you and your family.

  • Kathy McLagan Pullin Posted October 2, 2023 7:05 pm

    May you rest in peace, heaven gained an angel. Condolences to the family. I have fond memories of Bill from school.

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