James L. Cota

Funeral services for James “Jim” L. Cota, 76, of Harpers Ferry were held Monday, January 13 at St. Ann’s - St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Harpers Ferry with Fr. John Moser officiating. Burial with military honors was at St. Joseph’s Paint Rock Cemetery, Harpers Ferry.

After 20 years of being separated by heaven and earth, God intervened and reunited James “Jim” Cota with his wife, Shara (Thornton) Cota, January 9, 2020. Their life as husband and wife began December 2, 1967, three years to the date that he had been drafted into the Army. He honed his craft as a carpenter and it became known that if a house was constructed by Jim it was well-built.

As his eyesight failed and forced him into early retirement, his son, John, and his wife, Dana (Burke), brought him into their porta-potty business and the beef cattle show ring. He passed many a day riding shotgun and helping wherever he could or feeding the animals if the chickens would let him pass. He supported Julie and her husband, Kevin Fossum, by being an avid ice cream eater; the dairy industry could use more consumers like him. When his safety became a concern and Jim could not live alone, he began a new adventure living with his daughter, Kay, and her husband, Mike Gavin. He was able to relive his farming years riding on tractors and trips to town to get parts for repairs, which was really an excuse to get his ice cream fix.

When his children were growing up, he worked long hours and rarely had time to attend their activities, but when his grandchildren came along he jumped at the chance to attend the sporting events of Mikayla Gavin and Thomas Fossum; he understood the basketball better than the football. He saw Samantha Cota sing and act on stage and sat on hard bleachers to watch Chance, Collin and Paige Cota show their beef cattle at the county fair before coming back the next day to observe Elizabeth and James Fossum show dairy cattle. If he could have seen better, Cota Gavin could have taught him many things on his electronics. Brayden Gavin shared Grandpa Jim’s love of deer hunting and both could probably tell you a story or two. Working in the barn with Shara Cota was an enjoyment versus a chore when he was a kid. Jim’s great-grandson, Wrangler Cota, will continue the legacy.

Born August 14, 1943, Jim was the oldest sibling of Dick (Donna) Cota, Karen (Jerry) Boardman, Mary Jane (Jim) Connor, Jake (Donna) Cota, Betty Hogan, Tom (Joyce) Cota and Connie (Chuck) Brown. Marriage brought his mother-in-law, Lillian Thornton, and brothers-in-law, Jerry (Sandy) and Dan (Denise) Thornton into his life.

He is now in the company of his granddaughters, Shayla and Shelby Cota; his parents, Jerry and Marian Cota; his brother, Joey Cota; and his father-in-law, George Thornton. Jim would want to say to all of his family and friends, “Say a prayer for me. God Bless.”

Honorary casketbearers were Jim’s godchildren and his great-grandson, Wrangler Cota. Casketbearers were his grandchildren. Online condolences may be left at www.martinfunerals.com.

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