Gertrude Helene Cobery Holtzinger Cotter died Sept. 24, a few days shy of her 95th birthday. A funeral Mass was celebrated at St. Philip Catholic Church in Dallas with her son, Father William Holtzinger, presiding. Concelebrating were Fathers Michael Walker, John Kerns and Michael Johnston. The family was also honored by the attendance of Archbishop Alexander K. Sample and Archbishop Emeritus John Vlazny in choir.

Mrs. Cotter was born Oct. 5, 1925, to Francis and Gertrude Cobery in Fall River, Massachusetts.

She married George Holtzinger in 1948 in Glendale, California. Together they had nine children.

Her children agree she was the glue holding the large family together. She was a powerful advocate for her son Greg, who was born with developmental learning disabilities. In the kitchen she could stretch a meal to feed the family for days. Hungarian goulash and spaghetti were family favorites.

After being diagnosed with psoriasis in her 30s, she educated herself and advocated for others battling this debilitating disease. She also worked as a volunteer at Birthright for many years. She worked in food services in the Medford school district and later at Tektronics in Wilsonville. She held many other jobs, most notably as a security guard for Leisure World in Laguna Hills, California.

After raising her children, the Holtzingers moved to Southern California. After he died in 1995 she returned to Oregon, buying land and building a home in Dallas. She met her second husband, Jeremiah Cotter, at a St Philip Church Bible study group. Their courtship was watched and cheered. When they married, Mr. Cotter’s two adult children, Jerry Jr. and Patty, joined the family. Mr. Cotter died in 2016.

Mrs. Cotter continued to live on her own, in her own house. Upon deciding not to drive anymore, her children drove, taking her shopping, bring her to Sunday Mass, and celebrate with family breakfast afterwards, commonly at a local favorite restaurant.

She was a charter member of the Catholic Daughters in Medford. from her early years until the end of her life. Her children describe her as a humble woman with a strong faith.

She made a profound impact on the lives of those around her, especially her children, extended family and friends. She enjoyed having family near, and was proud of all her children.

Mrs. Cotter was preceded in death by her son Gregory, who died at age 42; her brothers, Robert and Frank; and her husbands.

She is survived by her eight other children: Pastor Michael Holtzinger, Judith White, Marianne Holtzinger, Kathleen Crowley, Marlene Mooney, Carolyn Hochanadel, Ann Blythe, and Father William Holtzinger; her two stepchildren, 19 grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren; and her siblings Arthur Cobery and Ann Brennan.

Memorial gifts can be made to Birthright or other similar pro-life organizations.