Society Loses Longtime Supporter

by Elaine Peterson, WCHS Board President

Cliff CottermanRecently, the Society lost Cliff Cotterman. Cliff and Jeanette are two reasons Rick and I joined. In the early seventies a newly married couple moved into Wooster and we were welcomed by the Presbyterian community.

Important members were the Cottermans. They had such a warmth and knowledge of this community. Cliff was a wonderful storyteller of people and events in Wayne County. Jeanette could remember peoples’ names and their connections to the county. What a marvelous combination!  But it was more likely we would discuss the goings-on at the Wayne County Historical Society.

Then we bought our first house. It was next door to Jeanette and Cliff. The owner wanted to sell it himself and relied on us to get the contract and the witnesses.  Of course, we called the neighbors who were close friends. On the day of signing, Cliff came over and witnessed our signatures. That was the day we acquired our first house and the best neighbors anyone could have.

Afterwards, we went to their home for tea and Jeanette’s wonderful chocolate chip cookies. Over the years, we enjoyed many cookies and the best neighbors and friends possible. After we left our neighborhood ,the Cottermans were still important to us. It was an honor to be greeted with a “Hello neighbor.” whenever we met. What a privilege to be remembered as their neighbor.

Cliff and Jeanette convinced us the Society was an organization we would enjoy. Their love and excitement was evident. Rick once acquired a solid walnut counter that had formally been used in some store. We called Cliff to see if the Society could use it.  But, alas, it was not the style needed for the newly rebuilt general store.  Cliff was right about the case, but I was anxious to have it leave our house.

When I took a position on the Society board, they gave  me encouragement.  But when the position for President-elect was offered, who better to ask about the Society and the position. They gave me insights into its workings and history but more importantly was their support.

Cliff was an important part the heritage of the Wayne County Historical Society.  His energies, knowledge and love were assets that helped us grow.  We are better for having Cliff Cotterman a Society mover and shaker.

Cliff was an active member of the Wayne County Historical Society for years too many to count. Among his accomplishments include member of the Board of Trustees, Board President and President-Elect, docent, coordinator of the General Store Construction as well as the recipient of both the George Schwartz and Alvin Rich society awards.

For a full obituary, please see The Daily Record dated August 29, 2015 or visit their website at


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