Elizabeth Gale Cottle – The Martha’s Vineyard Times
Elizabeth Gale Cottle (“Betty”) passed away peacefully at her home in West Tisbury in the early morning hours of Sunday, June 13, 2021. She was predeceased by her beloved husband, Ed Cottle. They were married for 67 years.
Betty was born in Oak Bluffs on October 24, 1929, daughter of Allen and Mary Gale. She grew up in Tisbury and spent her adult life in West Tisbury. Betty was an island girl, through and through. Betty often said that she had the best childhood. She loved to tell stories of roaming West Chop, picking flowers before the summer people arrived. Walk to Bayside and jump off the pier. Find your friends under the lampposts to play or go to the movies. She told how the streets would be closed so that the children could go sledding.
Betty attended Tisbury School from Grades 1 to 12. She really liked school; she was very sociable, an excellent student and quite athletic. She stayed close to many of her classmates (Shirley, Alden, Herb, Joann and Tina, to name a few). She also organized a few class meetings. After high school Betty was very proud to attend Mount Ida Junior College, then with Shirley she worked and rented a place in Hyannis. Soon after, the island started calling her home.
Once back on the island, she worked for the telephone company and fell in love with a boy from the top of the island named Ed Cottle. They were married on September 15, 1951. In most families in the 1950s and 1960s, it was common for mothers to focus on raising children and maintaining the house, while fathers went to work. Mom usually started the day by calling the stairs for us kids: “It’s time to get up and shine!” “
Betty didn’t run her house with a lot of rules and curfews (although she had a strict no-swear policy, and she had a bell that could be heard for miles – when it rang we knew all that it was time to come home). Instead of rules, I believe she tried to instill in us life lessons, such as “Do to others what you would like us to do”, “Kindness counts”, “Do your best” and ” If you don’t ”I have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
While Betty was raising five children and helping Ed with the lumber yard, she was also very active in the community. She was part of the school committee, she helped organize and advertise at local horse shows, she was a member of the hospital board, she counted the votes at the West Tisbury polling stations. Betty belonged to the MV Garden Club, the Antiques Club, and a bridge club. She also had many personal interests; she was accomplished at embroidery and knitting, loved to read, grow beautiful flowers, vacations, bird watching, home decorating. She has done extensive research on her family’s genealogy. She loved to play tennis, golf, cards and dominoes, or just drive along the beach to watch the water and smell the salty air.
Betty often spoke of her desire to travel, and once the children were grown up, she was able to make her dream come true. She enjoyed a trip across the country with Ed and numerous trips to Boothbay, Maine and North Conway, NH; she loved her winter trips to Florida. She has traveled extensively through Europe, Scotland, Holland, Italy and Wales. She visited the Azores, the Alazka and Canada. After returning home, she had her photos developed, collected ticket stubs and travel brochures, and created a scrapbook of each trip.
Whichever way you knew her, Mom, Girlfriend, Sister, Mrs Cottle, Aunt, Betty, Great Grandma, Great Aunt, Elizabeth, Bet – she will be remembered for her wonderful smile, his positive attitude and his ability to always see the good in everything. She also had the special gift of making everyone around her feel wanted, loved and important.
She will be forever missed by her children: Jill Walpole, her husband Randy and their daughter Kate; Ed Cottle, his wife Inez and the children of Ed Sarah, Jen, Rachel and Ed III; Janet, her husband Glenn and their children Keith, Jon and Elizabeth; Amy, her husband Gary and their children Dan, Kevin and Mary; Alan and his wife Deb. She is also survived by her brother Robert and his wife Rita; and by many great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. She was predeceased by her husband, Ed; his parents, Allen and Mary; and his brother Richard.