Ethel Elaine Cotta passed away Jan. 29, 2021 at 88 years of age.
She was born on Aug. 30, 1932 in Newman to George and Minnie Lema.
Mrs. Cotta left high school when she was a junior to help work on the family farm with her brothers and sisters. It was there that she learned about hard work and the love of family.
She met her husband, Stanley Cotta, at a Portuguese celebration. They were married in 1952 and made their home in Dos Palos. They were married for 57 years until her husband’s death in 2009. The couple raised three children on their family farm, where Mrs. Cotta was the ultimate homemaker. She was a great cook and baker, perfecting and trying recipes often. Her sweet bread, pies, cakes and cookies were decadent. On any given day, one could find a freshly baked dessert in her kitchen and dinner in the oven. She took great pride in her home and family. From holidays to birthday parties, Mrs. Cotta loved family gatherings. She was the perfect hostess, and her family always looked forward to her cooking.
Throughout her life, she became a skilled seamstress and amazing gardener. Her home always had the most appealing display of flowers and plants. Those driving by her home would often see her out planting, weeding and watering until sunset. Aside from her garden, one of Mrs. Cotta’s greatest joys was being a grandmother. She loved playing games with her grandchildren (she always let them win!), cooking their favorite dishes and making sure they knew how much she loved them.
Mrs. Cotta was very generous and sincere, always putting others before herself. She was always willing to make a dish or dessert for a local function. She was a member of the Dos Palos Y-ettes, YLI and Sacred Heart Church.
She was a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, sister and friend. She will be greatly missed.
In addition to her husband, Mrs. Cotta was preceded in death by her sister Helen Freitas; brothers Daniel and George ‘Buddy’ Lema; and Godson Eddie Freitas.
She is is survived by her children, Elaine Steitz (Larry), Stan Cotta (Dianne) and Shelley Wood (Ron); her grandchildren, Nick Steitz (Kimberly), Ashley Cotta, Amanda Wood, Dusty Cotta (Hanna), Lauren Steitz, Cody Cotta and Ryan Wood; four great-grandchildren; a sister, Mary Jane Alves; and a sister-in-law, Dorothy Lema.
Mrs. Cotta will be most remembered for her gracious heart, patient demeanor and kind soul. She also had wonderful care-givers. Her family is grateful to those who cared for her.
Private Catholic services were held at Whitehurst Funeral Chapel on Feb. 9. Remembrances may be made in Ethel’s memory to: New Bethany, 1441 Berkeley Dr., Los Banos, 93635.