Martha Cotton

Born: Mon., May 20, 1918
Died: Sat., Jun. 8, 2019


Memorial Service

2:00 PM Sun., Jul. 14, 2019
Location: Plymouth Congregational Church


Print Obituary   Home Page All Obituaries

Music by The Piano Brothers


COTTON, Martha at age 101, of Watertown, formerly of Belmont, entered into eternal rest on Saturday, June 8, 2019 in the Miriam Boyd Parlin Residence in Wayland.

Martha was born in Dorchester, MA, on May 20, 1918, and raised in Newtonville, the
middle child of three. She was an outstanding student and tennis was her forte.

In 1934, her father, an electrical engineer, was offered an excellent job in London, England, and, due to the Depression in America, moved there in December of that year. The family (mother, older sister Alix and younger brother, Gerry) followed in February 1935. They enjoyed life in that great city despite the rumblings of war. In 1939, they disregarded those rumblings and the entire family went to Garnisch Partenkirchen for winter sports.

After WW II broke out, the family moved to Devon in the Southwest of England because her father’s factory was ordered by the British Air Ministry to go South due to the bombings around London.

Before the war, Martha attended the West End Hospital for Nervous Diseases and trained for the medical profession. It was a short-lived career as the college was subsequently bombed and all records destroyed. But during the war, Martha joined the British Red Cross and eventually became a “3 Pipper” (Captain). In the last year of the war, she joined the American Red Cross at HQ in London.

After the war, her father, now with Philco, returned to the States in 1945, followed by Martha and her mother a year later, when passage became available on a “Liberty Ship.” They lived first in New York City, then Philadelphia, and ultimately, Belmont.

While living in Philadelphia, Martha worked for Smith, Kline & French. In Belmont she worked at Arthur D. Little for 34 years where she was a contracting officer. She retired at age 70.

Throughout her years in Belmont, Martha was a long-time volunteer at Mt. Auburn Hospital, first working in the cafeteria and later, in the gift shop. She also volunteered for many years at WGBH where she gave studio tours and worked on the annual Auction fundraiser. She was part of the original taped airing of the “Antiques Roadshow.” She was a member of the Belmont Woman’s Club and an active participant with Plymouth Congregational Church.

During her years in England, Martha made many good friends and has four godchildren there with whom she kept in constant contact and visited regularly in the past.

Martha was an exceptional bridge player and derived much enjoyment playing with her friends. She loved to travel and made numerous trips to destinations around the globe. Many people she met on her adventures became longtime friends. Gardening, scrabble, jigsaw and crossword puzzles were other activities she enjoyed. Up until the last few years, she had been a lead volunteer reader for the Belmont Media Center, Cable TV program, “Talking News.”

She is survived by 2 nieces, a grandnephew, a great-grandnephew, and great-grandniece.

Her memorial service will be held at Plymouth Congregational Church, 582 Pleasant Street, Belmont, MA, on Sunday, July 14, at 2:00 p.m. Contributions in Martha’s memory may be made to WGBH, One Guest St., Boston, MA 02135, or to Mt. Auburn Hospital, 330 Mt. Auburn St., Cambridge, MA 02138. Arrangements by the Short, Williamson & Diamond Funeral Home, Belmont  swdfuneralhome.com

Click to send flowers using our local area florist
Free delivery to our funeral home & save on wire fees
View/Sign the Condolence Book

Click the button to generate a printable document containing all condolences submitted

Condolence Booklet

Marshall Levy, Winn Brook School, 4th grade teacher
   Posted Wed July 10, 2019
I'm so very saddened by Martha's passing. She was a wonderful addition to our 4th grade senior program, Blast from the Past, for approximately eight years, from its inception in 1997 to 2005. We met every other week for a total of 14 years and the children always gravitated to Martha because she was so warm and caring, and had a fine sense of humor. She shared her growing up years and loved working with the 4th graders during those very special years. She had a wealth of knowledge and some very exciting life experiences.We became good friends. She presented a book to the class called Penelope, written about her niece. She will be remembered with much love and admiration.

Copyright © 2019 Short, Williamson & Diamond. All Rights Reserved.    | Website by CFS |