Pamela Ann Helene Dunnan Cotner, 78, of Northampton, MA died at home on Monday, July 4, 2022.
Pam was born in Everett, Massachusetts on November 6, 1943 and spent her childhood in Lexington and Wayland, MA. She was the daughter of the late William John Dunnan, Jr. and Helene Turner Dunnan.
Pam graduated from The Cambridge School of Weston in 1962. She later attended secretarial school and the Massachusetts College of Art. During her early career Pam worked for her father's company, Town and Country Homes, Inc., but Pam most identified with being an artist and she continued to create, and work on perfecting, her artwork throughout her lifetime.
Pamela married Forrest Dale (Dan) Cotner, a fellow artist, in 1971 and they moved to New Orleans, Louisiana in 1973. They opened a small business producing silk screen prints and sold their work, including prints, oil, and watercolor paintings, in Jackson Square in the French Quarter. When her husband Dan passed away suddenly in 1978.
Pam returned to Massachusetts to be closer to her family. Pam lived in Northampton for her remaining 44 years and continued working on her art for the duration of her life. She found great joy in giving her artwork to family and friends. Throughout her life Pam bravely lived with mental health challenges. She relied on creating art, being active, healthy food, nature, family, and friends to persevere. She took great pride in caring for her home and property. Though a private person, she enjoyed volunteering and working caring for animals. She also loved caring for and watching birds near her home in the Northampton Meadows. She was a member of the
Unity faith that offered her strength and solace.
Pam was predeceased by her husband, Forrest Dale (Dan) Cotner, her sister Cynthia D. Mello, her brothers Bruce T. Dunnan, William John Dunnan III and Matthew W.
Dunnan, and her nephew William John Dunnan IV. She is survived by her niece Alexandra Mello and nephew David Mello of Northampton, nephew Bruce Dunnan of
Brattleboro Vermont, nephew Cameron Dunnan of Morristown New Jersey, niece Margaret Dunnan of Bolton Connecticut, nephew Gregory Dunnan of Queen Creek
Arizona, nephew Kirk Dunnan of Grant Pass Oregon, and many great nieces and nephews.
Pam will be remembered for her independent and resilient personality, her devotion to family, and love of nature and creating beauty. It was her greatest wish to remain
independent and at home. With the support of family, friends, and community she was
able to do so.
Donations in Pam’s memory may be made to Anchor House of Artists, a gallery that represents artists living with mental health challenges. Donations will be used to support a show of her artwork planned for February 2023. Checks may be mailed to A.P.E. Ltd.126 Main Street, Northampton, MA 01060. Please note in memo: AHOA Pamela Cotner Memorial.
A private graveside memorial and burial will be held at Bridge Street Cemetery in the fall.