Gorsline Runciman Funeral Homes

621 South Jefferson, Mason, MI


Belva Louise Otis Cotton Cocke

May 1, 1926June 22, 2020

Surrounded by her loving family and immersed in faith for her Redeemer and Lord, Jesus Christ, Belva’s spirit left this world on June 22. Preceded in death by her parents L C and Luella Jesse Otis, brother Austin Otis, her husband of nearly 50 years James P Cotton, husband of 11 years Thomas P Cocke, and two sons Tim and Tom Cotton.

Born and raised in Mason, Michigan, after graduating high school, Belva attended Henry Ford School of Nursing. She graduated as an RN in 1944 and enlisted in the US Nurse Corps. Belva married James Cotton, a career officer in the US Air Force, in 1947. After his tours of duty all over the world, they returned home to Mason.

Belva and James had 8 children; Jim (Janice) Cotton, Tim and Tom Cotton, Joe Cotton, Jon (Chris) Cotton, David Cotton, Dan (K’Lynne) Cotton, Sarah (Eric) Kramer, 22 grandchildren, and 11 great-grandchildren. Belva provided embracing love and support to many, including four step-children, nephews, nieces, and countless other loved ones.

Belva loved being the wife of an Air Force officer and serving in many capacities; Red Cross member, teacher, church ministry, hospice and health care. She cherished her service with her husband including a two-year mission in the Philippines for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Always an adventurer she loved animals, art, laughter, gardening, entertaining, and travel. On a travel adventure in Russia she met her second husband Tommy. Belva continued her adventures and service until the day of her passing. She loved and lived life to the fullest and in honor of her memory and service she asks you to do the same, volunteer and donate to the charity of your choice.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.grbdmason.com for the Cocke family.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Belva Louise Otis Cotton Cocke

have a memory or condolence to add?

Judi Whipple

July 1, 2020

Dear Jim,Joe,Jon,David,Dan,and Sarah, I have been thinking of you and your families for over a week now. My thoughts,prayers,and heart go out to you. Some losses are just too big to express. During my prayers, I realized that your Mom gave us all so many gifts throughout her life that her love and caring will never be lost. She taught me the power of faith, patience and persistence. Her style and grace pushed me to make an effort to be a positive presence. May we all continue to honor her by living with the love she left behind,and sharing it with others. Sending you our sincere condolences and much love. Hugs to you all! Judi and Craig Whipple

Nancy Hill

June 29, 2020

Once a nurse, always a nurse! Belva inspired me to attend Henry Ford Hospital School of Nursing. It was 3 years of tough, but thorough training! I most often saw Belva at a Stake Relief Society function or just a plain old Stake Conference. She always impressed me with her sweet smile and warm, caring attitude. She and Jim were a wonderful pair, whose light was always brighter when they were together. Much love to all of the family. We know she earned her place in heaven and had much family waiting for her arrival!

Susan Dubois

June 28, 2020

Dear Cotton Family, the loss of a mother who loved and was loved is immeasurable. Our mothers live through us with quiet strength and determination. Gary's and my thoughts and prayers go out to you. Belva is with good company and old friends, her good works rewarded.

Barbara Blackburn

June 28, 2020

My deepest condolences to Belva's family. What an amazing and sweet spirit! I loved her so much! She always had a smile and a kind word for everyone she met. I loved listening to her talks in church. She will be greatly missed.


June 27, 2020

Sarah and family, I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your incredible mother. I've always loved the many posts of her and I had such admiration for her fiery spirit and love for life. May God comfort you during this time.

Paul and Jolinda Fulton

June 27, 2020

May the Cotton/Cocke families be comforted through their loss with the sure knowledge that they were blessed with a Mom/Step Mom who was a pure example of how to live a Godly life filled with Joy.

Belva was one of the kindest, sweetest ladies to have ever walked this earth. She made people feel welcome and special. I (Jolinda) loved her dearly. Having last talked with her about a year ago by phone, I already know how much I will miss not talking with her again soon. She was a great mother, friend, neighbor and I know her Jim adored her. My husband Paul and I felt blessed to know her.

William Cocke

June 26, 2020

My deepest condolences for the passing of Belva. She was a god-send to my father after our mother died. I know they loved each other and cared for each other for his final decade. Our thoughts are with you. God bless.

Scott Siemen

June 25, 2020

A few years ago her children were concerned Belva was not getting a good night’s sleep and that was wearing her down. I was selling mattresses for a living, so they brought her in to see me, What struck me then was how much she was discomfited, almost embarrassed at the thought of other people spending money on something as frivolous as her personal comfort! Talking to her, I came to the realization that she was one of the very few people I had ever known that actually truly thought more about others than of herself.
I didn’t get to see Belva as much as I would have liked, but I am lucky to know some of her children, and if at the end we are measured by the quality of the people we have touched, than Belva was indeed rich.

Jean Bement

June 24, 2020

I am so saddened to learn of Miss Belva's passing. She was such a kind lady, always smiling and willing to share a story or memory. She was a credit to her loving parents. I remember them well as a young girl growing up in the Methodist Church -- especially Mrs. Otis.

I have a wonderful photo of my dad and Belva at a book party at BestSellers, several years ago. He thought the world of her. She is sitting on his lap, with an impish look on her face.

My prayers are with you all. I hope that time, happy memories, and the knowledge of where she is (and those she has been reunited with), will bring peace to you. Blessings...