February 11, 1957 - January 12, 2017
Hockey enforcer, film industry executive, radio DJ, and recent convert to motorcycle riding, Scott Milne Cottingham died in his wife’s arms and surrounded by family and friends on Thursday, January 12th, 2017.
Born on February 11, 1957 in Swan River, Manitoba, Scott had a lifelong passion for ice hockey. He laced up as a player, a referee, and an avid fan (Go Blackhawks!). Scott “Canada” never failed to chat up the linesman and referee before every game he played, and was never without a smile on the ice. It was the Scott smile that befuddled referees, and infuriated opponents as they picked themselves off the ice after a bruising encounter from #4, arguing that the minor should a double minor. “Canada” excelled in his role as D (defense) and it thrilled him to frequently find his name at the top of a league’s PIMs (Penalty in Minutes) but he was equally respected as a referee. He gleefully showed friends and strangers alike a picture from his brawling men’s beer league days in NW Chicago where he sported a bloodied broken nose. The nose was never set because he wouldn’t stop playing to allow for recovery. His last hockey tournament (The Slappy Gilmore) was in May 2016, at age 59, when he played 5 games in one weekend.
He moved with his family to Bismarck, ND in 1960. Scott grew up typically American: he was a Boy Scout, collected stamps and coins, and as a teen became a confident and devout Christian. But hockey was never not part of his life. Scott was a defenseman on Bismarck High School’s inaugural 1973-74 Varsity Hockey team, played in the 74-75 season, and often refereed other area high school games.
After graduating from Bismarck HS, Scott attended Bismarck Junior College and worked in management at the Plaza Twin Theater. Thus began a 40+ year career in the film industry. Part of the nature of the job is to be suited up and all the trendy men’s stores in the Mall loved placing newly arrived suits in their store windows because they knew suave Scott would have to smile, stop, try on, and buy the latest style.
A series of promotions moved Scott across the Midwest. While in New Ulm, MN, he served his community on the New Ulm Volunteer Police Corp and learned the hard way that you should use pepper spray sparingly and downwind.
He was a proven maverick and at the age of 23 became the youngest City Manager for MidContinent (MidCo) Theaters in Aberdeen, SD. While there, Scott began spinning the records as a DJ for KQ95, using that sweet voice of his to help others get through their morning commute. His plucky initiative earned him the coveted position of Head Film Buyer, and a move to the film exhibition company’s head office based in Minneapolis, MN.
In 1985 he moved to Rosemont, IL to work as a Branch Manager for Buena Vista Motion Picture Distribution (Walt Disney). It was during his 13 years at Kerasotes Theaters, that Scott developed an appreciation for Greek food and a dislike of hours-long commuting. He would use part of each day’s 3-hour commute to talk with his dad Duncan. Invariably, the two would talk hockey. During his time in Illinois, he continued to find the hours to be the morning DJ for WNNS, and then KDBQ, attend Chicago Wolves hockey games, serve as Youth Leader for his church in Rochester, and help the 2008 Obama campaign.
When Kerasotes was purchased by a larger exhibitor in 2010, Scott took the time to have the best summer of his life. He bicycled miles every day, read the Bible and political biographies, dabbled in the stock market, and spent time with his youngest son going to movies and playing video games.
He moved to Frisco, TX when he was offered a job as film buyer for Plano-based Cinemark Theaters. It was an opportunity custom-made for Scott because his boss was on a men’s league hockey team. “Canada” quickly found a spot on the Ice Holes team and often was asked to sub for other teams. Some nights, the mid-50s film executive would play back-to-back-to-back games, racking up penalty minutes with a smile.
After a lifetime in blustery and icy cold places, he quickly acclimatized, even embraced the warmer winter temperatures of Texas by buying a brilliant blue metallic Chrysler Sebring convertible.
Scott had promised his X-Ray technician mom Agnes “Betty” to never ride a motorcycle (well, other than that one time no knew about when he was a teenage Bismarck bellhop.). And he kept his promise, even 30 years after her heartbreaking passing. But the romance of ‘Sons of Anarchy’ and getting an all clear from his oncologist was the impetus newlyweds Scott and Audrey needed to begin motorcycle adventures. Scott took to motorcycle riding like it was air. He would ride every night after work and twice on the weekends.
He joked that if there was a way, he would prefer to ride with all his hockey gear (two sticks, skates, helmet…all of it) to Richardson for his weekly hockey games on the motorcycle and not his convertible.
The hockey playing, convertible driving, motorcycle riding, Audrey loving, film executive put up one glorious battle but a 2nd match up against cancer proved too much.
Scott is preceded in death by his mother Agnes and father Duncan. He is remembered in love by wife Audrey, he was a devoted father to sons Andrew and Joshua and stepdaughter Chikako (Ryan), beloved by his brother Rob, and leaves behind his cowboy gang: Rango, Butch, and Sundance.
The friends and family of Scott Cottingham will be celebrating his life on Friday, February 10 from 6:30pm-11:30pm at the Farmers Branch Dr. Pepper Star Center’s upper meeting area at 12700 N Stemmons Freeway, Farmers Branch, TX 75234 from 6:30pm – 11:30pm. Attendees are asked to don hockey jerseys (preferably Chicago Blackhawks) to the event to honor Scott’s unwavering love for the sport. Donations may be made in tribute to the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation.
Arrangements are under the direction of
ARIA Cremation Service and Funeral Home
19310 Preston Road
Dallas, Texas 75252