Cottingham, Duncan "Dunc"

April 24, 1927 - March 4, 2016


Duncan Scott Cottingham, 88, passed away in Dallas, TX peacefully surrounded by family while watching a NHL game (Dallas Stars won!) on March 4, 2016. He had been battling Parkinson’s Disease for the last 4 years.

Born April 24, 1927 in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada, Duncan was the devoted faithful husband to his love Betty Cottingham, for 35 years, who preceded him in death.

At 18, Duncan enlisted and served in the Canadian Army. After service, he became a highway engineer for the North Dakota State Highway Department, and an award winning coin designer. Duncan served as a Deacon at the First Presbyterian Church of Bismarck, ND for many years. But hockey was his lifelong passion. Duncan played, coached and refereed hockey throughout his life, and was instrumental in the early development of youth hockey in Bismarck. It was his love of the game that he shared with his two boys, who both grew up loving and playing the game.

He was hands-on in bringing the sport to his community: he helped survey land in the building of the first outdoor rinks, he coached all levels of youth hockey (Squirts, PeeWee, Bantam, High School, and Senior), he started referee development programs and still found time to play on men’s league teams. As a player, he was known as “Dancing Dunc” for his superior skating and playmaking skills. “He could pick the upper corners from the far blue line with his wicked wrister,” recalls son Rob. More importantly, Duncan spent hours playing outdoor hockey with his two boys. Many a meal around the dining room table was spent talking about hockey, which Betty lovingly endured.

Duncan coached son Rob’s Bismarck Blades Senior Men’s team, and took them to a winning season in 1983, when the team won the North Dakota Men’s State Championship. Not only an inspiring coach, “Dunc” was a talented, well-respected referee. He worked area high school games, minor professional games (in the Southwest Hockey League), and major Junior games in Western Canada Junior Hockey League (now the WHL). He even worked games played by NHL Hall of Famers Bobby Clarke and Reggie Leach when they played for the mighty Flin Flon Bombers.

In the mid 90s, Duncan retired and relocated to the warmer temperatures of Houston, TX where he found a way to continue skating as a skate guard at The Galleria. Duncan tickled his family in 1996, when he shared that he was a movie extra. Look for him in several scenes of “The Evening Star” starring Shirley MacLaine. In 2002, he moved to Springfield, IL to be closer to son Scott’s growing family. In his nine years there, Duncan found his way to the ice rink as a performer in several ice revue productions, and attended almost all of grandson Andrew’s high school hockey games.

Duncan moved to Dallas in 2012 to be closer to his boys, was able to watch his sons play together on a men’s hockey team and win the league’s championship, and see son Rob open UnderDog Kennels in 2014 which provides boarding, day care for dogs and adoption opportunities for dogs from an area shelter. Though his family mourns his passing, we rejoice knowing Duncan is “lacing ’em up” again and joining his beloved Betty after 25 years apart.

Duncan is survived by brother Frank, sons Scott (Audrey) and Robert, grandsons Andrew and Joshua. Duncan will be cremated in a private service and his remains returned to Canada.
Arrangements are under the direction of
ARIA Cremation Service and Funeral Home
19310 Preston Road
Dallas, Texas 75252

2 replies on “Cottingham, Duncan "Dunc"”

Rod says:

I will always remember how much fun Dunc, Harry and I had at the Galleria rink telling jokes and funny stories. We would all skate for a while and then take a break and make the other two laugh with asinine stuff. Hanging out with a couple of old guys taught me that growing old is mandatory, but growing up is optional. Rest in peace, Dunc.

George Hanks says:

I will never forget our long evening skates at the Houston as Duncan shared the wonderful stories about his life. He did more and saw more than anybody could do or see in 4 lifetimes. What a wonderful man and I will always cherish the skating club patch he designed and gave to me many years ago. In case the family does not have them, I still have the short stories that Duncan wrote about his life, “Four Years old and Helping 4 Older Brothers”, “An afternoon at Knight’s Action Park,” and “My Life Has Been a Wild Rider.” RIP my friend, until we meet again.

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