Dedicated to the citizens of Mason County, Washington since 1886

Louise Hays Cothary

Louise Hays Cothary of Belfair, WA, passed away Sunday morning, April 30, 2023, in Bremerton. She was born November 6, 1929, to Roy Roderic Hays and Hilda Kathleen (Heryford) Hays. Louise was one of two children, her younger sister Vera Jean was born three years later. Her childhood was spent in Shasta County, California mostly at the family farm near Big Bend and the Pit River. Louise attended Indian Springs School, then later her family moved to Redding where she attended Shasta Union High School. Upon graduation, Louise served as the 1947 Class Valedictorian.

While attending San Jose State College in 1949, she met and married Walter George Cothary in September 1950. Walt taught for many years at Davis Senior High School, and Louise worked at the University of California Library in Davis. After her husband retired from teaching in California, they moved up to Washington State, a place he had grown up, and a strong network of family ties remained. Louise then worked for many years at the Evergreen College Library until she and her husband moved to the family property on Hood Canal. When Walt passed away in 1998, Louise immersed herself into her basic passion – painting and artwork. As a talented artist, Louise continued to produce an amazing number of paintings; her work with oil pastels was truly admirable! Her paintings have been displayed at various art shows throughout the region, and many were awarded prizes. Louise also served as a volunteer and as a member of several art groups, including the South Kitsap Artists Association, and for many years she volunteered at the Sidney Gallery in Port Orchard.

Louise is survived by four children: Anita (Cothary) Evans, Arthur Cothary, Lynden Cothary (Elsa), and Christopher Cothary (Brenda), her grandchildren: Johanna, Morgan, and Rose Evans in Alaska, Coral and Elianna Cothary on Hood Canal, Washington, Jocelyn and Allison Cothary, of Bonney Lake, Washington, step-grandson James Ice; and several nieces and a nephew. Her husband Walter Cothary, parents Rod and Kathleen Hays, younger sister Vera (Hays) Stanley, and nephew Steven Stanley, all preceded her in death.

We will remember Louise for her ready smile and infectious laugh, as well as her loyalty and commitment to her family and friends. She was a dedicated mother, artist, and as an avid genealogist; she was especially proud of descending from the early pioneers of California. One such ancestor, John Bidwell, founded the city of Chico, California.

The family would like to express our gratitude to the HUB Senior Center in Belfair, for the many years of enjoyment and camaraderie that all of you brought to her life. She so loved attending the senior luncheons and dances at the HUB!

Also, our heartfelt thanks and appreciation go to the nursing staff at the Stafford-Belmont Home in Bremerton. The care they gave Louise was exemplary and their kindness will never be forgotten. We are all truly grateful.

In lieu of flowers, people are encouraged to send donations to the American Red Cross, the Sidney Art Gallery, or to the HUB Senior Center in Belfair, Washington.

Louise was buried next to her husband in a private ceremony at the Twin Firs Cemetery on Sand Hill Road near Belfair. A memorial will be held this summer in honor of Louise's life. It is scheduled for Sunday, June 18th, 2023 from 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. at the Sidney Art Gallery (202 Sidney Avenue) in Port Orchard, Washington. Friends and family are all invited to come and share memories, anecdotes; as together we celebrate a life well lived.

If you would like more information, please call: Brenda Cothary (253) 905-3659 or Anita Evans (907) 780-8674


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