Mollie Marie Cotney McCaig died at her home in Boulder, Colorado, on Monday, March 14, 2022. She was in the company of her husband Evan and children Luke, Hayden, Will, and Sadie. The oldest child of Arnold and Cheryl Cotney, Mollie was born on April 2, 1974. She grew up in West Point, Georgia, with her siblings Katie and Daniel. She was a tomboy that preferred playing outdoors with the boys to playing dress-up inside with dolls. She loved turtles, seashells, bears, backpacking, cooking, and a good practical joke. In elementary school, she once told a story to her teacher about a boy lost in the woods. Her entire small town, including the police, searched for him all day, and she never said a word…She got in a lot of trouble for that one! A talented student and athlete, Mollie attended Springwood School in nearby Lanett, Alabama. In high school, she was a point guard on the basketball team, a member of the Homecoming Court, and a state champion in singles tennis. A lover of the outdoors, she completed the Outward Bound program in North Carolina and vacationed with her family on Sanibel Island in Florida. At the University of Georgia, she joined a sorority and majored in business administration. She also developed her knowledge of backpacking by working as the manager of the local Outfitters, Ltd outdoors store. Upon graduating, she went to work as a software consultant at Niel Thall Associates and later Manhattan Associates. Mollie first met her husband-to-be Evan on the white sugar sand beaches of Destin, Florida, on a co-worker getaway weekend. For Evan, it was love-at-first-sight from the moment he met her and they had their first conversation over a late-night game of paddle ball under a street light beside the beach. They spent the weekend sailing, playing volleyball, dancing, and taking long walks on the beach. That magical Destin trip became legendary because it led not only to the marriage of Evan and Mollie, but also to two other marriages and several long-term relationships. Evan and Mollie were married on October 23, 1999, in Atlanta at the Candler Family Mansion, an old “Biltmore like” mansion that could have been in an episode of Scooby Doo (and, in fact, was used in several films). A year later, they decided to move out West because they both loved the mountains and Mollie wanted to go to culinary school. They spent time in Montana and Idaho, but eventually moved with their dog Bear to the Boulder, Colorado area. Mollie graduated from the Cook Street Culinary School of the Rockies and went to work as a sous chef at the Spanish restaurant Triana in Boulder. She eventually left the restaurant after having been hit (accidentally) by a trash can thrown in the kitchen by a famous former college football player. She then took a job as a supply chain specialist at the organic grocery store Wild Oats. Mollie gave birth to her son Luke in 2003 and began her vocation as a mother, later bringing into the world Hayden (2006), Will (2011), and Sadie (2013). Always a perfectionist, she brought her problem-solving skills to bear as a homemaker. She always had the family outfitted for school, soccer, skiing, and camping with the right gear and meals she made in advance and kept in the freezer. She organized an annual family beach trip in North Carolina where her children could play in the sand and watch movies with their cousins. In the wider community, Mollie served as a women’s ministry leader at First Presbyterian Church (now Grace Commons), a Cub Scout leader for five years, and a member of the Open Space Board in Erie, in addition to her constant presence in the classrooms and the sports games of her children. In 2008, Mollie and her family faced an enormous hardship. While still in the womb, their son Cameron was diagnosed with thanatophoric dysplasia. With courage and resilience, Mollie carried Cameron to term and was able to hold him after his birth. He died hours later. The family mourned his passing with great dignity and heartache. Even after her cancer diagnosis in 2018, Mollie lived with her characteristic determination and dedication to family. At times private about her struggles, she continued as a pillar of her family and a good friend to many. She was able to enjoy memorable family trips to Spain, Emerald Isle, Lake Oconee, Winter Park, and rafting down the Middle Fork Salmon River. When cancer began to cause constant pain in her body, she received excellent medical and spiritual care at the Cancer Treatment Center of America in Phoenix. She had a revival of her faith, experiencing God’s grace in moments of great joy and peace. As the end drew near, she sought out hospice care so that she could spend her last days at home with her family. Everyone has a vibe, and Mollie had the kind of energy such that everybody always wanted to be with her. She will be remembered for so many things-for her love, her savvy, her wit, her perceptiveness of people, her taste for Old Fashioned cocktails, her favorite bands Widespread Panic and the Dave Matthews Band-and surely for her cooking. Anyone who has spent time with Mollie has been blessed with the delightful combination of warm company and incredible food. Having honed her craft with care and smarts, she could open the refrigerator and use whatever was there to whip up a five-star meal. To name just a few of her dishes, there was key lime pie (that doesn’t use key limes), the Cotney family’s beloved (and top secret) eggnog (think vanilla ice cream with bourbon), and Alabama white barbeque sauce (a recipe from her grandmother Thea Cotney, which Mollie would never share). Even with a faith that she is in God’s good hands, Mollie is deeply missed by so many. She is survived by her husband Evan McCaig; her children Luke, Hayden, William, and Sarah Cate (Sadie) McCaig; her parents Arnold and Cheryl Cotney; her siblings Katie Cotney Bethea and Daniel Cotney; and many extended family members. She is preceded in death by her son Cameron. A memorial for Mollie will be held on Saturday, April 2, at 2:00 p.m. at Grace Commons Church in Boulder with a reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in honor of Mollie McCaig to Cancer Treatment Centers of America.
Published by The Daily Camera on Mar. 27, 2022.