By Rebecca Goodman
The Cincinnati Enquirer
COVINGTON - Patrick John Henry Cottingham II was the kind of teacher students never forgot.
Maybe it was the smell machine - the device he activated to demonstrate the movement of molecules. Or the "Fuzz Buster" he used to demonstrate how radar works.
Maybe it was the smoke that sometimes filled the entire wing when his classes conducted experiments.
But it could have been the blue velvet tuxedo and ruffled shirt that he sometimes wore to eighth-grade graduation at St. Dominic School in Delhi Township.
The beloved St. Dominic teacher died Friday at St. Elizabeth Hospital, while the school's faculty, staff and student body attended the funeral of Dennis Stemler, a former student who had died Tuesday.
Mr. Cottingham had been unable to return to the classroom after being diagnosed with cancer in November. The Covington resident was 57.
He started his teaching career at Cutter Junior High School in Over-the-Rhine before joining St. Dominic
. A faculty member there for 30 years, Mr. Cottingham had taught physical science, civics and Ohio history to eighth-graders for the past several years.
"He actually taught several of our current and former teachers, who found it interesting to find themselves as colleagues after being his students," said Ann Andriacco of Price Hill, director of religious education at St. Dominic.
Mr. Cottingham was full of surprises.
"One Halloween, he dressed up as the Grim Reaper and didn't speak a word," Andriacco said. "No one realized it was Patrick until he raised his mask."
Survivors include his wife, Diane Willen Cottingham; a son, Patrick III; his father, Patrick of Fort Thomas; and a sister, Annette Holzleiter, also of Fort Thomas.
The funeral is 10 a.m. today at St. Dominic Church, 4551 Delhi Pike in Delhi Township. Mr. Cottingham's remains have been cremated. Memorials: Patrick John Henry Cottingham II Scholarship Fund, St. Dominic School, 4551 Delhi Pike, Cincinnati 45238.
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Patrick Cottingham II taught for thirty years