Cover photo for William 'Bill' Kotan's Obituary
William 'Bill' Kotan Profile Photo
1940 William 2021

William 'Bill' Kotan

January 12, 1940 — July 18, 2021


     William "Bill" Steven Kotan was called home to heaven on July 18, 2021 after succumbing to cancer peacefully at home with his wife, daughter, and hospice care by his side. Bill was born January 12, 1940, in Harlowton, Montana, the third child of Steven and Alice (Coleman) Kotan.  He spent his youth in Harlow with brother Joe and sister Kay, learning to love the northwest spirit and the outdoors, enjoying friends, working a paper route, playing high school football, graduating a Harlowton Engineer in 1958.  After attending Carroll College in Helena, MT he returned to Harlowton to care for his mother.  During this time, he married Karen Johnson in 1960.  After his mother's death Bill moved his family to Bozeman, MT where he began a career in the Montana National Guard. 

     Bill and Karen spent 17 years in Bozeman raising their family-Steve, Kris, and Kevin.  These years were spent camping, fishing, tending gardens, pets, including ducks and spending wonderful years vacationing at Whitefish Lake.

     Bill moved to Helena in 1980, still working for the Montana National Guard and Army until his retirement in 1993.  In 1989, after his wife Karen's untimely death, Bill met and married Margie Joscelyn and together they enjoyed many years of gardening, cooking, working together for the Montana National guard, attending Mariner Baseball games, vacations to Seattle, Florida, Utah and many Oregon and Washington beaches.  During retirement Bill worked at Power Townsend and Lowe's Hardware Stores as well as the Ghost Art Gallery where he was a certified framer.  Bill also loved his two cats, Fiskers and Gamalial… they miss him too.

     To know Bill Kotan, our Bill, was to see beyond the man.  An ordinary man by man's observation, but to those who knew him best, his commitment to taking care of people, his people, was extraordinary.  A devoted husband, father, friend, and patriot who's concern for others needs above his own shined through.  This noble gentle man was always looking out for his family, friends, neighbors, and community, providing support and assistance with strong, steady, reliable judgement and a generous heart.  He was our rock, the solid constant that could be counted on, never burdening others.  He stoically brought stability, trust, energy, encouragement, and responsibility to our lives.  He is deeply missed.

     Bill is survived by his wife Margie of Nampa, ID; son Steven (Sharon) Kotan of Panama City, FL; daughter Kristine (Dan) Droppers of Lynnwood, WA; son Kevin (Janine) of Issaquah, WA; and his brother Joe (Phyllis) of Stansbury Park, UT.  Bill has 6 grandchildren (Kate, Matthew, David, Kendra, Andrew, and Alex) and one great grandson (Liam). Along with many nieces and nephews.

Bill is preceded by his parents Steven and Alice; one sister Kay Elliott and brother-in-law Jim Elliott.

     Bill's family would like to welcome you to attend memorial graveside service on Saturday, September 11, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. in the Harlowton Catholic Cemetery.  The graveside will be followed by a reception to share remembrances of Bill at the Harlowton Youth Center, Harlowton, MT. Perkins Funeral Home is assisting the family.

     Friends are asked to make memorials to World Vision, or to the Harlowton Youth Center and they may be left with the Perkins Funeral Home, PO Box 313 Harlowton, MT  59036.  Condolences for the family may be posted on-line at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of William 'Bill' Kotan, please visit our flower store.


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