Rylan Marie Cotter, 20, of Okemos and East Lansing, Mich., died tragically in
Chesterton, Ind., on Monday, Jan. 7.
She was born June 10, 1987, in Lansing, the daughter of Nancy Cotter, an art
teacher in the Lansing School District, and her fathers, John Kleber of
Jackson, Mich., and Robert Novak of East Lansing.
She is survived by an enormous extended family and will be mourned by all.
Rylan graduated from Mason High School in 2005 and was attending James
Madison College at Michigan State University, where she was majoring in
international relations with a focus on African politics. She was to be an
intern next year at the Mandela Peace Center in South Africa.
Rylan’s character and compassion made her career choice of diplomacy a
natural fit. She placed herself second in favor of caring for those around
her, and for this her family finds consolation in the passage “Blessed are
the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.”
Rylan has transcended this earth but will be reflected in the memories of
family and friends as a vibrant free-spirit with wind in her hair, a smile on
her beautiful face, and a heart unmatched in its capacity to love
unselfishly. She brought light and humor into people’s lives and will be
missed more than words can say.
A memorial service is scheduled for 11 a.m. at St. James Catholic Church,
1010 S. Lansing St. in Mason, Mich. The family will receive friends from 2 to
4 p.m. and from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Gorsline Runciman Funeral Home, 621 S.
Jefferson in Mason, and at St. James one hour prior to the service.