Bess S. Bayme Cotton, born August 22, 1926, died peacefully on July 30, 2020.
Born in Charleston, South Carolina, one of five children of the late Lena and Sam Slotchiver, she moved to Macon, Georgia in 1950 with her husband, Alvin (Pancho) Bayme of Brooklyn, New York, who had been hired as a manager - and subsequently became the owner of – the Kaybee store in downtown Macon. Upon his untimely death in 1969, she took over the operation of the store, where she worked tirelessly until her eventual retirement several years ago.
In 1974, Bess married Arnold Cotton, who had relocated to Macon from Birmingham, Alabama, and with whom she enjoyed a loving 40-year marriage until his death in 2014.
In March 2009, she was the proud recipient of the Career Woman’s Network “Woman of Achievement” award, an honor bestowed upon her by fellow business and career
women. Her vivacity, energy, generosity, intelligence, and style were trademark traits, which led her and Arnold to enjoy travel, music, dancing, theater, and many friends, as well as
success in the business world. She was a past member of the board of the Macon Symphony Orchestra, and active in her synagogue, Congregation Sha’arey Israel.
Her most enduring legacy, however, is her devotion to her family. Bess was beloved by her three sisters, Sylvia Lipman, Reva Kalinsky, and Dora Rovick (all three deceased), and her surviving brother, Irvin Slotchiver (Carole), and brother-in-law, Herbert Rovick, from Charleston, SC. She was devoted to her three children, as were they to her: Bonnie Cohn (Leslie) of Columbus, GA; Scott Bayme (Anne) of Macon; and Jeffrey Bayme (Michele) of Charleston, SC. “Mimi” adored her seven grandchildren, and it was duly reciprocated: Al Cohn (Tracy) of Birmingham, AL; Seth Cohn (Valerie) of Atlanta, GA; Sylvia Burke (Adam) of Houston, TX; Al Bayme (engaged to Cara Sugg) of Macon; Ari Bayme of New York, NY; Jonathan Bayme (engaged to Naama Krispil) of New York, NY; and Molly Bayme of Atlanta, GA. Great-grandchildren were included in her circle of love: Morgan, Abby, and Lexi Cohn of Birmingham, AL; Max, Lucy, and Ryan Burke of Houston, TX; and Aaron and Jacob Cohn of Atlanta, GA. As well, she embraced and loved Arnold Cotton’s children as her own: Steve Cotton (Carole) of New York, NY; Candy Meyerson (Ed) of Birmingham, AL; Jeri Hart (Van) of San Francisco, CA; and David Cotton (Kelly Enzor) of Atlanta, GA, and served as adoring “Mimi” to the Cotton grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She is survived by numerous loving nieces and nephews.
The family wishes to acknowledge and thank her caregivers for their loving kindness: Lucy Wilson, Monica Sands, Mary Fuller, Joy Worley, Pat Smith, and Rosa Marshall.
In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory are requested to be made to Sha’arey Israel Synagogue, 611 1st St., Macon, GA 31201 (Educational Resource Fund or the Wall of Jerusalem), Camp Judaea (campjudaea.org ), 1440 Spring St. NW, Atlanta, GA 30309; or Pine Pointe Hospice, 6261 Peake Rd, Macon, GA 31210.
Funeral service will be private due to COVID restrictions, but a memorial tribute to Bess’ life can be viewed in real time on Friday, July 31 at 1:00 PM on BessCotton.com.
Please visit www.hartsmort.com to express condolences.
Hart’s at the Cupola, Hart's Mortuary and Cremation Center, 6324 Peake Rd, Macon, GA 31210 has charge of the arrangements.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Bess S. Bayme Cotton, please visit our floral store.
Congregation Sha'arey Israel
611 1st Street, Macon GA 31201
1440 Spring St. NW, Atlanta GA 30309
Pine Pointe Hospice
6261 Peake Road, Macon GA 31210