Dr. Charles “Chase” Cotton - Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Homes & Crematory

Dr. Charles “Chase” Cotton

March 10, 1954 - March 14, 2023

Dr. Charles “Chase” Cotton of Newark, DE, died Tuesday, March 14, 2023 of cardiac arrest at Christiana Hospital in Newark. He was sixty-nine years old. Chase, son of the late Carol Jane Cotton and Charles Wade Holcomb, was born March 10, 1954 in Dallas, TX. Raised in Dallas, Chase received his Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, where he was a member of Tau Beta Pi. After college, Chase moved to Delaware to work as an engineer for DuPont. He subsequently returned to school at the University of Delaware to earn his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering in 1984. While studying at UD he met and married Valentine “Val” Pupo of Newark in 1980. They had four children together. The family relocated to Hopatcong, NJ and San Ramon, CA before finally returning to Newark in 2000.

Chase Cotton was a successful researcher, carrier executive, product manager, consultant, and educator for the technologies used in Internet and data services in the carrier environment for over 30 years. Beginning in the mid-80’s Chase’s communications research at Bellcore involved creating new algorithms and methods in bridging, multicast, packet-based applications including voice & video, traffic monitoring, transport protocols, custom VLSI, and Gigabit networking. Chase held a 1988 patent for multicast routing from his time at Bellcore. In the mid-90’s as the commercial Internet began to blossom, he transitioned to assist carriers worldwide as they started their Internet businesses including ISPs, hosting and web services, and the first large scale commercial deployment of DSL for consumer broadband. In 2000, Chase assumed research, planning, and engineering for Sprint’s global Tier 1 Internet provider, SprintLink, expanding and evolving the network significantly. At Sprint he led a team that enabled infrastructure for the first large scale collection and analysis of Tier 1 backbone traffic, and twice set the Internet 2 Land Speed World Record on a commercial production network.

In 2008, Chase returned to the University of Delaware’s Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, where he was a Senior Scientist, Professor of Practice, and Director of Delaware’s Center for Intelligent CyberSecurity. Most recently he was involved in the launch of a Cybersecurity initiative at UD, developing new security courses and degree programs. He was perpetually active in the ECE department, including running the department’s senior design program for undergraduates. He was a vocal advocate for the department’s students, and a supportive mentor who was deeply loved by his graduate student advisees.

Chase was a beloved husband and father, who will be remembered for his incredible warmth and kindness, his dedication to his family, and for his wonderfully unique sense of humor. Until his death he remained young at heart. He was eternally curious and had what seemed like an infinite variety of interests, including aeronautics and cars.

He is survived by his wife of 42 years, his children Courtenay, Kirsten, Jordan and Chase, his brother James “Jim” Cotton, and his aunts Nancy Cotton, Lea Ney, and Betty Cotton.

A visitation for family and friends will be held from 10 am until 11 am on Thursday, March 23, 2023, at Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Home, 121 West Park Place, Newark, DE, where a funeral service will begin at 11 am. Interment will follow in All Saints Cemetery, 6001 Kirkwood Highway, Wilmington, DE.


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10 Condolences for Dr. Charles “Chase” Cotton

  • Cotton Family,
    I’d like to extend my condolences. I am currently a student at Udel, virtually, in the MS Cyberse program. I’ve had the privileged of having Dr. Cotton as instructor. I’ve been fortunate to get to know the Professor and the enjoyed small talk to get to know the man outside of the classroom. I want you to know that he profoundly impacted on my life. Again, I would like to extend my condolences.

  • I had the real pleasure of learning from Dr Cotton (he always preferred Chase, but he earned that distinguishing prefix) last year in the Chase Cybersecurity program that he put together. I knew he was unique charachter from the get go and that he was going to make this dry cyber security program interesting – and he did.
    My deepest condolences to his family during this difficult and tragic time. He will be missed, and not forgotten. Rest in peace Chase.

  • I am so very sorry for your loss. Chase was my dear brother-in-law. He was kind, supportive, and always hilarious. 🙂 He was best man at Jim and my wedding and first to congratulate us when our children were born. We saw him last at our home and my daughter’s wedding after Covid. I am so glad we were able to spend the time together. He was a brilliant, fun, kind man, and he will be missed.

  • To Jordan, Chase, Mrs. Cotton and the Cotton family- We would like to extend our deepest sympathies and condolences for this sudden loss of Mr. Cotton. Adam let us know of his passing and we will be keeping you in our thoughts and prayers. May your memories of his life carry you through this difficult time. Sincerely- The Mitchell family-Julie, Adam and Tori, Dan and Erin, Chris and Amanda, and Anna.

  • Chase taught me a lot during the time I worked for him at Sprint. My sincere condolances to his family. He will be missed.

  • My condolences to the family. Chase have me my first opportunity in the Sprint infrastructure group. I learned so much. A huge loss.

  • Chase and I worked together on the Delaware US Cyber Challenge summer cyber camps for years. Chase was brilliant, kind, welcoming and always willing to help. He was truly a scholar and a gentleman and I miss him.

    Rest in peace, Chase.

  • I worked in Chase’s group at Bellcore, Morristown NJ from 1989-1992. These were some of the best years of my life. Chase was extremely supportive. Almost every day we met and went to lunch followed by a long walk while having lively discussions. My condolences to the family. Ernst

  • Very sorry to hear of his passing. He was a wonderful colleague and a fine person.

  • I was a student of Dr. Cotton in the MS Cyber Security program and we will always have a great conversation everytime we see each other in the Newark area, whether it was in UD or a Delaware security conference.

    I was deeply saddened to learn of his passing. Dr. Cotton was an outstanding professor and inspiration to many. His wisdom, guidance, and kind words touched the lives of countless individuals, including myself.

    Dr. Cotton had a remarkable ability to challenge his students to think critically and creatively and to pursue their passions with courage and conviction. His passion for teaching and commitment to excellence were evident in all aspects of his work.

    Dr. Cotton’s passing is a great loss to the University of Delaware family and to all those who had the privilege of knowing him. He will always be remembered for his kindness, generosity, and unwavering dedication to his students.

    My deepest condolences to his family and may he rest in peace.