John Ralph Cottrell - 1938 - 2019


Surrounded by his family, John Ralph Cottrell died February 16, 2019, at the age of 80.
Born to John Rector Cottrell and Viola Rich Hazelip on November 10, 1938, in Indianapolis, Indiana, John started his military career at the age of 17 when he joined the U.S. Naval Reserve in high school. Upon graduating, he moved to active duty and served on the Lake Champlain Air Craft Carrier, known as the Big Champ, in Quonset Point, Rhode Island. While on leave in Indiana, he met Judith Ann Searles. They married in 1959 in Anderson, Indiana, and the newlyweds resided in Quonset Point until he left the Navy for the Air Force and was immediately stationed in Tachikawa, Japan. They lived there five years and had two sons, Kevin and Keith. Their third son, Kurt, was born in Louisiana. After an assignment in San Francisco, John spent a tour of duty in Vietnam and three years in Germany. He also had assignments in California, including Moffett Naval Station, and Travis AFB. John retired from the Air Force in 1979.
John’s retirement did not slow him down. He worked private security and was an employee of Lockheed Martin and Blue Cross. He took up golf; getting a hole-in-one as a beginner was a true highlight for him. John loved playing cards with his family and friends. He usually won at Rummy, but there are those who said he was a sandbagger. His rescue dog, Sam, a Maltese, was on his lap whenever he sat down. Known for his heart of gold, he would always help a friend in need.
Survivors include his wife of 59 years, Judith Cottrell of McMinnville, Oregon; brother, Cletus (Mary) Cottrell of West Warwick, Rhode Island; sons, Kevin Cottrell and Keith (Leslie) Cottrell, of California, and Kurt (Naomi) Cottrell of Oregon; his seven grandchildren, Karley Cottrell of Nevada, Joshua (Charlotte) Cottrell of California, Robert Cottrell of Oregon, James Barnes of Oregon, Lena Cottrell of Oregon, Kendall Cottrell of Oregon, and Shelby Cottrell of California; and three great-granddaughters, Riley, Keagan and Sloane Cottrell of California; along with many nieces and nephews. John will be truly missed by all.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his brothers, Donald Gamron, Roger Gamron, Dallas Cottrell and Edward Cottrell.
His service will be held at noon, Saturday, March 9, at St. James Catholic Church in McMinnville, with a reception following immediately at the church. In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project.


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