Gary Cottrell, 76, of Independence, Kansas went to heaven on Monday August 3rd, 2020 at Wilson Medical Center. He has been cremated and not buried in his beloved Chevy Nova. He was born September 2nd, 1943 in Neodesha, Kansas to Leonard “Bud” and Thelma (Axthelm) Cottrell.
He was known as pathfinder to his siblings, whom he loved and teased, as he teased the boundaries set by their parents. He was a good storyteller and loved to explain how things worked as long as you didn’t have to be home before midnight.
Gary graduated from Neodesha High School, participating in track, basketball and football. He attended Pittsburg State University for two years, while playing football. He then went to Kansas State University and ultimately chose electrical engineering over other engineering degrees after observing that their classrooms were air conditioned. He tricked Vivian Walton into going steady with him during high school, but the trick was on him as they ultimately married on December 31st, 1963. They lived in Allen, Texas, where he worked for Collins Radio and Texas Instruments. They had two daughters, Valarie (Frank) Ikerd and Kendal (Jim) Kantola. He was proudly quoted, saying “Look what my genes made.” They moved to Independence, Kansas and attended the First United Methodist Church.
He loved animals and rescued multiple animals to their forever homes. He could tell the year, make and model of any car, but could make a sailor blush while working on them. He always wanted to “Meet the engineer that designed this!” With Gary’s love for ice cream, apologies to Dairy Queen and Braum’s for their future loss of income. He loved his grandkids (Jesse, Alec and Maxson) and they will miss his orneriness. He loved taking them to the park. So, in lieu of flowers, all Memorials will go to Kiddieland at Riverside Park. Memorials can be left with Loran Fawcett Chapel in Neodesha, KS.
Visitation will take place Friday August 7, 2020 from 5:00pm to 7:00pm when the family will greet friends at the Loran Fawcett Chapel. On-Line condolences can be sent to the family by going to www.loranfawcettfuneralhome.com