On the night of Dec. 20, 2013, William Vincent Cottrell cleanly slipped his anchor-hawse and set sail on the trade winds for his final voyage. He left port with fair winds, dry decks, and seas on the quarter.
Bill Cottrell was born on March 30, 1924 to Clement Vincent Cottrell and Pearl (Bair) Cottrell, in Toronto, Ohio. After graduation from Toronto High School, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1942, and served throughout WWII in the South Pacific Theater as a signalman/ quartermaster aboard the U.S.S. Apache. After the cessation of hostilities, he attended the University of Illinois and University of Missouri under the auspices of the U.S. Naval Reserve Officers Training program (ROTC) and obtained a BSc degree in Civil Engineering. While in Columbia, Mo., he met Julia Francis (Judy) Maley of Omak, Wash., who was attending Stephens College in that city. They married in Omak on Aug. 3, 1947.
Afterward, Bill served both Clallam County and Okanogan County as County Engineer, while raising his three children in Port Angeles and a fourth child later in Omak. In 1961, he moved his family back to Columbia, Mo. while he attended law school there, again at the University of Missouri. The family returned to Omak where Bill set up his practice in law and later became District Court Judge in Okanogan County in the late 1960s.
He was very active in the community, being a lifelong Scouter, Omak School Board member and director, and a high school sports official in football and basketball until the age of 72. He cared greatly for the youth of our communities in Okanogan County. He also felt great empathy for the underserved in our population, and did much legal work on their behalf. He was active in the U.S. Naval Reserve, retiring from same as an LT, USNR.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Clement and Pearl; sister, Betty Mae of Steubenville, Ohio, his wife, Julia Cottrell of Omak, and son-in-law, Dr. John B. Coombs, of Gig Harbor Wash. He is survived by his sister Miriam Cottrell Heaton of Mingo Junction, Ohio; a brother, Harold R. (Bob) Cottrell also of Ohio, along with his direct descendants, Martha C. Coombs of Ocala, Fla., William V. Cottrell Jr. of Oroville, Wash., Julia B. (Bill) TerHark of Kennewick Wash., Matthew A. (Yolanda) Cottrell of Johannesburg, South Africa. He is also survived by grandchildren, Joshua Coombs, Maley Coombs, Lexi (Greg) Emerson, Jocelyn Cottrell, and Miguel A. Herrera; and great-grandchildren Ally and Billy Emerson.
The Cottrell family wishes to express their profound thanks to Shellie Sandoval and her staff at Park Place in Omak, for their loving care of both of our parents in their final years and days.