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Yet another sad farewell

They were 12 in number, born between the First World War and and the early years of the Second World War.

The children of Clay Rex and Opal (Robertson) Cottrell, The Legal Genealogist‘s maternal grandparents.

Ruth Marie, the first-born. Born in Tillman County, Oklahoma. Tiny, perfect, perhaps too perfect.

Taken at the age of six months.

A failure to thrive baby.

Then came Billy Rex, in Oklahoma. As large and hale as his sister had been small and frail.

Then Eula Cladyne, always called Cladyne, the first Texas-born child, born in Colorado City, Mitchell County.

Then Monte Boyd, the first of many born in Midland, Texas.

Hazel Irene, my mother.

David Fred.

David and Hazel

David Fred Cottrell and Hazel (Cottrell) Geissler

Donald Harris, called Dooter.

Carol Ray, bringing the number of surviving children to seven.

But then came 1932. Dooter, lost to smallpox.

And so there were six.

Jerry LaStone.

Marianne, the only one born in Wichita County.

Then back in Midland, Michael Vance.

And bringing up the tail end of the parade, another Midland baby, Patricia Ensign.

Twelve in number. Ten surviving to adulthood.

Tall, dark-haired and dark-eyed, strong in body and in will. Taking on partners. Adding to the branches of the family tree.

Always adding. Never subtracting. Never.

But never doesn’t ever last long enough.

For our family, it was only until 1994.

Monte, the first to be lost. And so there were nine.

1999, and Hazel, my mother. And so there were eight.

2007, Marianne. And so there were seven.

2008, Billy. And so there were six.

2009, Cladyne. And so there were five.

2012, Carol. And so there were four.

2016, Jerry. And so there were three.

July 9th, 2019.


And so there are two.

Two left with the memories.

Two left to tell the stories.

Two left to stand between me and mine and the status of oldest generation.

Two who need to make never last a whole lot longer.

RIP, Uncle David.

Cite/link to this post: Judy G. Russell, “David Fred Cottrell, 1928-2019,” The Legal Genealogist ( : posted 13 July 2019).

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