Richard Cottrell

October 05, 1918 ‒ June 27, 2017

Galion, Ohio


Richard H. Cottrell, 98 of South Burlington, Vermont, a former Galion, Ohio resident, passed away Tuesday evening, June 27, 2017 at Allenwood in South Burlington, Vermont, with his daughter and caregivers at his side.

He was born October 5, 1918 in Wyandot County, Ohio and was the son of Pearl H. and Amber G. (Bridge) Cottrell. On December 29, 1942 he married Mary A. Wickersham, and they enjoyed 70 years of marriage until her passing on February 14, 2013.

He was a 1936 graduate of Harpster High School and went on to receive his Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Ohio Northern University in 1940, where he was a member of the Kappa Delta Pi fraternity. He later earned his Masters degree in Education from Ohio University in 1953. Dick served in the European theater of operations during World War II in the United States Army Air Corps, 19th Supply Squadron of the 19th Air Depot Group.

A life-long educator, he was an elementary teacher, band director, and principal for many years at Marseilles, Sunbury, Amanda, and Coshocton School Systems. He retired from the Newark Public Schools after nearly 20 years as an Assistant Superintendent in curriculum development. Throughout his career, Dick demonstrated his deep belief the power of education. He had a special knack with, and often served as an advocate for, students of all abilities. He retained his sound judgment, dignity, sense of humor, and keen interest in life until the end.

He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Galion and a former member of the Second Presbyterian Church in Newark. He was a member of many professional and civic organizations and served on Boards of Directors for several non-profit organizations in Licking County, Ohio. After they both retired from public education, he and Mary enjoyed a long retirement with many happy winters in Florida.

Music was always a part of Richard’s life. In addition to his early work in music education, he sang in choral groups throughout his life, and played piano and organ. His most distinctive instrument was the carillon, a set of bells installed in a bell tower of the Second Presbyterian Church in Newark, Ohio. After formally studying carillon technique, he served as the church carillonneur for many years, playing regularly after weekly services and for special concerts.


Richard is survived by his daughter Janet Cottrell of Vermont; grandchildren Joanne (Matt) Stafford-Sorrell of Virginia and Jeanette Stafford of North Carolina; his sister Doris and brother-in-law Clarence “Clem” Borg of Grove City, Ohio; son-in-law Jim Stafford of Peru, New York; and his nieces and cousins. In addition to his parents and wife, he was preceded in death by his daughter Judith Stafford and his brother John Cottrell.

A memorial service will be held at Richardson Davis Chapel of Snyder Funeral Homes, 218 South Market St., Galion, Ohio 44833 with calling hours at 1:00 p.m. and the service at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, July 7, 2017 with Pastor Joseph Stafford officiating. Private burial will be in Fairview Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of your choice or to the First Presbyterian Church of Galion in care of the funeral home.

Richardson Davis Chapel of Snyder Funeral Homes in Galion is honored to serve the family of Richard Cottrell, and condolences may be made to them at

  • Doris and Clem and family, we are sorry to read about the death of your Brother. Know that we are thinking of you and your family. May he rest in peace.

  • To the families of Dick,
    My thoughts are with your family in the loss of your loved one. Dick was a super person and loved by all that knew him. His knowledge of music was great and I enjoyed his expertise as we were at First Presbyterian in Galion at the same time.

    Ruby Cover

  • Doris, Clem and Families,
    Please accept our sympathies and prayers for the passing of Richard.
    The Ron Nelson Family

  • I had the pleasure of working with Richard at the Newark City Schools. His office was next to the office for the school television station, WGSF, at 19 North Fifth Street, in Newark. He represented the Newark Schools at the meetings of the Ohio Educational Television Foundation. In later years it was a pleasure to visit at the Newark School’s Retired Administrators luncheons. We will miss him.

  • To the Dick Cottrell family,
    I came to the Newark area in 1968 as an elementary teacher. One of the first administrators I met was Dick. I had a great association with him for a number of years. He was extremely friendly and supportive of all the teachers. Dick was very knowledgeable of new ideas that teachers might want to use for age-old problems. He was instrumental in many innovative programs.
    I greatly admired him and have always considered him a friend. I am sure that many others did also.
    He will be missed by those who knew and served under him.
    Many the family rejoice in having been touched by such as he.
    Sincerely, Rod Lawyer

  • So sorry to hear of Dick’s passing. He had enough confidence in me to hire me on a temporary teaching certificate to teach first graders at McGuffy Elementary in Newark. That launched my career as I completed my ministry in christian and public education.

    I did not know that Judy passed also. We were in girl scouts together and I always knew that she was a special person. May God give you peace and comfort in these days.