Cover photo for David Cottrell's Obituary
David Cottrell Profile Photo

David Cottrell

d. June 26, 2023

North Cove

Early morning Monday, June 26 th , David Henry Cottrell of North Cove,
Washington passed away from complications following a bicycle accident.
David, first son of cranberry farmers Christine and Walter Cottrell, was born in
Aberdeen in 1958. After graduating from Ocosta High School, he followed a
family tradition of attending Whitman College from 1976- 1980 and later UW
doing post graduate work in Mathematics.

Work in the Alaska canneries and temping in Seattle allowed David and his
brother Francis to start D & F Cottrell Cranberries. Returning to North Cove and
farming, David became active with the Lady Washington and the long boat
educational programs eventually serving as a board member of Grays Harbor
Historical Seaport Authority.

David's out of the box thinking landed him many responsibilities in the
community of North Cove. He served as Vice Chair of the Grayland Cranberry
Association, work group member for the Volunteer Stewardship Program(VSP),
and chairman of Pacific County Drainage Ditch #1(PCDD#1). He used to say
that he took on jobs that paid nothing and had lots of controversy attached.

As PCDD#1 chair, he took on the project of rebuilding the barrier sand dune
that protects the district. He said, “ You can do something or you can do
nothing. If you do nothing you get nothing” Since 2017 David's stewardship has
virtually stopped the devastating erosion that has swallowed homes and habitat
for 100 years.

David is preceded in death by his parents, survived by his wife, Connie Allen,
siblings Francis, Anne married to Eric Spencer, and nephew, Quinn Spencer
along with several cousins.

A Celebration of David's Life will be held at the North Willapa Harbor Grange
3198 State Route 105 on Sunday July 30th 4PM. All are welcome.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to continue his vision for beach
stability at David Cottrell Memorial Fund with the Pacific County Foundation.


“David Cottrell is the quiet giant in the North Cove community. He is
mathematician and a keen observationalist of coastal dynamics such that he
intuitively understands coastal processes better than most coastal engineers. So
naturally, he’s popping up as co-author on our scientific papers, posters, and
presentations on the North Cove nature-based shoreline solutions. You can see
him explaining aspects of the project and coastal response in our 2020
presentations at the virtual ICCE and ASBPA conferences with links at . It was
David’s insight and initiative that started the North Cove dynamic revetment,
which has effectively halted a century-long trend of shoreline retreat and saved
the remaining North Cove community in the process.  He’s an innovator and
problem solver, and works well with everyone.”

George Kaminsky, PhD, PE
Washington Department of Ecology

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of David Cottrell, please visit our flower store.


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