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David "Dave" L. Cotten entered this life on November 19, 1940, Ada, OK and departed on Sept 6, 2017 after he lost his courageous battle with cancer. He is survived by his wife Sherry A. Cotten of the home in Ringwood, OK, sister Sherrie Russom of Cleveland, OK, sister-in-law Bonnie Cotten of Garland, TX, adopted sons, Chris and Mike Cotten of Oklahoma City, OK, brother-in-law, Jim and Teresa Taylor of Ringwood, OK, sister-in-law Linda and husband Leon Rice, and sister-in-law Tena Marshall also of Ringwood, OK. and many nieces and nephews. He also leaves several "adopted" families including alphabetically: Ron and Judy Coday of Pawhuska, OK Penny and Phil Cooper of Austin TX, Annie and Jodie Evans of Manchester, OK, Byron and Wanda Gibson of Jay, OK, John and Carol Gibson of Longview, TX, Rick and Sheila Hirschenbein of Chicago, ILL, Les and Susie Jacobs of Cassville, MO, and all their children, grandchildren, and extended families that supported and cheered Dave so much during the past few months. He considered all of them as brothers and sisters. He will surely be missed by many.
Dave was preceded in death by his father and mother, Buster M. & Franchelle Stockton Cotten, of Pawhuska, OK, and brother, Tom Cotten of Garland, TX.
Growing up in Pawhuska, OK, he graduated high school in 1959 and was lead drummer, with state honors and was a gifted swimmer and diver. He joined the United States Air Force and later studied at Northwestern State College, Alva, OK graduating with a Bachelors of Arts degree in 1969. Further studies included George Williams College in Chicago, Ill, and completing his Masters degree at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, TX in 1976
His service in the Air Force included an extended tour of duty in Pakistan where he was honored with a handshake from Queen Elizabeth despite protocol. He was later discharged at Vance Air Force Base, Enid, OK. He received his discharge in mid-air while free falling in skydive making him the first in U.S. history to receive his honorable discharge in mid-air. Dave would continue this life-long hobby of skydiving with over 300 jumps.
Dave began his social service career at Helena State School for Boys starting as house parent later advancing to social work supervisor. In 1980 he transferred to Oklahoma Juvenile Treatment Center in Tecumseh as deputy superintendent. He served as Satellite Coordinator in Guymon and later Fairview for Western State Psychiatric Center, Dept. of Mental Health for the State of Oklahoma. He retired in 2003 after 25 years of service. Dave then began private practice as a therapist until 2012, at which time he became a avid fisherman. Dave was well known for his beautiful calligraphy, and artistic ability. (A famous painting or maybe an "infamous painting" of Dave's was passed back and forth through memorable practical jokes across the country for over 50 years and now resides with the Darrin Jacobs family in Missouri). Dave always had an uncanny ability to solve crossword and sudoku puzzles, and was the best speller and poet we have known.
Final arrangements are being made with the Lanman Funeral Home, Helena, OK. A memorial service will be planned at a later date. Rest in Peace, Dave Cotten.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Integris Cancer Institute, Bass Integris Baptist Health Center, Enid, OK., to benefit local cancer patients, American Cancer Association, or a charity of your choice.
A Special Note from the Family:
To all our family and Friends:
We are not having a funeral. As you know Dave was rather non traditional. It just doesn't seem a proper fit. We will have a celebration of his life sometime later. During his last week he helped me with the decision to rebuild his beloved boathouse. Turns out it was also terminal. They ended up going at the same time. Our current thinking is that we will celebrate and remember Dave once the new one is in place. I think he would like that because the lake is where he wants his remains.
Thanks and Love to you all,
Expressions from friends and relatives
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May this tribute bring comforting words and pleasant memories during this difficult time. It
has been an honor serving your family.
Lanman Funeral Home Staff
Sherry, I am so sorry to hear about Dave. He was a very special person and will be missed.
Sending thoughts and prayers to you and your family.
Sherry you know I thought the world of Dave. So easy to work for, always kind and thought. I know this is a hard time for you. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
Lanman Funeral Home Inc.
309 E. 4th
1305 S. Grand
204 N. 7th
209 N. Main
108 W. Cherokee St.
Medford, OK 73759