Obituary of Sandra Lee Cottrell
Sandra Lee Cottrell
1944 - 2023
Be still and know that I am with you. Psalm 46:10
The world lost a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, Sandy Cottrell, on September 9, 2023. Sandy battled diabetes and atrial fibrillation. Sandy died at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, MN and was surrounded by family. She was 79.
Sandy was born to Walter and Audray (Heddens) Derby in Wadena, MN on August 12, 1944. She grew up on a family dairy farm three and a half miles south of Verndale, MN. Sandy drove the tractors, picked rock (even though she hated it), and made many breakfasts for the family. She graduated from Verndale High School and then Wadena Vocational College. Norman and Sandy had fallen in love in their junior year of high school. She married Norman Cottrell in 1964 at the Methodist Church in Verndale. Later, they had three children, Shanda, Sheldon, and Lane.
Throughout her life, Sandy enjoyed camping, birds, outdoor adventures on snowmobiles and ATVs, her dogs, like Tank, and spending time with family. She first worked for Toro in the Minneapolis area, then at Walter’s Publishing in Waseca, and for 25 years with the Owatonna Public School District. Her favorite pastimes were watching the animals and visiting with family and friends - especially watching her grandchildren and great grandchildren grow. One of her goals was to see her granddaughter, Ava, graduate. A ceremony was held at the hospital to achieve that goal. Sandy’s love and spunkiness live on in many of her descendants. She taught them well!
A memorial service will take place at 11 am on Friday, Sept. 29 at Verndale Alliance Church, 109 NW Brown Street, in Verndale, MN. The visitation will be one hour prior at the church. There will be a burial of the urn at the grave in Greenlawn Cemetery. Afterward, all are welcome for a Celebration of Life luncheon in the Fellowship Hall at the church.
Sandy is survived by her loving husband of 59 years, Norman Cottrell, her daughter Shanda (Darwin) Roesler, her son Lane Cottrell, as well as grandchildren, Amanda (Jeremyas) Schultz, Khole Wheeler, Ava Cottrell, and great-grandchildren, Mackenzie and Makenna Schultz, and Phelix Wheeler. She is also survived by her brother, Theodore Derby and sister, Jody Holmvig.
She was preceded in death by a son, Sheldon (“Bubba”) at 18 months old, her parents, and a brother, Donald Derby.