Brian Nelson Cottle, 58, returned to stardust on Saturday, June 17, 2017, surrounded by love at the Cottle Ranch.
Alzheimer’s disease killed him but nothing can take away the memories of the incredible person whose life was lived at full speed, fueled by curiosity, courage, brilliance, love, laughter, honesty, and a total lack of inhibition and disdain for convention.
A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, June 24 at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 2615 Shepard Blvd. in Columbia. Drop-in and visit with family and friends from 1:00-5:00 p.m.
Brian was born at Boone Hospital on Nov. 2, 1958, to Ken and Billie Cottle. A lightning bolt from the start, Brian survived falling into a manhole at age 3, crashing through a car windshield, sub-zero winter camping with his Boy Scout troop, climbing anything climbable, swimming and canoeing, attending Hickman High School and working as an electrician’s apprentice.
His life was forever changed on May 6, 1976, when he was severely injured in a car accident that took the life of his best friend Kenny Brown. From that time, Brian doubled the speed at which he lived life, never wasting a moment and trying to experience everything that life had to offer. His adventures included skydiving, solo hikes in the Tetons and Yellowstone, and mountain climbing.
At age 18, Brian started working at KOMU-TV. He became a skilled director and producer, known for his ability to do anything and everything needed in the chaotic and changing TV business.
In the brief, and only, time that Brian lived out of Boone County, he worked at KOTV in Tulsa, Okla. where he met Amelia Miner. Thus began a new adventure!
After an Alaska hiking honeymoon, Brian and Amelia moved back to Columbia. Brian returned to work at KOMU-TV and worked there until his medical retirement. KOMU was his second home and his second family.
In addition to the hours spent at KOMU, the whirlwind that was Brian remodeled a house, welcomed a son, Christopher, and remodeled another house known as the Cottle Ranch. He never stopped learning, creating, or working. His computer skills and his carpentry skills were always in demand. His ability to fix anything (except engines) was only topped by his beer drinking skills. The Beast liked his beer!
Brian also served his hometown through volunteer service; known as an active and knowledgeable board member, he was passionate about environmental issues and reasonable solutions to problems that others saw as complex and baffling.
His favorite volunteer activities were at Rock Bridge Memorial State Park which is a neighbor to the Cottle Ranch. Brian spent many long hours doing litter cleanup, removal of invasive plants and rusty barbed wire and participating in controlled burns. Litter was a particular irritant and Brian always came back from a walk with debris he picked up. Missouri State Parks recognized Brian with the 2013 Masterpiece Award as the outstanding volunteer at Rock Bridge State Park.
In addition to Amelia and Christopher, Brian’s loving family includes his parents, Ken and Billie Cottle; brothers, Barry and Brice, their families and many others who will miss Brian deeply.
If you would like to honor Brian’s memory, please donate to these causes that he was passionate about:
Rock Bridge Memorial State Park Stewardship Fund to continue maintaining, cleaning and improving the park through volunteer sweat and commitment.
The Greater Missouri Alzheimer’s Association education fund to keep up the work of educating, advocating and agitating to combat Alzheimer’s disease or Team Cottle for Walk to End Alzheimer’s.
It took a village to travel through Alzheimer’s; Amelia and Christopher thank family, friends, the medical teams, support groups and Hospice Compassus for walking with us.
Brian and his family shared their journey and did not shy away from the realities that came down like thunderbolts to the heart. Brian has completed his walk and now leaves his loved ones to continue on the trail and pick up the litter.
Donate to Alzheimer’s organization
Rock Bridge Memorial State Park - specify Rock Bridge Stewardship Fund in the comments.