Dr. Richard Cottle came to Ashland from Kansas in the early 1950′s. He was a lawyer who practiced law for more than forty years. He was a municipal judge in Ashland as well as a city councilman. He was named Ashland Chamber Man of the Year. And many people know him because he was a member of the Firehouse Five and the Easy Valley Eight.
I first met Dr. Cottle when I took Business Law at Southern Oregon State College. He loved to tell the story of how I would always complain that the law was not fair; and he would reply, it may not be fair, but it’s the law. That was a hard lesson for me.
Over time, Dick Cottle became a friend and mentor to my husband and me. We got to know his wife and his children and their families; he became a friend to our children as well. We all felt special to be included in his group of family and friends.
When I told Dick the lawyer jokes that I knew he never laughed; instead he seemed to shake his head in disbelief. “How did things come to this?” he seemed to be thinking. Well, I hope he knows that I really was just trying to make him laugh. I will close with one of those jokes.
A man and his young daughter were walking through a graveyard observing the varied gravestones when they ran across one that read: Here Lies a Lawyer and a Good Man. The young lady thought a moment and stated: Look Dad, they buried two people in this grave!
Or maybe just one great man. We miss you Doc.