Nova Lee Cottrell, 86, Perry, passed away Sunday, April 5, 2020, at home. She was born November 19, 1933, at Williamstown, the daughter of Willard M. and Genevieve Robohn Viles. She attended grade school at Oak Grove, a small one-room country school in Williamstown, and later attended schools in Desoto and Leavenworth. She was a longtime resident of the Perry area.
Nova was an accomplished seamstress, wonderful cook, and enjoyed collecting antiques and refinishing furniture. She worked at Jostens in Topeka and retired as a group leader after twenty-one years of service. She loved getting her family together for holiday dinners and especially loved spending time with all of her grandchildren.
She was a member of the Perry United Methodist Church. While her children were growing up she served on church committees and helped with Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.
Nova married the love of her life, Donald Gene Cottrell, on December 24, 1949, in Topeka. He passed away on December 1, 2019. They would have celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary this past Christmas Eve.
After retirement they took on the project of saving the historical Charles Curtis House at 11th Street and Topeka Boulevard in Topeka in 1993. Curtis was the first Native American to ever reach the high office of vice president of the United States. Now known as the Charles Curtis House Museum, it is one of the historical attractions of Topeka. Nova enjoyed giving tours and telling the history of Charles Curtis. Nova and Don became friends to all who toured the house.
The Topeka Cemetery has offered honorary grave space for the Cottrell’s near the grave of Vice President Charles Curtis where the family plans to place a memorial stone.
Mrs. Cottrell is survived by one daughter, Patricia J. “Patty” (Rob) Dannenberg, Perry; two sons, Donald E. “Gene” Cottrell, and James E. Cottrell, both Perry; six grandchildren, Holly Colbert, Lecompton, Dustin Cottrell, Perry, Wade Cottrell, Baldwin City, Wes Cottrell, Perry, Donnie Cottrell, Topeka, Jacob Cottrell, Norfolk, Virginia; thirteen great-grandchildren; one sister, Annette Rhoades, Tyler, Texas; and many cousins, nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by two sisters, Geneva Miller and Rosalie McQueen, and one grandson, infant Donald E. Cottrell.
A private family service will be held at a later date. Memorials may be made to Jefferson County Friends of Hospice or Perry United Methodist Church in care of Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home, 601 Indiana Street, Lawrence, KS 66044.