Howard Vance Cotton

Posted October 4, 2013 at 4:04 pm


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Howard Vance Cotton, 79, son of Henry Wales and Inez Mary Harris Cotton, was born July 8, 1934, in Miller, S.D., and died September 8, 2013 in a Scottsdale, Ariz. hospital.

A memorial service was held in Chandler, Ariz., on September 20.

Howard graduated from St. Lawrence High School in May 1953 and attended the University of South Dakota.

He spent his adult life as a contractor, building houses, apartment complexes and storage buildings. He also owned and operated an Ace Hardware and lumberyard in Valley Springs, S.D. and LaJunta, Colo. for several years.

Always a risk taker, he weathered the ups and downs of a self-made man. Possessing an adventurous spirit, he was also a traveler. He was most recently a resident of Florence, Ariz.

Howard married Janice Walker of Miller in 1955, and to this union four children were born. He worked in lumberyards in Miller, Minnesota, Montana and Wyoming.

He then married Marilyn Henniges and to this union a daughter was born. He later married Martha Solan.

He is survived by one son, Brian (Donna) of Denver, Colo.; four daughters, Liala Ralph of Chandler, Ariz., Laurel (Tony) Waters of Virginia Beach, Va., Cara Schwarz of Newton, Iowa, and Sara Cotton of Mesa, Ariz.; seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

Also mourning his loss are two brothers, Richard (Ellie) of Miller and Tom (Donna) of Valley Springs, S.D.; two sisters, Maxine (Ted) Lamm, Northfield, Minn., and Ardith (Gil) Bristline, Belle Plaine, Minn.; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

Howard was preceded in death by his parents; infant sister Joanne; and older brother, Donald.