David Joseph Cotes, age 82, of Palestine, Ohio passed away on November 14 after a short stay in the hospital. He was preceded in death by his wife, Sallie (Eidson) Cotes, his brother Douglas (Ann) Cotes, as well as his parents Albert & Ruth Cotes. He is survived by his daughter Cindie (Otis) Lanham of Moscow, Ohio, his sisters Judy (David) Lance & Jane (Kerry) Flickner, as well as his beloved companion, LaWilda (Will) Braun. He also leaves behind numerous nieces & nephews as well as many friends. He was a remarkable man, a jack of all trades and in his own words "If I don't have it, you don't need it!" The following was written by his nephew, Kerry Flickner & says more about my father than anything I could compose. If I may, I feel compelled to share just a few of thoughts and memories of your father. My heart deeply aches….for I had a special connection with him…..he was a true and important mentor to me during a tough time in my early adolescence, which I know to this day I still carry his influences….and surely over the years have passed along to my son. This is a beautiful thing, isn't it? The winter of 77…...I was in 7th grade and your dad was building the A-Frame on Palestine and I asked if I could help. He would pick me up on the weekends in his old 50's era lime green pick-up truck….no heat….and it usually broke down somewhere between my house and New Richmond. That's where I learned how to file the points on an engine to get it running again…..as well as a few creative superlatives suited for a broke down truck on the side of the road in 10 degree weather. Some kids may have been shocked or scared by these "expressions"….but I could only hold back my smile……in a strange way I felt "honored" that he was being real….and I remember feeling a sense of acceptance…..as in a coming of age. The a-frame was just a shell back then….no windows….only a plywood door….and the cold air was always filled with the smell of fresh cut saw dust and cigar smoke….a bold cologne in my opinion. If we could find a way to bottle this scent, I'm sure it would sell by the case at Cabela's or Bass Pro! Thanks to your dad, this is where I also "acquired' my taste for coffee…..but only by default. When one is borderline hypothermia….holding and sipping on a hot cup of joe…..is pure bliss. I remember there were only two things that kept me warm…..helping hold a sheet of drywall over my head…..shoulders screaming, while I patiently waited for him to sink a few nails (nails back then)……..and of course a hot black Folgers coffee. I still prefer the coffee. So…..my a-frame work days consisted of freezing my ass off…..and often, often hitting a cold finger with a cold steel hammer. When this happened, the single thing that made it feel better was letting out one of the many adult expressions for these situations (only allowed of me at the a-frame)…...and it was always followed up by one of your dads empathetic sound bite analogies….supporting my suffering in a way that would make me smile in my pain. I remember I couldn't wait for your mom to show up because that meant it was lunch time. We would go a few houses down to Mr. Ed's, where your mom would hand out the days sandwich's (peanut butter and lettuce for me…..really!?) and I would lick my wounds and try to thaw my fingers and toes. I guess your mom had something against smucker's…..either way…..I ended up looking forward to those peanut butter and lettuce samy's….amazing what taste good when you're cold, tired, and hungry! It sad to be sitting here in Denver….remembering the joy and humor Uncle Dave brought to the room…...wishing I could have/should have throughout the many years, taken him up on all those open door invitations he extended to come visit. Few men are like your father…..I'm blessed to have had him as a mentor and a friend. Kerry.0 The family requests that no flowers be sent and in lieu a donation to the Shrine Burns Institute be made. There will be no formal services, however family & friends are invited to attend a celebration of Dave's life at his residence on Sunday November 25th from 2 PM to ?
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Published in The Cincinnati Enquirer on Nov. 18, 2012.