Home / Empty Saddles / Virgil "Dink" Cotrell 1935-2014
Posted on Feb 10, 2013
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Virgil "Dink" Cotrell 1935-2014

 Dink was born in Vilas, Colorado in his parents home on January 12, 1935 to Virgil and Opal Thompson Cottrell. The family moved to Montrose, Colorado where Dink graduated from high school. The family had a rodeo stock contracting business and produced professional and amature rodeos in Western Colorado. As a teenager, his father was in poor health and most of the responsibility of putting on the rodeos fell on his shoulders. He also started producing jr. rodeos for boys 12 to 18 years old. This caused him to be featured in a nationally syndicated publication called The American Magazine that wrote a brief article on his rodeo background. Following graduation from high school he enrolled in college at Colorado State University. Dink was a member of the CSU rodeo team competing in the calf roping and steer wrestling events. It was there that he met the love of his life, Nona Painter. Nona was also attending CSU and a member of the rodeo team. After graduating college, Dink and Nona were married in Belle Fourche, SD on June 29, 1958. They moved to Eads, Colorado where Dink began his first job as a County Extension Agent. His two children were born in Eads, Brad Cottrell in 1959 and Debbie Cottrell in 1961. In 1963, the family moved to Albuquerque, NM and Dink began his career as a real estate appraiser and agricultural real estate lender. He continued to compete part time at the professional rodeos in NM and CO until his children got older and began competing in jr. rodeos themselves. He quit competing to provide the support and resources necessary for his children to compete. Dink enjoyed his work but his passion was the cattle business. He made many lasting friendships from the NM ranchers that he bought cattle from. He had the reputation of being very knowledgeable and trustworthy. Dink and Nona retired and moved to Canyon, TX in 1995 to be closer to their children and grandchild. Dink began team roping again and continued to rope and stayed active in the cattle business until the last few months of his life. He was known far and wide for the unlit cigar in his mouth that became his trademark. He leaves a lasting legacy, many friends and he will be greatly missed.


Survivors include his wife, Nona Cottrell; son, Brad Cottrell; daughter, Debbie Cottrell; and granddaughter, Shaye Albert.

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