Borough, Wasilla mayors remember late Bert Cottle
Cottle leaves behind a legacy in the Mat-Su Borough, Valdez and the State of Alaska
Wasilla, Alaska (KTUU) - Matanuska-Susitna Borough residents are grieving after learning that former Wasilla Mayor Bert Cottle passed away earlier this week.
Those who worked closely with Cottle, like Borough Mayor Edna DeVries and current Wasilla Mayor Glenda Ledford, shared the same sentiment: it’s a tremendous loss for Alaska.
“He was a true Alaskan,” Ledford said. “He lived and breathed Wasilla.”
Cottle served two consecutive terms as Mayor of Wasilla from 2014 until 2020. After graduating from Trinidad State College in Colorado, Cottle became a long-term resident of Valdez, serving on their police force for 22 years. After serving his last seven years as police chief he retired from law enforcement in 1996, remaining an active member of the Valdez community.
Cottle returned to public service in 2000, serving as Mayor of Valdez until 2010.
In 2011, Cottle moved back home to Wasilla where he became mayor three years later. He held that office at the same time DeVries was Mayor of Palmer, who recalls the friendly rivalry she and Cottle had during Potato Bowl football games between the two competing towns.
“When his term was completed I think I had racked up, I think like five lunches that he owed me,” DeVries laughed.
Instead of cashing in those lunches, however, DeVries and Cottle agreed to auction them off to raise money for an organization.
“That was the kind of guy he was.”
DeVries said the competition only occurred on the football field, and that Cottle wholeheartedly supported both Wasilla and Palmer. He also remained an avid supporter of the local police force by helping Wasilla Police Department establish a new headquarters in 2019.
“It’s with real grief in our hearts that we reach out to the family, not only on behalf of myself as Mayor of the borough, but as our whole community as we go through this grieving process and remember him with highest honors.”
Bert Cottle was 69 years old.
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