Matthew James Cottrell, age 64, died at home in Columbia, Maryland, on Saturday, August 10, 2019, succumbing to complications from cancer.
He was born on December 27, 1954, in Cincinnati, Ohio, the youngest child of Ferris Ronald Cottrell and Ruthanna Cottrell, and baby brother of Ronald and Cyrus. He is survived by: his beloved wife of forty years, Connie Miracle; his brothers Ron and Cy; sisters-in-law Stacy (Ron) and Hollis (Cy); niece Sarah Lafave (Aerik) and nephews Christian Cottrell (Lisa) and Brendan Cottrell (Brooke); and many great-nieces and -nephews.
He was interested in everything, including the mysteries of the universe, as evidenced by a bachelor’s degree in Astronomy, a master’s in Astrophysics, and a Ph.D. in Physics. He enjoyed his career in the private sector doing varied, highly classified work for the government. He also was a passionate electronics hobbyist and a masterful woodworker.
He was a good man, a stoic man, a cerebral man, almost a Renaissance man. He loved good food (and cooking it), good libations (and drinking it), good music (favorite group, Procol Harum), and good times with good friends.
Matthew took on the battle with cancer a decade ago and fought with bravery, relentless logic, and humor. Much like the Black Knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail (so typical of Matthew’s sense of humor), when he lost his thyroid, it was “just a flesh wound.” When he lost the first kidney, it was no big deal — he had a second one — and on and on. Cancer ultimately may have taken Matthew Cottrell’s life, but it never took his dry humor or his quiet love of family and friends.