Emery E. “Bud” Cotton

Emery E. “Bud” Cotton

January 20, 1934 – March 25, 2023

Preceded by wife, Mary Lou. Survived by children: Jim (Jane), David (Margaret), Theresa Hessel (Ken), Rita Thacker (Dave Albertson); sisters, Rosie and Pearl; grandchildren; and great-grandchildren.

ROSARY: Thursday, March 30th, 9:30am, followed by MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL at 10am, at St. Gerald Catholic Church. Interment: Calvary Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials to National Kidney Foundation.

To view a live broadcast of the Mass, please visit www.heafeyheafey.com and click the “View Live Cast” button at the top of the home page.

Emery “Bud” Cotton was born on January 20, 1934, in Crittenden, KY. He was the 3rd child and the first son in a family of 11. He left us on March 25, 2023, in Omaha, NE, the father of a family of 6. Here is what happened in between times:

Bud graduated from Walton-Verona High School when doing so was not the norm for children in his area. His graduation coincided with the Korean War. He enlisted in the Air Force and served his full enlistment period. He worked as a mechanic on airplanes and was eventually stationed at Offutt Air Force Base. While at Offutt, he met the love of his life, Mary Lou Zuroske, a young Catholic girl. Bud took religious instruction from The Rev Daniel Sheehan (Archbishop Sheehan) and joined the Church around this time.

Bud and Mary Lou had 4 children, James, David, Theresa, and Rita, 12 grandchildren, and numerous great-grandchildren. They were married 59 years before Mary Lou passed away in October of 2021.

Bud was clever and could fix about anything with about anything. He landed a job with OPPD, where he worked his way through different job categories, eventually training to be a mechanic and finally a working foreman. He always enjoyed the challenge of fixing what was wrong with a car or any other mechanical, electrical, or plumbing challenge. Shortly before moving to an independent living facility, he spent hours on a washing machine project. He googled the problem and bought a part online. It took multiple attempts, but in the end, he fixed that ornery machine.

Bud and Mary Lou raised their family in the Benson area. They attended St. Pius X Catholic Church and sacrificed to send their children to the church’s school. As empty-nesters, they moved southwest and attended Mary Our Queen Catholic Church. Bud moved to the South View Heights senior living community in March of 2022. There he continued to receive Holy Communion from his St. Gerald’s EME son, Dave.

Dad didn’t have many interests outside of caring for his family. He was interested in NASCAR and, for many years, followed the sport with a keen eye. He was engaged in world events and discussed them on family visits. Lately, however, those eyes were fading, and his hearing declining. But even in the hospital in his last days, he’d ask about the grandkids, family forever first on his mind.

Our Dad was kind and had a wonderful sense of humor. He enjoyed playing tricks on us until the end. He was an amazing Dad, a scrupulously honest and hard-working man. A member of his Southview community described him as the “nicest man.”  He was our rock when Mom died. We are lost without him.


  • Lori Bertolino Kusnerik Posted March 29, 2023 4:21 pm

    I am so very sorry about Uncle Bud. I am not sure my mom (Rosie) will understand or not. I will see her Mother’s Day. I will keep you all in my prayers. Until we meet again, Uncle Bud.

  • Dalton Sherry Posted March 30, 2023 10:33 am

    I love it when they visited, Kentucky, As a young girl we drove to Nebraska for a visit one summer. Aunt Marylou and uncle Bud were so easy to talk to and be around. I missed her so much after she passed. Now he’s gone, him and mom loved to play jokes on each other. Both are gone now. See you all later. Prayers for his children.

  • Walt Bures Posted April 6, 2023 9:08 pm

    My sympathies to the family. I miss two of the nicest neighbors anyone could have. I was out of town the day of Emery’s visitation and service.

  • Pearl Cotton Rogers Richardson Posted August 2, 2023 4:20 pm

    Brothers are Forever and Bud wss one of mine! Over the years we talked of many things and shared our memories of times when we were growing up in Walton, Kentucky, a small farming community. I am so thankful that I know that we will see him again when our Lord calls us Home! I love him very much.

Sign Guestbook

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *