Emery E. “Bud” Cotton

Emery E. Cotton

January 20, 1934 – March 25, 2023

Emery “Bud” Cotton was born on January 20th, 1934, in Crittenden, KY. He was the 3rd child and the first son in a family of 11. He left us on March 25th, 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 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.

Arrangements pending; complete notice later.




  • Pearl Richardson Posted March 26, 2023 1:45 pm

    Although the miles separated us, we were always close in our hearts. Written words cannot express my grief at this time. Knowing we will be together in eternity brings comfort to my heart 💞. I will be praying for the family that is also grieving at this time.
    Love His Sister, Pearl 💕

  • Carol Menefee, Kentucky niece Posted March 28, 2023 3:33 pm

    Remembering the visits to Grandma’s house in Kentucky that Bud, Mary Lou and their children made. It was always good to see them.
    Keeping you in my prayers.

  • Jennifer Blaze , great niece Posted March 28, 2023 4:06 pm

    I too remember the many visits to Kentucky from Uncle Bud , Mary Lou , Theresa and Rita . Thoughts and prayers for you all.

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