Warren Raleigh Cottrell 1936
Contributor: timothygcross Created: 8 months ago Updated: 8 months ago
Interview about Warren Raleigh Cottrell
15 Jan 1936 - 26 Jun 1977
By Elizabeth Cottrell Merrell
I interviewed my mother, Michal Doxey Cottrell Marin Miller about her first husband, my father, Warren Raleigh Cottrell. The interview took place Tuesday, 19 January 2016.
Warren Raleigh Cottrell was born on 15 January 1936, in Fresno, California. He is the fourth and youngest child of Lee (Leo) Raleigh Cottrell and Elizabeth Hamlin Murray. His siblings are Lee, Norma, and Reed. My mom and dad met through their relatives. Warren’s sister, Norma, is my mom, Michal’s, aunt. She is married to Michal’s mother’s brother, Wen Winegar. When Michal was 15 years old, she went with Wen and Norma Winegar to the Rose Bowl Parade for the first time. She was brought along to help babysit while the adults took the young men from their ward to see the parade. It sounds like these trips happened more than once and Michal always went along to babysit. She said that they stayed in Aunt Norma’s oldest brother’s house (Uncle Lee and Aunt Liz) in Los Angeles. It was while in California that she met Warren (who was 23 when she was 15), Aunt Norma’s youngest brother. They married three years later, after his mission. Michal said that many people were shocked when they married because they thought they were already blood-related.
When Warren was in his early to mid-twenties, his bishop was working with him to serve a mission. At this time, he was engaged to a girl named Carol, who was investigating the church. Warren loved her but it didn’t feel right. After a meeting with the bishop, he came home, went in his mother’s room to read his patriarchal blessing, and then prayed. After the prayer, he started walking down the hall and felt something brush by him. Then he heard a voice, “Go on a mission.” That decided it. He was soon called to serve in the British Isles Mission, spending time in England, Ireland, and Scotland. Carol said she would wait for him and marry him when he got home. Her letters were few, and she was married to someone else before he got home. After his mission, he lived in Utah with Wen and Norma, and reconnected with my mom.
They married 21 December 1962, in the Manti, Utah, LDS temple. Michael was 18 years old, almost 19, and Warren was 26, almost 27 years old. Both of their birthdays are in January. Michal, at this time, was busy with going to the University of Utah (I think just one semester), working, and fulfilling a calling as Sports Director for the Young Women in her LDS ward. Warren was working at Litton Industries on North Temple, making parts for something in the space industry (Michal is unsure of exactly what he made there).
After their oldest child, Timothy Ralph, was born (18 November 1963), Michal and Warren decided to move to California. They decided that there were more opportunities for them there. Warren was able to get into a program sponsored through RCA to learn computer programming—the way of the future! He went to some kind of a technical school (Michal couldn’t remember the name) and was soon offered his first “real” job with First Western Bank, working on their computers, while still in school. He would work nights, entering all of the earlier day’s transactions into the system. The computers were huge, big box looking things with two wheels on the front of each one. The floors underneath were full of wires and cables.
When they first moved to California, they lived with Warren’s brother, Reed and his wife, Erlene and their family in Pacifica, for a few months before securing their first apartment in Oakland, and a few years later, their first house in Hayward at 28093 East 11th Street.