Kenneth, 88, was born to Leron Edward Cottle and Mildred Maxine Elliott on January 5, 1932 in Hobbs, NM. At the age of 13, he and his family moved to Brady, TX where Kenneth, after skipping the 8th grade, began 9th grade in the Brady school district.
Later in that year they moved to Rochelle, TX. He attended High School in Rochelle and graduated, Co-Valedictorian in 1949. After attending three years of college (Tarleton State College and the University of Texas in Austin), he entered Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, TX, where he graduated eighth in his class academically.
In 1957, Kenneth entered the US Air Force taking his basic orientation course for Officers of the Medical Service at Gunter AFB, AL and Primary Course in Aviation Medicine, School of Aviation Medicine at Brooks AFB. He was then stationed at Truax Field, WI, 3rd Air Division HQ (ADC) where he was Chief of Aerospace Medicine. In 1963 he had Phase I Residency in Aerospace Medicine at Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, MA where he received a Master of Public Health degree. Phase II Residency in Aerospace Medicine was at the School of Aerospace Medicine at Brooks AFB, San Antonio, TX. The final Phase III was at Edwards AFB, California. Kenneth was the Flight Surgeon for the first two groups of military astronauts selected for the Manned Orbiting Laboratory. He provided medical care for the astronauts and their families, as well.
During the Vietnam War he was the Dispensary Commander at Udorn RTAFB in Thailand and flew 40 combat missions over Laos and North Vietnam in A1-E aircraft with 602nd Fighter Squadron. He received multiple Air Medals as well as a Distinguished Flying Cross.
After returning from his second tour of Vietnam he was the Hospital Commander at Columbus AFB, MS. He also served as Medical Member 2nd AF (SAC) Accident Investigation Team.
Prior to his resignation from the Air Force in 1971 as a Lieutenant Colonel, he was a US Air Force Inspector General at Norton AFB, CA.
Kenneth entered Private Practice in Jasper, TX where he practiced Family Medicine for 21 years. After retiring from the practice he began doing Emergency Medicine for the next few years until fully retiring and settling at the golf community of Emerald Bay on Lake Palestine, south of Tyler, TX.
Kenneth is survived by his wife of 45 years, Charlsie Cottle; two daughters; Diana Lansing of Dallas, TX and Jeanenne Carr (Freddie Ingram) of North Myrtle Beach, SC and step-son, Jody Spann (Lynn) of Andalusia, AL. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Michael (Jessica), Eddy, Rebecca (Pat), Sean and Emma and three great-grandchildren.
Kenneth was predeceased by his son, Kevin Cottle; sister, Annell Smith and brother, Arlis “Bud” Cottle.
As per his request there will be no memorial service. His remains will be interred at the DFW National Cemetery on December 21, 2020 at 12:30 PM.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Alzheimer's Association, Disabled American Veterans, or the Wounded Warriors.