Benjamin Gray Cottrell V, 62, passed away on Friday, July 16, 2021 surrounded by his loving family and close friends. He battled cancers and heart issues for 13 years and finally succumbed to complications from sepsis. Known for his larger than life personality and zest for adventure, Ben was a good friend and dedicated family man. Many of his happiest days were spent in the outdoors hunting in Virginia, Alaska, and Canada or boating alongside his son Gray.
Ben’s children were his primary joy: daughter Sarah Cottrell Russell, (William Douglas Russell Jr.), granddaughter Nancy Gray and son Benjamin Gray Cottrell VI. Ben is survived by his dedicated wife of 30 years, Rebecca Decker Cottrell, his parents, Benjamin and Rachel Cottrell, sister Pace Edwards (Charlie Edwards) and his brother James Merrill Cottrell (Cassandra Cottrell); and four nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his maternal grandparents Grace and Merrill Koser and his paternal grandparents Zenovia and James Cottrell.
Born on June 19, 1959 in Coral Gables, Florida, Ben was a member of The Good Shepherd and Galilee Episcopal Churches. He attended Norfolk Collegiate School and was a graduate of Fork Union Military Academy. He received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from Virginia Military Institute in 1983.
For 30 years Ben presided as President to Cottrell Contracting Corporation, a company that was founded by his grandfather in 1928. During his tenure he led the rapid growth of the company. Ben also served as President of the Dredging Contractors of America several times during his career.
Everyone knew Ben as a generous individual. This was evident in his involvement in numerous organizations: Norfolk Collegiate School, The Williams School, The Hermitage Museum and Gardens, Eastern Virginia Medical School, VMI’s Keydet Club and Vestry at The Church of the Good Shepherd. He also served on the Board of Physicians for Peace.
The DCA will sorely miss Ben and all that he did for the dredging industry throughout his many years in the business.