Cottrell worked to help others

Community mourns loss of man who dedicated his life for people

Alfonzie Cottrell spent most of his life helping others, especially the people of Century.. The 81-year old Century native died Monday, Aug. 26, leaving heavy hearts for those who knew him best.

"He was a very respectful and honorable person who helped a lot of people," said Sandra McMurray-Jackson. "He was a wonderful man."

Mrs. Jackson said Cottrell was famous for his turnip green patches he planted at various areas across Century and opened them up for anybody to pick when they were ready.

"He loved his church, his family and he loved Century," Mrs. Jackson said. "He will be missed."

Family hour for Cottrell will be held Friday, Aug. 30, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Edward Point Christian Church on Alger Road in Century. His funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 31, at the church.

Sherry Johnson, Cottrell's sister, said her brother had been in the hospital since April but said he still had a big heart and wanted to help others.

He was born and raised in Century and graduated from Carver High School. He worked at several different places and retired from Exxon.

"He did a lot of things for people they didn't even know about," his sister said. "He was always willing to help. He loved to garden and loved to fish."

She added that he often worked at Edward Point Christian Church and served as a deacon at the church for 55 years.

Former Century Mayor Freddie McCall, Sr., said although he and Cottrell sometimes butted heads over the politics of Century, he said there was no doubt Cottrell loved the town and the people.

"I appreciated him keeping Century at heart," McCall said. "He was good for the community and very community minded. He loved Century very much."

Robert Mitchell said he and Cottrell had been friends for longer than he can remember and will miss him greatly. Mitchell said he had visited Cottrell at the hospital Monday night and was on his way home when he got the call that Cottrell had died.

"He was very interested in seeing a better Century for all people," Mitchell said. "He believed in helping others and he got a blessing by helping people."

Mitchell also said Cottrell wasn't afraid to speak up when he thought changes needed to be made.

"He rode around town a lot and just looked," Mitchell said. "He was always trying to come up with ways to help people."

Mitchell said Cottrell lived by the Golden Rule - "Do unto others as you would have done unto you".

"He started planting that little garden and then it just grew to several locations," Mitchell said. "Once things were ready to be picked he'd get the word out for everybody to stop by."

"He's going to be missed in Century," Mitchell added. "He always spoked up for what he believed in. I already miss him."

Mitchell said he and Cottrell spent a lot of time sitting down and thinking about how to help Century.

"He did all he could to make this community a better place for others," Mitchell said. "I won't forget him. It was always about something he could do for Century."

Century resident Robert Tims echoed the statements of others that Cottrell spent his life trying to help the people of Century.

"He was a great guy," Tims said. "He was like a father to me. He was a people person and he was always looking to help people."

"He planted that garden every year to help feed everybody," Tims added. "I'm sure going to miss him and the people of Century are going to miss him."

Century Mayor Henry Hawkins said Cottrell always stood up for the people of Century.

"He was always a voice to help make things better for the people of Century," Hawkins said.