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Celebrating the life of
Stella Cottrell
July 19, 1924 - February 12, 2017
Services under the direction of:
Bradshaw Carter
(713) 521-0066
  • Mass of Christian Burial
  • 10:00am - Friday, February 17, 2017
  • St. Anne Catholic Church
  • 2140 Westheimer Road (Map)
    Houston, Texas 77098

  • (713) 526-3276
  • Visitation
  • 5:00pm - Thursday, February 16, 2017
  • Bradshaw Carter
  • 1734 W Alabama St (Map)
    Houston, Tx 77098

  • (713) 521-0066

I work for a summer job 1967 doing odd and end at her travel agency in the Tenneco bldg. i had met her thru her husband Simon Colltrell. I knew her over 50 + yrs. That got me liking the travel agency business for nearly 30 yrs that fall. my prayers and thought for her family

monique charrin, houston, TX

May God's peace surround you all. Aunt Stella was a woman of such class and grace. Praying all your memories bring smiles to your faces and warm your hearts forever.

Stephanie Pickett , New Braunfels , TX

Fond memories of a lovely and caring lady who is was so full of life and love!

Carole Franks and Peggy Copper, London, England, UK

We send the family our sincere condolences and thoughts of peace and courage. As you comprehend your profound loss... let yourself cry knowing that each tear is a note of love rising to the God of the heavens (Psalms 83:18). He knows your pain and suffering and will help you cope with your grief. We have hope according to God's promise at Acts 24:15 of seeing our loved ones again. It is comforting for us to know that God does not cause suffering and that one day it will end. James 1:13; Rev. 21:3,4.

PW, Houston, Texas

My life changed forever on the day after my high-school graduation, when I walked into Stella's downtown Houston office and applied for a summer job. Like a guardian angel on earth, Stella hired me on the spot and provided a job for me during the subsequent 6 summers while I was in college and graduate school. That experience ultimate was responsible for my career as an Executive at American Airlines and Sabre -- and I owe my personal success to Stella. Never was there a kinder angel. Aside from teaching me the travel business, she taught me the values of family, forgiveness, hard work, helping others in need and the fulfillment of bringing to those around us the joy and understanding that only travel can provide. Thank you Stella for all that you did for me and the love you provided to us all throughout your time on earth. I'm comforted that you are alongside Celia and your Frenchman; I will always hold you dear in my heart.

Eric Speck, Vail, CO

I will forever remember your graciousness and your smile. Peace and love to your family.

Beth Flinn Hudson, Victoria, TX

I had the privilege of working with Stella on a personal basis for a nuber of years and she quickly became a close friend. she was a lovely unpretentious God loving woman and will be missed greatly. I know she has gone to see her beloved Frenchman though and his comfortable in God's hands. I wish all of her family Peace during this difficult time.

Anne blackman, houston, tx

Stella Cottrell nee Cruz, a Houston entrepreneur and leader for more than 50 years in the international travel industry, passed away peacefully at home Sunday evening, February 12, 2017, in the care of nieces and loved ones. A native Houstonian, Stella broke new ground in the 1960s, not only as one of Houston’s most successful woman business owners, but also as a Latina. She gained her love of travel through early employment with Trans World Airlines and as a branch manager for Harvey Travel in Houston.

Throughout her life, Stella converted her success into generosity for family, friends, faith-based organizations, and her community. She was a devout Catholic and behind-the-scene philanthropist who zeroed in on individuals (including near-strangers) whose lives could be turned around with a bit of well-timed financial help. She created countless opportunities for others by hiring and mentoring young people, networking, and establishing scholarships. Stella delighted in babies and children, and they in her. Her agency, Stella Cottrell Travel, Inc., arranged national and international travel for high-profile Houston-based law firms, financial institutions, and energy companies as well as foreign diplomats, clergy and Cardinals of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, and news teams for a local broadcast station. She was frequently recognized by airlines, tour companies, industry associations, and cruise lines for her industry leadership and remembered for her personalized service and attention to detail. In 1961, Stella married Simon L. Cottrell, trade commissioner for the French Consulate in Houston, and the couple frequently hosted and entertained international travelers and spent time in Martinique, where Simon (whom she called “The Frenchman”) was born.

Stella’s devotion to Catholicism included more than 20 years as a Eucharistic minister for St. Anne Catholic Church in Houston and serviced as part of The St. Anne Guild. She often said that serving communion was one of the most spiritually fulfilling activities of her life. Of her many priests who were clients, she quipped: “I’ll be your travel agent in this life; you can be mine in the next.”

An ardent supporter of quality education, Stella established a scholarship in her husband’s name at the University of St. Thomas in Houston to promote international and intercultural understanding. A world traveler, she was fluent in three languages and was a longtime member of the Pan American Round Tables of Texas, which works to foster mutual understanding, knowledge, and friendship among the peoples of the Western Hemisphere.

Stella’s hobby was being an aunt. She often cared for her nieces and nephews in her home when their parents traveled, and many would say she spoiled them. Stella ensured that her nieces and nephews traveled outside the US to learn how others live; that they were exposed to a range of cultural events and fine arts; that they understood the beauty of their Hispanic heritage; and that they had an appreciation for the elegance and manners that she cherished. She had a remarkable ability to remember all things numerical and could tell you to the second how long she had been married to her cherished husband. Stella’s memory also included her ability to recall fine details, and she was considered the repository for family stories. Stella maintained her travel agency, deep devotion to family and faith, compassion for others, and wit until her death.

She will be deeply missed by all who knew her and enjoyed her extraordinary vitality, hospitality, faith, and optimism. Stella is preceded in death by her husband, Simon L. Cottrell of Houston; her sisters, Celia Kimball nee Cruz and Ophelia Tully nee Cruz, both of Houston; brothers Charles Cruz and Rudy (Teresa) Cruz of Cerritos, and great niece Amanda Velasquez. She is survived by half-sister Elaine Rodriguez, half brother Mark Cruz, grandsons David (Sharon) Katzin and Jon-David (Margaret) Katzin, granddaughter Gabrielle DeLavigne, great grandchildren Christopher, Kyle and Stephen Katzin, Nicholas and Patricia DeLavigne; nieces Daria Lawrence, Mary Ann (Victor) Guerrero, Patricia Cruz, Kathleen Kimball-Baker and husband Randall Baker, Cynthia Ratcliff, Erin Hamilton, Lisa Kimball and husband Dr. Jan Lammel Lindemann, Tish Wiley, Esther (Steven) Farr, Tina Durrell Moll; nephews Richard, Marc Anthony and George Cruz; great nieces Erika Ferrer, Amy Cruz, Tiffany Walters, Samantha Erickson, Laura Baker, Jayleen (James) Gollaz, Brittani Wiley and husband James Weyman, Simone and Alex Lumsden, Lauren (Ralph) and Taylor Hamilton; great nephews George, Anthony and Christopher Cruz, Josh Moll, Matthew Ramirez, Seth (Rina) Lawrence, Sean Baker, Justin Russell, Erik Baker and wife Julie Baumeister, Richard and Abel Apodaca; cherished great-great grand nieces and nephews too numerous to name and many friends and loved ones. The family is deeply grateful to Maria Socorro Martinez, Sara Campos, Catalina Delgado, and Sheryl Bonin for their extraordinary assistance and care of Stella. Friends are cordially invited to a visitation on Thursday, February 16, 2017 from five o'clock in the evening to seven o'clock at Bradshaw-Carter, 1734 West Alabama Street, Houston, Texas 77098. A mass of Christian burial will be celebrated on Friday, February 17, at ten o’clock in the morning at St. Anne Catholic Church, 2140 Westheimer Road, Houston, Texas 77098. Pallbearers will be Randall Baker, Sean Baker, Erik Baker, Seth Lawrence, Victor Guerrero Sr., and Clay Moore. Honorary pallbearers are Ernest Lawrence, P. J. Pilibosian, and Drs. Francisco Fuentes, Phillip Johnson, and Michele Johnson. The family requests memorial gifts in Stella’s honor be made to breast cancer research or St. Dominic Village in Houston. Online tributes may be posted at Bradshaw-Carter.

SHARE YOUR CONDOLENCES

  

GUEST BOOK

I work for a summer job 1967 doing odd and end at her travel agency in the Tenneco bldg. i had met her thru her husband Simon Colltrell. I knew her over 50 + yrs. That got me liking the travel agency business for nearly 30 yrs that fall. my prayers and thought for her family

monique charrin, houston, TX

May God's peace surround you all. Aunt Stella was a woman of such class and grace. Praying all your memories bring smiles to your faces and warm your hearts forever.

Stephanie Pickett , New Braunfels , TX

Candle tribute lit by Mark cruz — California

Candle tribute lit by George cruz and family — California

Candle tribute lit by Teresa cruz — California

Fond memories of a lovely and caring lady who is was so full of life and love!

Carole Franks and Peggy Copper, London, England, UK

Candle tribute lit by Jayleen Gollaz — California

Candle tribute lit by Esther L Farr — California

We send the family our sincere condolences and thoughts of peace and courage. As you comprehend your profound loss... let yourself cry knowing that each tear is a note of love rising to the God of the heavens (Psalms 83:18). He knows your pain and suffering and will help you cope with your grief. We have hope according to God's promise at Acts 24:15 of seeing our loved ones again. It is comforting for us to know that God does not cause suffering and that one day it will end. James 1:13; Rev. 21:3,4.

PW, Houston, Texas

My life changed forever on the day after my high-school graduation, when I walked into Stella's downtown Houston office and applied for a summer job. Like a guardian angel on earth, Stella hired me on the spot and provided a job for me during the subsequent 6 summers while I was in college and graduate school. That experience ultimate was responsible for my career as an Executive at American Airlines and Sabre -- and I owe my personal success to Stella. Never was there a kinder angel. Aside from teaching me the travel business, she taught me the values of family, forgiveness, hard work, helping others in need and the fulfillment of bringing to those around us the joy and understanding that only travel can provide. Thank you Stella for all that you did for me and the love you provided to us all throughout your time on earth. I'm comforted that you are alongside Celia and your Frenchman; I will always hold you dear in my heart.

Eric Speck, Vail, CO

I will forever remember your graciousness and your smile. Peace and love to your family.

Beth Flinn Hudson, Victoria, TX

I had the privilege of working with Stella on a personal basis for a nuber of years and she quickly became a close friend. she was a lovely unpretentious God loving woman and will be missed greatly. I know she has gone to see her beloved Frenchman though and his comfortable in God's hands. I wish all of her family Peace during this difficult time.

Anne blackman, houston, tx


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