BY SCOTTIE TAYLOR IVERSONCOMMUNITY EDITOR
Several years ago, Bo and Lynne Cottrell were featured in an Arapahoe County PROFILE story for The Villager. That feature focused on heroes, personalities, unique and fascinating lifestyles of individuals or families in the area.
They could easily have been chosen Sweetheart Couple of the Year in any given year. This year, The Villager is proud to honor the high profile, active, giving couple with its highest honor – Couple of the Year. They continue to be a dynamic duo.
The Cottrells are what we, from the Midwest, call “Salt of the Earth.” Kent Allen “Bo” Cottrell is from Kentucky and Lynne Cartier (maiden name) is from Michigan. It seems they were both in the spotlight early on. Bo was an athlete, lettering in three sports in high school, and was nicknamed “Bo” because he sang Cheyenne Bodie on the team bus. He was the son of a Church of Christ preacher and sang in a gospel quartet. He attended Pepperdine and Indiana State. When Bo’s dad was hired by a church in Denver, the family moved to Colorado.
Lynne’s dad was a dentist and one of his famous patients was Gerald Ford. She was also an avid sportswoman – an equestrian who showed horses
and enjoyed the outdoors especially hunting and fishing with her dad. Later in life, after injuries sidelined her activities with horse competition, she took up her second favorite sport – golf. Lynne attended Northwestern journalism school to pursue a degree in sports writing. (She had been a reporter for her high school and scorekeeper for the baseball team and was a sports correspondent for the Grand Rapids Herald). She covered the Detroit Red Wings since her favorite sport was hockey. Not thrilled with the program at Northwestern – thinking she was ahead of her time – she transferred to Michigan State and pursued her second career favorite – teaching. She was Varsity Queen and a member of Gamma Phi Beta. With her degree in hand, she traveled to Aspen and fell in love with Colorado and was hired by Denver Public Schools. She taught school for 13 years in Denver and Dillon. She was a ski instructor at the first ski school in Keystone and opened a riding school there. She got her first taste of politics in Dillon serving on city council and being Dillon’s treasurer.
Lynne and Bo met in 1963 and he was drafted by the U.S. Army that same year. He was a military policeman. After both had married and each had two children and divorced, they met again in 1979 at Taylor’s Supper Club where Bo was performing. Bo had already been involved in philanthropic endeavors and when they married in 1980 on Valentine’s Day, she joined his efforts.
To share all their accomplishments and intriguing history would take far more than these pages, but included are some of the most colorful (even though some of the pictures are in black and white). Neither Lynne nor Bo set out to meet and be a part of the vast celebrity circles, politicians and famous people whose connections mushroomed into the successful events their volunteering and coordination brought about. Even at this stage of life, they can’t say no!
Their walls are filled with fame. They have boxes of plaques expressing appreciation and thousands of photos and albums commemorating memories. Both are entrepreneurs and attract volunteers. Both are fulfilled by helping others including emergency rescues. They are members of a mutual admiration team!
When he was a police detective with Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Bo wanted to start a choir to help as a PR venture to educate junior and senior high students about policemen. Instead of a choir, The Lawmen, as they were called for 23 years, was a country, folk, rock and patriotic trio who visited schools and various organizations with volunteer performances, later becoming a regional act. At the time, The Lawmen were probably the only all – cop band in the world. Paul Harvey talked about them and they were written about all over this country, Europe and East Asia. In 1970 when they recorded the hit Darn Good Country, President Nixon flew then to the Oval Office for recognition and lunch.
“I enjoyed being a policeman,” said Bo. “I knew when to be tough. I caught a few bad guys.”
After The Lawmen’s headquarters at Taylor’s Supper Club – there was Bo & Eddie’s Bar & Grill (Eddie Johnson was a Littleton dentist) on Leetsdale. Bo and Eddie were active in golf tournaments for Make-A-Wish Foundation. Bo also volunteered for Easter Seals, United Cerebral Palsy (Jake Jabs Celebrity Golf Classic) Kops ‘n Kids Golf Tournament, Stock Show Jubilee, Mt. Saint Vincent, American Cancer Society (Bo and Eddie were named Rookies of the Year) and Bo was Grand Marshall for a City of Lakewood Parade. The Lawmen were Men of the Year for a Jefferson County publication. He was also Chair of the Colorado State Parole Board, served on the Colorado Office of Economic Development under Governor Bill Owens and served as chair of Arapahoe County Republican Party. In 1990, he was presented with the “Point of Light” award by President George H.W. Bush for his charitable efforts. Bo’s comprehensive biography was read in to the Congressional Record of the 107th in Washington, D.C. on March 30, 2001 by Congressman Tom Tancredo. In 2007, he was inducted into the Colorado Country Music Hall of Fame.
Lynne served on the Colorado Hunter Jumper Association Board, had three different horse farms in Parker where she trained and taught riding. Much of Lynne’s volunteer work has been in politics when she wasn’t working with Bo on one of his charity projects. She worked on the Grand Prix Party for Make-A-Wish. Her strength is training and organizational skills.
She has effectively developed party training programs, running fundraising events, serving on boards and working on ballot initiatives. Some of her events include Lincoln Day Dinners, Mort Marks Roast, plenty of silent auctions, and in 2017 co-chairing the Donald Trump Inaugural Ball in Denver. (“Look for another in 2021,” she quipped.) She was also chair of the Arapahoe County Republican Party.
Both Lynne and Bo have a passion for TAPS (Tragedy Assistant Project for Survivors).”My passion for TAPS has grown even stronger over the years as I have gotten to know survivors and develop close relationships with some. I have been able to see first- hand the remarkable things TAPS does for families. Helping them heal and move on with their lives.” TAPS aids families and friends left behind by those who served in uniform and made the ultimate sacrifice. When Lynne and Bo were first approached to coordinate the Colorado events, they declined.
But when Bo received a call from a friend saying he could not have withstood the mourning of his son’s death without TAPS, that conversation tugged at their hearts and they signed on. Being friends with Gary Morris via Taylor’s Supper Club helped bring tremendous support and appearances from other celebrities making the annual event for TAPS a huge, much-anticipated success hosting the Gatlin Brothers, Pat Boone, Pam Tillis and Michael Murphy to name a few. Local philanthropists Bill Coors, Pete Coors and Jake Jabs were among those to heed the early call. Congratulations Bo and Lynne Cottrell on all your awards, accolades, passion and successes! We are glad you didn’t say no.
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