obit: Edward A. "Kutt" Kotrla
Edward A “Kutt” Kotrla, born December 9, 1917, died peacefully September 12, 2013, 10:25 AM at age 95. He was preceded in death by his parents, Frank Kotrla and Julie Kotrla Janota, his brother Raymond A Kotrla, his beloved sister Martha E Kutscher, and his wife Marie Hooper Kotrla. He is survived by his daughter, Kathryn J Kotrla, M.D., her husband Robert Morris, and their children Chris Kotrla Benedik and Jeremy Kotrla Benedik.
Edward was born, raised, and lived his life in Taylor Texas, except for the time he spent after volunteering for service in World War II. He was part of the China/Burma/India campaign, serving as crew chief and flight engineer on the C-54’s and C-109’s planes that flew over the Himalayas, “The Hump” between Indian and China, and had stories of a pet tiger cub, and a friendly boa constrictor that kept their hut free of vermin. He was awarded the Bronze Star, Victory Medal, Air Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross and Distinguished Unit Badge for his service.
Returning to Taylor, Edward owned The American Cleaners, and later opened The Man’s Shop. Edward was active in Taylor’s Chamber of Commerce, and was a long-standing member of The Optimist Club. He is still remembered for his dapper sense of style.
After retiring in the 1980’s, Edward remained active, tutoring school children, and driving nursing home residents (or “the old people” as he called them) on outings. One of the highlights of Edward’s life was attending the 60th anniversary of the Japanese surrender in WWII as an invited guest in China. He was 88 at the time.
Edward loved the outdoors. His two favorite spots were his farm just south of Taylor, and his sister’s hill-country ranch. Edward enjoyed hunting deer and especially turkey, and fishing. Well into his 90’s, Edward was the designated driver when he and his older cousin went on fishing trips to the coast.
Edward was blessed with having no regrets, gratitude for a full and enriching life, and his two grandsons, of whom he is extremely proud.
There will be a graveside ceremony honoring Edward’s life on Saturday October 21, at the Taylor Cemetery at 1 pm and a visitation for family and friends from 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm at 2301 Grace St., Taylor Texas.