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Hester Louise Wilson Cottles departed this life and entered into eternal rest on December 9, 2019 at the age of 84. She was born in Lake Village, Arkansas on December 3, 1935 to the late Emma Young (Lemmitt) and the late Peter Wilson. She accepted Christ as her Lord and Savior at a young age and was confirmed at Mt. Zion Lutheran Church where she continued her active affiliation until her passing.
She began her formal education at Mt. Zion Lutheran School from her early years through 8th grade. She then attended McDonogh 35 Senior High School where she excelled and graduated in 1952. Her college education began by attending Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge, majoring in Elementary Education, and graduating in 1956. After college she began her teaching career as a first-grade teacher in the New Orleans Public School System where she touched the lives of numerous students. Later to combat illiteracy, she obtained a Master's Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of New Orleans, later becoming a reading specialist. Always improving herself in her chosen field, she returned to UNO and received her Master's Degree Plus 30.
Hester's passion for teaching allowed her to help mold the lives of many. She was a dedicated and committed educator who worked tirelessly to educate students in the inner city of New Orleans for 38 years. After retiring from the school district, she volunteered another 23 years in the schools to help fight illiteracy and the decline of the African American child. Hester's volunteering became limited due to her illness.
Hester was united in marriage to Raymond Paul Cottles on February 25, 1961. Their loving marriage lasted 58 years. To this union two daughters Marcia Cottles-Williams and Nicole Cottles (Revius) Adams were born.
Being extremely service oriented, Hester was an active member of numerous organizations. Through her church affiliation, she was Vice President of the congregation of Mt. Zion Lutheran Church (MZLC), former President of the LA-MS Zone of LWML (Lutheran Women's Missionary League), former Treasurer of LWML District, former MZLC Youth Director, President of the Altar Guild, choir member, and member of the stewardship committee. Her other affiliations include President of Chapter 4550 AARP, and co-chairperson of the UTNO Retiree Chapter. She was initiated into Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc at the Alpha Tau chapter of Southern University in the spring of 1956. Continuing her love for public service, she joined the New Orleans Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta where she became a Golden Life Member. Through the years, she chaired, co-chaired or was a member of a number of committees and joined the Delta Dears at the tender age of 62.
She leaves to mourn her loving husband Raymond, her daughters Marcia and Nicole, grandson Terrence Raymond (Charity) Williams, adopted granddaughter Amara Skinner, great grandchildren Nadya Lavergne, Raylen Williams, and Riley Williams. She is also survived by her sisters Betty Shelton, Vergie (Robert)Lawson, Bonnie White, her brother Curtis Keys, and a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Relatives and friends of the family, members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc, employees of the former New Orleans Public Schools, Warren Easton Charter High School, McDonogh 35 Senior High School, John F. Kennedy Senior High School, also pastors, officers, and members of Mount Zion Lutheran Church are invited to attend the homegoing service at Mount Zion Lutheran Church 1401 Simon Bolivar Ave on Saturday, December 14, 2019. Visitation will begin at 8:00 a.m. followed by Delta Sigma Theta Omega Omega Service at 9:00 a.m. The funeral service will proceed at 10:00 a.m. Interment at St Louis Cemetery #3 3421 Esplanade Ave. Arrangement by D. W. Rhodes Funeral Home 3933 Washington Ave. New Orleans, LA.