My longtime friend Robert Lester Cottingham died in Phoenix on April 24th. He was 69 years old. Those of you who have been around for a while might have known Les. He worked for Kodak after the Navy and after Kodak started his own X-ray company in Phoenix. He was eventually bought out by a bigger company.
Les was a cowboy in all senses of the word. He dressed like a cowboy and he was a risk-taker like a cowboy. He was also a gentleman, and in many ways bigger than life: he had a lot of great connections and was known around the country as well.
He was one of the first used equipment dealers I ever met. He bought and sold equipment and also deinstalled, reinstalled and serviced it. When I was starting out as a young broker, Les was one of the guys who welcomed me into the business.
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One time, Les and I and our wives went horseback riding and camping out in New Mexico. I watched Les start a fire without matches! Another cowboy story: he would go down into the Grand Canyon in a helicopter to service X-ray equipment.
He had a car accident while installing an X-ray system in Mexico and was almost killed. It slowed him down a little but not for long.
Those of you who knew him knew that Les was a man of his word, old-fashioned by today's standards. Now, if it is not in writing, it does not count.
Last year we needed some help and I called Les to see if he could help us. He followed up the next morning. That was Les; he was always there when you needed help.
I will miss him.
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Phil is a member of AHRA, HFMA, AAMI and the Cryogenic Society of America. He has contributed to a number of magazines and journals and has addressed trade groups.
Phil's proudest achievement is that he has been happily married to his wife Barbara since 1989, who helped him found DOTmed in 1998.