Passing: Bert Cottle, former mayor of Valdez and Wasilla


Bert L. Cottle, former mayor of Valdez and also former mayor of Wasilla, has died, Must Read Alaska has learned. He passed early Wednesday morning.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy issued a statement: “My family and I are sad to hear of the passing of our dear friend Bert Cottle. My administration is thankful for all the work Bert did for Alaska. Bert was truly one of the good guys. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends during this difficult time.”

Mayor Cottle was a lifelong Alaskan who was born and raised in Wasilla. He graduated from Wasilla High School and Trinidad State College in Trinidad, Colorado. Cottle served as a police officer in Valdez for 22 years, and for 10 years as Valdez mayor. He also worked for 13 years with the Alaska Gasline Port Authority. 

After serving as mayor of Wasilla for two terms, he filed as a candidate for mayor of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, but withdrew due to health reasons, citing the rigors of chemotherapy.

His career of service also includes three years on the Alaska Alcohol Beverage Control Board; three years on the Alaska Municipal League Board (past president); and three years on the Alaska State Homeland Security Task Force. Cottle’s affiliations include:  Pioneers of Alaska (past president); Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks #2537; Eagles Aerie #1971; longtime NRA member; Advocate for Victims of Violence; FBI Association; Youth Coalition Task Force; and, Wasilla Area Seniors.

Cottle was a candidate for then-District 12 for the Alaska House of Representatives in 2010, and he was a candidate for Alaska State Senate Seat R in 1998.

Wasilla Mayor Glenda Ledford issued a statement on Wednesday: “It’s a sad day for not only for the city of Wasilla but the state of Alaska with the passing of Bert L. Cottle. He was a true Alaskan, always ready to promote the city and state. You will be missed my friend.”

This story will be updated as more details are known.


  1. Bert was a genuinely decent guy. He took his law enforcement duties seriously, and he loved engaging with people while working to make Alaska a better place to live.

    My condolences to his family.

  2. I had the privilege of knowing and working with Bert during our time together in the Alaska Municipal League and later as municipal officials, etc. A true friend and always looking out for Alaskans best interests. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and many friends.

  3. Sorry. But did he also get the covid shot? Sorry. But this is biggest departure of a cluster of leaders passing one after another. I never seen so many leaders dying after another .

    • jen – not just leaders. I have counted many otherwise healthy folks who died prematurely in my small community. They all had taken at least one shot. This is purely anecdotal, but there is some scientific studies that indicate a rise in non-Covid excess deaths over the past two years.

  4. THIS is Sad news. Bert was a wonderful patriot, Alaska, and human being. We are all blessed by his time with us and his public service.

  5. I immensely enjoyed working with Bert for several years while engaged with the Wings Over Wasilla Airshow event. He was always upbeat, positive and flexible. As a veteran, I have tremendous respect for Bert Cottle’s efforts promoting and seeing through to completion our Veterans Wall of Honor. A pillar of our community has fallen and will be sadly missed by many.

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