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Flower Arrangement

Memoriam 2023

 If a name is underlined click on it to see

the Obituary or a Tribute.

A place to remember and reflect on our Cottonwood family and loved ones.

"The hardest things are the first Hello and the last goodbye".


Phyllis Waters Ostrander

JUNE 1, 1935 – MAY 3, 2024


Funeraria Del Angel Mont Meta & Memorial Park

Ofelia Escamilla Waters Ostrander died in her Harlingen home May 3,2024. Known as Phyllis to friends and family, she was born in Bishop, Texas on June 3, 1935, the 4th of 8 children born to Anselmo and Bruna Gonzales Escamilla. 

The family lived in Rio Hondo and Phyllis spent her entire life living within 10 miles from this home. Not only did she attend Rio Hondo schools, she was later active as a band, basketball, 4-H, FFA, and football parent and even had a short stint as a substitute teacher.

As a migrant worker in the 30’s and 40’s, her life was not without hardships. Her family followed the harvest and she worked in the fields alongside other migrant workers and braceros to help support her family. When she graduated high school, she began working a series of jobs that allowed her to remain in Rio Hondo and no longer travel for work. Phyllis married Ross D. Waters in 1963, and she once again helped in the fields to support her family. This time her jobs were picking up parts, cooking and delivering meals during harvest, pulling trailers and driving tractors, and handling the farm and family finances; idle was not a part of her vocabulary. 

Phyllis enjoyed travel and remembered always her first overseas trip. She flew to Germany to help her younger sister Janie with her growing family while her husband was TDY. Phyllis returned with special chocolates, intricately carved wooden pieces, and beautiful crystal. Years later Phyllis, Ross and Ross’ sister Lois embarked on a driving trip from Rio Hondo to California to visit Verna Lee, Ross and Lois’ eldest sister. This once in a lifetime sibling trip was filled with sibling antics, site-seeing and lots of reminiscing. 

Following Ross’ death in 1999, Phyllis began spending more time with her grandchildren. She traveled with them to Dollywood, Disney World, Universal Studios, and Washington, DC. Phyllis joined the boys sledding down snowy hills, tubing in the Tennessee River, and visiting the sites in our Nation’s capital. When Cameron and Patrick were young, you knew all three were up to trouble when you could “hear the silence” after robust play. You could find them gathered on the bed giggling as they broke into her stash of chocolate candy bars.

In 2009 Phyllis married Keith Ostrander. Together they too traveled, to places like Dubai and Wisconsin, and cruised to Hawaii and to the Caribbean with Debbie’s family. They also enjoyed watching their youngest grandson, Caleb, participate in sporting events.

Mother was, like all of us, imperfect. Sometimes she was rough around the edges, and spoke without thinking. More often, though, she was generous beyond measure giving gifts out of the blue just because she appreciated you; hosting her Sunday school class for lunches and co-hosting bridal and baby showers, and she would always make time to visit over a cup of coffee and a donut Shipley Donuts. Mother had a fondness for roses and birds. In each home she lived in, her yards always had flowers and flowering bushes and lots of bird feeders, she especially loved hummingbirds. 

Phyllis was preceded in death by her parents and each of her husbands. She is survived by her children and their families, Debbie and her husband Michael McDaniel and their children Cameron and his wife Olivia and their son Bram who was born 3 days before his Mimi’s death, Patrick and Mackenzie; Barry Waters, his son Caleb, and Krista, Caleb’s mother. Also surviving are her beloved sister Janie and their brother; her dear brother in law Jack Waters and many nieces, nephews, and cousins, and the children of Keith Ostrander.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Luz, Sara, Alecia, Veronica, and Irma with Calidad Hospice who lovingly cared for mother through all of her ups and downs for well over 10 months. Their phone calls, texts, and Facetimes helped Debbie to talk with her mother often. 

Mother requested 3 hymns and 4 scripture passages to be read at her interment, among those, Matthew 28:20 “and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Through her faith we do believe Jesus was with her always, even unto her death.

Messages of Condolence or Memories may be left on this site or mailed to

Debbie Waters McDaniel

3209 Ashlar Trail

Hampton Cove, Alabama 35763

Should you wish to send a memorial gift, the family would be pleased if you’d support Rio Hondo High School seniors with a gift to Rio Hondo Alumni Scholarship Fund:

RHHS Alumni Scholarship

%Judith Wagner

5791 White Ibis Run

The Villages, FL 32163

A private interment is planned.


Keith Ostrander  6-25-1932 to 8-31-2023
Let's gather at the Club House on 9-8 at 9:00 AM to honor Keith's memory.
Everyone is invited to share their memories of Keith.  Casual  Coffee and Donuts Provided.

Keith Ostrander.jpg

Keith Ostrander will be missed by all that knew him.

He served his country in the Marines and our Community as President.

Please Click on the links above to view the full Obituary.

Lee Franks
1-11-1948 to 8-22-2023

Lee franks.jpg

Lee Franks was born in Detroit Michigan and served in the US Navy from 1967-1971.

Lee was married for 51 years to  Mary

Two of Lee's brothers Roy and Toky Franks live in Cottonwood and youngest brother Dennis lives in Grand Rapids Michigan.  Brothers Bill and Carl Franks preceded him in death.   


For details or information on a loved one or friend please use the contact information located here.


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