What kind of ain’t isht daughter does this to her elderly daddy?
John Potter, a 92-year-old Army veteran who served during World War II, had raised enough cash to buy the house he’s lived in for almost six decades — or otherwise face eviction. But the modest single-story dwelling will remain in the hands of its owner — Potter’s own daughter — after she rejected his offer last week.
“It is heartbreaking,” Potter’s granddaughter, Jaclyn Fraley, told the Daily News on Thursday. “He says he’s fought a lot of battles. He’s won some, he’s lost some — but this is one he never thought he’d lose.”
Potter faces a June 26 eviction hearing in Vinton County Court, where a judge will order him to vacate the property, said Fraley, who’s siding with her grandpa in the family feud.
Potter lives in the small village of Zaleski, about 70 miles south of Columbus — a rural hamlet where the retired train dispatcher once served as mayor and the county sheriff.
To leave the home he and his late wife built 56 years ago is unsettling, Fraley said.
“My biggest fear is the toll (the eviction) is going to take on him,” she added. “He’s 92, and I think about his health. Getting evicted is stressful enough when you’re healthy.”
Fraley launched an online campign on GoFundMe.com in April, sharing her grandfather’s story and how he needed to raise at least $125,000 to try and buy the home from his daughter, Janice Cottrill.
Although Potter had long owned the home, Cottrill took ownership of it 2004, when she used a power of attorney to transfer it under her name.
Potter had gotten sick at the time, and Fraley claims her mom made the transfer without his consent.
He only learned in 2010 that he no longer owned the home after his daughter tried to have him declared legally incompetent and moved to a nursing home, Fraley said.
Meanwhile, bad blood was brewing between Potter and Cottrill when she took custody of her older brother, Joe, who is autistic and had been living with Potter. The father and daughter were arguing over visitation rights.
Potter fought in court to have the deed transfer reversed — but he lost because the four-year statute of limitations in the case had expired.
Finally, in January, Cottrill filed an eviction notice against Potter, and made it known she and her husband were interested in selling the house.
Fraley started an online campaign on his behalf, trying to raise money that could be offered to Cottrill for the home.
Cottrill’s husband, Dean, previously said they would drop the eviction if Potter left his son alone and stopped the lawsuits.
Through the Go Fund Me campaign, Potter raised an astounding $139,603 in two months.
But instead of rushing to offer the entire amount to Cottrill, Fraley said, Potter had a market appraisal done of the home. Its value was pegged at only $47,000, plus $2,830 for the land.
When they made their official offer, Cottrill instead counteroffered $85,000 plus attorney and eviction process fees.
Potter decided last week to increase his offer to $60,005.23
But Cottrill and her husband declined to bite.
“He will be evicted,” Fraley said of her grandfather. “The judge has no choice. His hands are tied.”
There is a silver lining at least: The money raised through Go Fund Me will be enough for Potter to find a new house or help remodel his caretaker’s home so that he can move in there, Fraley said.
“Some people who donated were adamant that they didn’t want (Cottrill) to get the money anyway. They said, ‘Don’t give them this money. Go buy grandpa another house!’” Fraley added.
Potter has been sharing his thoughts on videos posted to YouTube, and has thanked the anonymous donors for their generosity. Fraley said she plans to record another video this weekend.
He celebrated his 92nd birthday a month ago.
“We’re trying to move forward,” Fraley said, “and just hold our heads up high.”
Thank God this guy has his granddaughter to help him out. We hope he finds a great home to move to.
Shame on his daughter. God will deal with her sooner or later though and you know karma ain’t no joke!
Photo Credit: John Potter