Catherine Cotton


Catherine Cotton passed away on May 13, 2020, at the age of 34 in Marianna, FL. Catherine is survived by her father and mother, Dr. Rickey and Anna Cotton of Lakeland, FL; sisters Caren Tran (husband Cao) of Plant City, FL, and Cristin Cooper (husband Brandon) of Olney, MD; nephew, Kai; and niece, Jade.
Due to her autism, Catherine was a resident at Sunland Marianna, where she received wonderful care and profound love. Catherine was born on April 10, 1986, in Columbus, GA, and was adopted at ten days old with deep, abundant love and joy; she was always deeply wanted. Throughout her life, her luminous, smiling brown eyes emitted a joyful happiness, especially when her parents walked into the room on a visit to Sunland. Her soft, brown curls swept in sync with her steps as she walked with her charming bounce. When asked who was the prettiest girl at Sunland, she always indicated herself because her daddy had taught her that she was.
In Catherine’s vivaciousness, she captivated hearts and developed unexplainably special connections with her caretakers at Sunland Marianna over the last twelve years. Her days were filled with activities that brought her delight and comfort. She looked forward to van rides, walks, playtime, watching Shrek, visitors, and chocolate chip cookies. Catherine loved chocolate chip cookies.
Though she communicated with the world differently due to her autism, she taught all of us—family and caregivers—more about love, acceptance, forgiveness, and contentment in her 34 years than can be explained. We identify Catherine as having led our family as our greatest spiritual teacher. Her life was a profound gift and blessing to many. In her passing, she continued in sharing that gift with others through organ donation.
The family wishes to extend their immeasurable gratitude to the wonderful staff and caregivers at Sunland Marianna who gave so much love and happiness to Catherine during her years there. It was truly her home. Additional thanks are expressed to the staff who exhibited heartfelt care and true compassion during Catherine’s stay at Jackson Hospital (Marianna, FL).
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you make contributions to Sunland-Marianna Welfare Trust Fund for the residents at Thiel Center; 3700 Williams Drive-Marianna, Florida 32446. Please put for “Thiel Center Residents” on the memo line.
Information about celebrating Catherine’s life will be shared later with arrangements entrusted to the Caring Staff at Peoples Funeral Home of Marianna.



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