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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Catherine Potter Obituary

Catherine Camille "Soviet" Potter Catherine Camille "Soviet" Potter was born on September 9, 1960, in Dallas, Texas, to William R. and Mary McAvenia Potter. She died peacefully at the home she loved in Ivy, Virginia, on Friday, May 3, 2013, of metastatic breast cancer. Catherine married Gavin S. Willhide on February 8, 1999, in Charlottesville, Virginia, after a six-year courtship. Catherine was happiest while floating down a river, digging in her garden, or practicing headstands in a yoga class. She and Gavin raised chickens, goats, dogs, and a menagerie of other animals. She will be remembered for her fierce intelligence, her sparkling wit, her beauty, and her high ethical standards. Catherine attended Denton High School and University of North Texas, both in Denton, Texas. After an adventurous career as a New York City bike messenger at Lightspeed, Catherine moved to Albemarle County, Virginia. She hung up her racing/ messenger shoes to open Go Pal Bicycle Shop in Charlottesville, Virginia. She later worked at Blazing Cycle with her dearest friend, Kervin Ridgley. Her love of the outdoors and her favorite clients provided structure and encouragement for her move to the corporate world where her life's work became making housing affordable for all. She worked at Bank of America and retired from SunTrust Mortgage only weeks before her death. She was well respected in the real estate community where she was known for her unbiased and honest financial assistance-helping thousands of customers with their home purchases throughout the Charlottesville, Albemarle, and surrounding counties. She was most passionate when assisting new immigrants achieve their American Dream of home ownership. She served the community on the boards of several organizations including Piedmont Housing Alliance and VHDA Advisory Board. She was a long-time instructor for Piedmont Housing Alliance's First-Time Homeowners Certification Course. She was recognized multiple times as VHDA's Gold Circle Top Producer and was a strong advocate for the Building Goodness Foundation. She was a long-time member of Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors, and over the years taught many courses and served on many committees. She donated her time and money to various local charities including Charlottesville Area Community Foundations, Virginia Wildlife Center, Rockfish Wildlife Sanctuary, and The Big Warm Up Charlottesville. Catherine was preceded in death by her father, William R. Potter; and her beloved grandmother, Adeline McAvenia. She is survived by her husband, Gavin S. Willhide; mother, Mary M. Potter; sister, Christina L. Potter; two sisters-in-law, Brookfield Willhide and Curry A. Blanton; a niece, Janet Lilly Blanton; a nephew, James E. Blanton; her faithful dog, Tiger; and her favorite goat, October. Her family would like to recognize the excellent healthcare Catherine received from Martha Jefferson Hospital Cancer Center whose staff, training, facilities, and advanced medical technologies contributed greatly to providing her with an excellent quality of life right up until the very end. The family felt their care and compassion were far superior to any other local medical facilities and would especially like to recognize Dr. Gordon Morris, Dr. Erica Struble, Dr. Cynthia Spaulding, and the many nurses-Hollis, Vanessa, Leanne, Jackie-whose care and compassion went above anything expected. During her final weeks, Catherine received care from Hospice of the Piedmont. The family appreciates greatly the assistance of all of their staff, nurses, and doctors. Special thanks are offered for Marrissa, Rhonda and Susan, her favorite volunteer whose trips for manicures/pedicures made her days much brighter. A gathering for the celebration of Catherine's life will be held on Saturday, June 1, 2013, from 2 until 4 p.m. in the gardens of her home in Ivy, Virginia. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Piedmont Housing Alliance, 215 East Market Street, Charlottesville, VA 22902 or to Hospice of the Piedmont, 675 Peter Jefferson Parkway, #300, Charlottesville, VA 22911, The family is being served by J.F. Bell Funeral Home. "This will be our last trip home; so steady, boys, walk on; so steady, boys, walk on." - Ed Miller, "The Last Trip Home."

This obituary was originally published in the Daily Progress.
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Published online on 5/12/2013 courtesy of Daily Progress.