Dorothy F. Cotton
1930 - 2018
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Dorothy F. Cotton of Ithaca, NY, one of Martin Luther King Jr.'s, closest aides, died Sunday, June 10, 2018. She was 88.
In Atlanta, Cotton is remembered for her role at the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, established by King. She was the SCLC national director of education from 1963 until King's assassination in 1968.
Cotton is perhaps best known for her work with King and the SCLC, but she was much broader than that.
After leaving the SCLC in the early 1970s, Cotton moved into academia in New York and continued to be active in the civil rights movement, although she faded from the civil rights conversation.
Burial will be private. A memorial service to celebrate Dorothy's life and legacy will be held in the coming months with details to follow:

Bangs Funeral Home in Ithaca, NY is handling arrangements.

Memorial donations may be made to:
Virginia State University Library Archives, The Dorothy Cotton Collection
P.O. Box 9406, Petersburg, VA 23806
OR
The Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Non-Violent Change
449 Auburn Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30312

Read more about Dorothy F. Cotton on ajc.com
Published in Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Jun. 13, 2018.
Memories & Condolences
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69 entries
October 7, 2018
Earth has no sorrow that Heaven cannot heal. May the family have peace and comfort that only God can give.
VS
August 18, 2018
With deepest condolences to my cousin.
Janice Ridley Harkins
August 17, 2018
I miss you Dorothy. Ms. Cotton was my friend, colleague, mentor, supervisor at Cornell University and the one who signed my wedding certificate when I married at Sage Chapel at Cornell University. I will miss Dorothy, however, I know you will live on in my heart and I will continue to share you with others at every opportunity.
I remain, you sincere friend.
Dr. Heemanshu M. Bhagat
Heemanshu Bhagat
Friend
August 17, 2018
With our condolences,thoughts and prayers with love.
your cousins
Janice Ridley Harkins
Keith Ridley IV
The Moorefield Family
(Petersburg,VA)
Keith Ridley IV(Ridley Funeral Estab)
August 11, 2018
To the family and friends of Ms Cotton
May you have comfort in knowing that her strides for human equality during an era of much unrest and stife has lead to some benefits for us today. And the hope of peace for all will soon be a reality. Acts 10:34, Psalms 72:7,
Ramona
July 28, 2018
My thoughts and prayers are with Dorothy Cotton's family during this difficult time. I hope that promise in 1 Thessalonains 4:14 can bring comfort in the days to come.
Jasmine Cooper
July 16, 2018
I would like to express my deepest sympathies for the loss of your loved one, who will be remembered for her contribution to history.
May you find comfort and help in God during this time of mourning.
(Psalms 86:17)
July 7, 2018
Aunt Dorothy was an inspiration to me. As a child one of my favorite things was to hear her sing when she was busy doing other things. I watched her and my uncle George Cotton together and it made me smile.

One of the reason, I am the woman I am today is because Aunt Dorothy showed me what "A Woman of Change Can Be" once she makes up her mind to make a difference.

I love you Aunt Dorothy. Thank you for showing me who I am. I will miss your dearly.

Trudy Olivia Chalmers
Trudy Olivia Chalmers
Family
June 24, 2018
In loving memory of a great mentor and inspiration.
Louise Kahn
June 24, 2018
My heart is broken for the lost of Dorothy. I had the great chance to meet here at my place of work, years ago I Ithaca my home town. Later I moved to Topeka Kansas. Ms. Cotton came to visit Topeka Kansas at the Brown vs. the Board of Education. We had a great visit and both of us was so happy to see each other. She will truly missed. Love you much Dorothy. Patricia D. Milton.
Patricia D. Milton
Friend
June 20, 2018
Please accept my heartfelt condolences to the Cotton family and friends for the passing of your dear loved one. Losing a loved one in death is never easy. One day many will have the opportunity to live again. May the hope of everlasting life sustain and comfort you during this difficult time (John 17:3). When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure in your heart and it lives forever. May the wonderful treasures fill your hearts with love and bring you peace.
June 19, 2018
My deepest condolences to the Cotton family. Memories of Dorothy will forever remain. Please find comfort and hope in our God who gives us the strength to cope each day.
Dawn
June 19, 2018
DEEPEST SYMPATHY TO THE FAMILY AND FRIENDS.LOSING A LOVE ONE IN DEATH IS NEVER EASY. ONE DAY MANY WILL HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO LIVE AGAIN. MAY THE HOPE OF EVERLASTING LIFE SUSTAIN AND COMFORT YOU DURING THIS SAD AND DIFFICULT TIME. JOHN 17:3
June 18, 2018
I was so blessed to have been trained in Atlanta by this phenomenal woman as a little Girl Scout from Jackson, MS. She truly enabled me to speak my truth and stand my ground all these years. I got to tell her in 2014 how much she meant to me during Founder's Day at Virginia State. Please share Memorial details. I am in both the Petersburg, VA and Washington DC areas.
Pamela Bingham
Student
June 16, 2018
What a lovely and courageous woman who truly made the world a better place! RIP my friend. Condolences to all who loved her.
Heather Johnson
Friend
June 16, 2018
What a remarkable legacy Ms.Cotton left for us to imitate. Our prayers are with you all both now,and forever
Linda and Tanisha
June 15, 2018
Rest in POWER
Velma Hamberlin
June 14, 2018
Sincere Sympathy to The Cotton Family on your loss. Thank you for sharing her with us over the many years. She was truly a Woman of Substance, Valor, Fortitude, and Perseverance. She was a " Warrior " for The Cause ! I will always remember her visit to Saint Augustine FL a few years ago, and her singing of the Civil Rights Freedom Songs." A Beautiful Lady" that left a lasting Legacy for the entire world.
God Bless You!

The late Rev. Goldie Eubanks Family
Jeanette Eubanks kelly
June 14, 2018
Sincere condolences to the family. May you have comfort and peace of mind. As you face this challenging moment, the expressed promise at John 6: 40 uplift your hearts.
J E
June 14, 2018
I offer my sincere condolences to the Cotton family. May you be consoled by knowing that God has the power to bind up the broken hearted and to comfort all who mourn.

Isaiah 61:1, 2
S S and family
June 14, 2018
You are precious in God's eyes and you will be remembered. Psalm 116:15
Pamela Strong
June 14, 2018
Deepest condolences to the family and friends. Thank you for your unwavering service.


Rhonda, MD
June 13, 2018
Thanks for your unselfish service to make life better for all of us... You will be missed...
Nina Cline-Ziolkowski
June 13, 2018
May you received the holy spirit to be courageous just like God gave some to Samson.
Lucero
June 13, 2018
To The Cotton Family,
Death leaves a heartache that only Almighty God can heal. Love leaves precious memories that know one can steal. May, "the God of all comfort," be with you and your family during this time of sorrow.1Cor 15:26
With Kindness and Heartfelt Regret.
F L
June 13, 2018
Thank you for being GOD sent servant to serve us and help us God bless the family in Jesus name.
Gloria Steagall
June 13, 2018
My deepest sympathies to the family. May we all find comfort in the promise of our loving God which is we will have an abundance of peace here on the earth where we all can enjoy it forever.
R. T.,mich
June 13, 2018
Many Like Ms. Cotton have fought the cause for equality, Thankfully God is not partial and soon by means of his Kingdom all humankind will be on the same level and this world will be the place it was meant to be from the beginning. May you have peace and comfort from your memories and the hope for a better world that is soon to come. Jeremiah 29:11
June 13, 2018
As the days and weeks pass, and as you return to life's routine, may you continue to feel comforted by the love and support of family and friends.
SUE ANN
June 13, 2018
While words fail to capture the pain of losing a loved one, we look forward to the time when words will fail to capture the joy of having our heavenly Father return your dear one to you.
June 13, 2018
May God who "heals the brokenhearted and comforts all who mourn" sustain you during this most challenging time. With heartfelt sympathy
June 13, 2018
My deepest sympathy to her family. May Almighty God grant you peace as you cope with your loss. Jer.29:11
June 13, 2018
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
June 12, 2018
Thank-you for your service, Ms. Cotton!
Kathy Brothers
June 12, 2018
On behalf of the family of my deceased mother, Nellie J. McLeod who spent many hours in Petersburg, VA in the fight for civil rights including voting rights along side her friend, Mrs. Dorothy Cotton, I wish to extend my sincere condolences to the family and friends of Mrs. Cotton. Mrs. Cotton was an incredibly strong and constant warrior for truth and justice whose legacy in the battle for civil rights should always be honored and never forgotten. I know that my mom looked at Mrs. Cotton as not only her friend, but also as her fellow champion of equal rights for all. Rest in peace Mrs. Cotton and thank you for all that you did for others.
Yolanda McLeod Hall
June 12, 2018
PRAYERS and BLESSINGS
Valenda Newell
June 12, 2018
Ruby Bloodstone
June 12, 2018
My sincere condolences for your loss of your beloved Dorothy.
June 12, 2018
I am terribly sorry for your loss. Losing a loved one in death is never easy. We long for the day when Ms. Cotton is resurrected on a beautiful paradise Earth, where race, policial issues, and international conflicts are all eradicated. We'll be able to serve an amazing "God [who] is not partial" (Acts 10:34) .
Maria
June 12, 2018
My heartfelt condolences to the family of Ms.Cotton. May the God of comfort and peace strengthen you during this difficult time. She will be remembered.
Me. Sowell
June 12, 2018
My condolences to the family over the loss of their loved one. What a loss to the world. May the God of Comfort console and give peace to all those who loved her. Barb
June 12, 2018
Rest well warrior,rest well. Thank you.
Kimberly Taylor
June 12, 2018
MAY THE THOUGHT OF KNOWING THAT FAMILY AND FRIENDS SHARE IN YOUR GRIEF BRING YOU A MEASURE OF COMFORT.PLEASE READ PROV 17:17
CKT
June 12, 2018
My condolences to the family may the hope of the resurection brings you all comfort; John 6:40
June 12, 2018
You have my deepest sympathy. May God give you peace and strength to keep you going during your time of sorrow.
Rom. 15:33
Purcell
June 12, 2018
Ithaca had lost a legacy! What an amazing, kind and beautiful woman she was. She has inspired me to be a better person. Much love to her family, friends and colleagues! May we continue to spread her ideals to the younger generations.Go in Peace my friend!
Ana Villa
June 12, 2018
My condolences to the family. May the Almighty God and Jesus Christ bring comfort to your family in this time of sorrow. John 17:3
SW, GA
June 12, 2018
Joan Walton
June 12, 2018
Dorothy Cotton was a Civil Rights pioneer and was instrumental in organizing and executing "the Movement" in downtown Petersburg in 1960.... and beyond. Her legacy will live on forever....
Shirley Williams Dexter
June 12, 2018
During this time of deep sorrow and pain, know that you are not alone. May God give your family strength and much comfort to help you endure this loss as you remember your beloved one, 2THESSALONIANS 3:16
MARCEL T
June 12, 2018
In God's care, rest in peace.
Dwayne Bickham, Sr.
June 12, 2018
I offer the family my deepest sympathy for the passing of Miss Cotton. May God grant the family peace and comfort as they grieve their loss-
Hyde
June 12, 2018
Our deepest sympathy goes out to the Cotton Family at this difficult time. Please find peace knowing that God understand your grief and sorrow.(I Peter 5:6,7) tells us Humble yourselves, therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time, while you throw all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
June 12, 2018
Thanks for fighting for peace, justice and equality Ms. Cotton.
Billy Hailes
Friend
June 12, 2018
God's Blessings to you for making a differance
June 11, 2018
Ms. Cotton's conviction and fortitude were highly admirable, and her contributions led to monumental Civil Rights advancements.

Rest in Peace, Ma'am.
June 11, 2018
Dorothy was a very important person in my life for more than a decade when she lived in Atlanta. We met when I was working with Dr. Charles King, bringing racism training to corporate and community leaders in Atlanta. I remember her as intellectually and emotionally curious, which made her an excellent listener. And a deep thinker. She loved to cook for people, and she was good at it. And, with her beautiful voice, she would spontaneous break into song...singing hymns and iconic songs from her time in the movement. She had an amazing life story....you would never imagine that this sophisticated, well-spoken women started out in life as she did. Her book, "If Your Back's Not Bent" tells of that eloquently. I feel privileged to have known her and felt supported and inspired by her many times over the years. RIP my friend.
Deb Sorgel
Friend
June 11, 2018
A legend of the civil rights movement which benefited so many. May she rest in peace.
K. T.
June 11, 2018
Beloveds, truly saddened to hear about Dorothy Cotton's passing. Her fine legacy will surely be remembered. I hope to meet her in Paradise! Luke23:43
June 11, 2018
My condolences to all family and friends of Ms Cotton.
May the God of all comfort console all of you in this time of grief.

~Rachel,Fl
June 11, 2018
TO THE COTTON FAMILY..I MET HER MRS.COTTON IN ATLANTA GA.TRULY A TRAILBLAZER FOR THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT AND A STRONG TOWER...MAY GOD BLESS HER FAMILY AND SHE REST IN HEAVEN WITH THE
LORD...SHE IS A LEGACY ALWAYS...


DEE BROOKER
DEE BROOKER
June 11, 2018
To all family and friends of this dear, sweet lady Miss Dorothy she has left everlasting memories in my heart and mind. Both and honor and privilege to have shared in the caring for her during her last few weeks at Kendal. May the Lord provide the comfort needed as you cherish dear memories of a life well lived. Fly high, Dorothy!
Terry T
June 11, 2018
Baruch Whitehead
June 11, 2018
Patricia Willis
June 11, 2018
Brad Leonard
June 11, 2018
Freddie Rhett
June 11, 2018
Matthew McGuire
June 11, 2018
We were so fortunate to have Dorothy in our midst. What a treasure to have in our community. You will be missed greatly!
Sue Roenke
Friend
June 11, 2018
My husband Jerry Dunfey and I join all who mourn as Dorothy passes over to the other side. We are so blessed to have known her: she was a light to so many for so long! May her memory always be a blessing. Our deepest condolences to family and friends.
Nadine Hack
Family
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