In Memoriam: Jonnie Mae Catoe, Community Leader, Wife, & Mother Dies at 86

In Memoriam: Jonnie Mae Catoe, Community Leader, Wife, & Mother Dies at 86
Jonnie Mae Catoe

Jonnie Mae Catoe

The life and legacy of Jonnie Mae Catoe was recently remembered on December 18, 2014. Catoe departed this life December 9, 2014 and leaves behind her loving children: Eddie Jr., Kathleen (Randy), David (Sylvia), Donna (Brian), and stepdaughter Melissa (Ira).

She is also survived by six grandchildren, one step-grandchild, four great grandchildren and four-step great grandchildren, a sister Anna and a host of cousins, nephews and nieces.

Jonnie Mae Catoe was born December 6, 1928 in Kershaw, South Carolina to Andrew and Fanita Mae Clinton. She was the second of five children. She spent her early years residing in Kershaw, SC where she received her primary education and later relocated to Washington D.C. where she completed her secondary education.

“My mother received Christ as her personal Savior at an early age,” said her son Eddie Catoe, Jr. “She was baptized by her maternal grandfather Reverend Zedidiah Beckham and resided with him and her grandmother prior to her relocation to Washington D.C.,” he continued.

Jonnie met Eddie Catoe Sr., the man who would serve as her life long partner and husband of 49 years as a child in Kershaw, SC., and later reunited with him in Washington D.C. The two married in 1951 and began a family. From this union they had five children.

Catoe fulfilled her dream of residing in California moving with her family to San Bernardino in 1960. She later attended nursing school at St. Bernadine’s Hospital and served as a “Candy Striper”.

“Mom was well known for her fashion sense,” said Eddie. “She was well known as a talented and phenomenal seamstress and tailor. She worked in this capacity at Harris & Franks and the old Harris Company in San Bernardino prior to starting her own tailoring business. She was known for her own designs and pattern producing and hosting numerous fashion shows,” he added.

Eddie describes his mother as a very beautiful, athletic and vibrant woman. She was a member of St. Anthony’s Church, later attending Temple Missionary Baptist Church. She was a member of the Les Juenes Ami’s Social Club and the NCO Wives Club.

Catoe was preceded in death by her loving and devoted husband Eddie Sr. a retired Air Force veteran of the Korean and Vietnam wars and local entrepreneur, one brother Howard, two sisters Jean and Minnie Lee, one daughter Barbara, two grandsons Andrew Paul and Jordan Matthew and step grandson Thomas David.

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