Betty Jean Richmond Cotton was born on August 18th, 1932, in Wewoka, Oklahoma. She was the sixth child born to Rev. Robert D. Richmond and Josie Belle Fleming Richmond. She grew up with her brothers, Robert, Alvin, Welborne, Landon, and Terrence, and sisters, Ernestine, Rosa, and Adeline. As a child, Betty and her mother were very close, and she enjoyed spending time with her. They cooked meals together and tended to the chickens in the coop. Betty also enjoyed reading and playing with her siblings. Unfortunately, she experienced the loss of her father, sister, and a brother at a young age and this weighed heavily on her for many years.
Betty matriculated through the Oklahoma Public School system, always with exceptional grades, graduating from Douglass High School in 1950 with honors. She later attended Langston University where she became a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She was also in the marching band and Acapella Glee Club.
While working on Tinker Airforce Base in Oklahoma City in the Finance, Accounting and Payroll department, she met her soon to be husband, Charles Oscar Cotton. They wed on May 5th, 1957. To this union two beautiful children were born. Charles Christian and Kendall DeGualle were the loves of her life. Her marriage with Charles Oscar was later dissolved. Wanting a better life for herself and her boys, she moved to Denver, Colorado in 1966. She only wanted what was best for them. Charles and Kendall loved playing bid whist, spades, dominos, and pokeno with their mother. They remember her always being supportive of them, going to all their extracurricular events ranging from Spelling Bees to football or basketball games. Betty always encouraged the importance of being good, courteous, and respectful boys and she emphasized the significance of doing well academically. She was an amazing cook and baker and whenever she’d bake dozens of chocolate chip cookies, you could expect all the boys’ friends, Pheasant, Sweet Head, and Johnny Lee to magically appear. Later her grandchildren, Whitney, Bradlee, Bailee, Cierra, and Mikayla added an additional source of pride and joy to her life. Affectionately referred to as “Gran BJ”, the grandkids will always remember holiday gatherings with tons of gooooddd food! Cierra especially remembers spending weekend afternoons playing Old Maid and Uno.
God was always first in Betty’s life, and she instilled His love and presence in those who crossed her path. Her servant’s heart was evident in all she did. She was a faithful member of People’s Presbyterian Church for more than 15 years where she sang in the choir. In her spare time, Betty loved watching Westerns and James Bond movies, playing board games, spades, Bid Whist, dominos, and cooking for EVERYBODY! Her good friends, Mollie Adams, Katrina Demmer, the late Georgianna Bell, Rose Bradley, and Linda Williams will always remember her being a true and loyal friend who would give you her last if you needed it. She was the friend who would keep it “real” with you, giving you her honest opinion of what mattered. Her loving kindness will be missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing her beautiful soul.
On March 22nd, 2022, Betty Jean Cotton departed this life to join her parents and siblings into the arms of her Heavenly Father. Those left behind to cherish her memory are her sons, Charles (Jamie) Cotton, Kendall (LaJuana) Cotton; sister-in-law, Billie Richmond; grandchildren, Whitney A. Cotton, Bradlee K. Cotton, Bailee K. Cotton, Cierra Javee Cotton, and Mikayla Brown; great granddaughter, Kamea Cotton; a host of nieces, nephews, and numerous friends.