Mr. Cato was born in Talladega, AL on December 19, 1932, son of the late William Cato and the late Minnie Lee Piggott Pope. He was an electrical engineer having worked for the United States Army and Emmanuel College. Mr. Cato was also of the Pentecostal Holiness faith.
Survivors include his wife, Nadella Jane Price Cato; daughters and sons-in-law, Wanda and David Brett of Summerfield, FL, Cynthia and Robert Golden of Milton, FL and Robin Cato of Royston, GA; sister, Ruth Turton of Destin, FL; grandchildren, Adam Brett, Lauren Brett and Kaitlyn Brett; and his extended family in Texas, Colorado and Hawaii.
A memorial service for Mr. Cato will be held in the Pruitt Funeral Home Chapel at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 14, 2019, with Rev. David Brett officiating.
The family will receive friends at Pruitt Funeral Home from 5:00 p.m. until memorial service hour on Tuesday evening. The family is at the home.
Pruitt Funeral Home in Royston, GA is in charge of arrangements.
[Editor's comment: I have known John Joe and Ruth Cato Turton, John's sister, all of my life. My sister, Mary Evelyn and I played with them when we were children. John Joe and Ruth Cato's father, the Rev. Mr. William Cato was the superintendent of the Alabama Conference of the Pentecostal Holiness. He had an aunt who could sing "God Bless America" just like Kate Smith. She was a wonderful entertainer and loved us a children.
John Joe was all man. He was muscular and strong as Atlas. He once dove off the Huey Long Bridge in Louisiana. I have seen him dive out of a tree in the Sulpulga River near where the River Springs Camp Meeting site was located near McKenzie, Alabama.
John Joe was highly intelligent and was electronics genius. He was an marvelous tenor vocalist and I have enjoyed hearing him sing with a clear, crisp, and compelling voice.
When I was president of Southwestern College he would call me to encourage me. He loved people and would reach out to them at key events in their lives. He and Jane were a beautiful couple.
John Joe Cato's mother, Minnie and her second husband, Lonnie Pope, were members of the Brownville Pentecostal Holiness Church during the time I was the pastor. They were in church for every service. Mrs. Minnie Pope was an excellent Bible teacher, and a great southern cook. Melvine and I have eaten many good meals in their home on the River Springs Camp Meeting site.
Lonnie Pope helped me to dig through red clay to make a hole large enough for a propane tank. I don't think the law will allow you to bury a propane tank today. We should have gotten a man to do it with a back hoe. I knew little about such things.
To Jane, Wanda, Cynthia, and Robin Melvine, Greg and I send our love and condolences in your time of grief and sorrow. May the God of all comfort grant you comfort in your time of need.
Note: It is interesting to know that I was born four days ahead of John Joe Cato. My birthday is December 15, 1932, and his birthday is December 19, 1932. I was born in Birmingham, Alabama, and John Joe was born in Talladega, AL.]