Obituary: JoAnn Watkins Cauthen

Ms. Cauthen, 81, Winter Garden, died Friday, Sept. 29, 2017.

  • West Orange Times & Observer
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JoAnn Watkins Cauthen, 81, of Winter Garden, Florida, passed into glory Friday, Sept. 29, 2017, in Opelika, Alabama, of natural causes. She was born Sept. 29, 1936 in Montgomery, Alabama, to Elmer and Lela Watkins. She is predeceased by her parents, brother Ira Watkins and sister H. Faye Beard.

JoAnn grew up in a loving family, the youngest of three children. From her birth she had a vivacious personality and many friends. Her family attended a community church, where she met Jesus.

After graduating high school, she fell for the love of her life, Wiley, and they married on March 23, 1957. They lived in Hutchinson, Kansas; Jacksonville, Florida; and Auburn, Alabama, before settling in Orlando, and finally Winter Garden, Florida. In the years 1959-63 God blessed them with three children. Extraordinarily gifted in welcoming others, she created a home where much love grew.

She was an avid volunteer in PTA, Little League, the YMCA, Junior Sorosis and the Winter Garden Bloom & Grow Garden Society, among others. Her passions were enjoying family and friends, studying the Bible and researching and sharing natural health solutions.

She never met a stranger and genuinely made everyone she knew feel special. She made friends easily and enjoyed each one. Continually educating herself, she was particularly delighted to learn new technology from her grandchildren.

One of her myriad strengths was organization, which she gracefully used in many ways, including planning annual reunions with three different friend groups over the last two decades.

Wiley attributes a substantial amount of his business success to her warm social skills. Though the only work she ever refused to do was shine his shoes, she lovingly polished his rough edges and made him a better man. He describes her as the one who helped him grow from an acorn to a tree, teaching him how to build relationships and love others well.

She will be dearly missed.

She is survived by her husband of 60 years, Wiley Mitchell Cauthen; children, Wade Cauthen (Susan), Loisann Fowler (Randy) and Carol Ingersoll (Richard); grandchildren, Sarah, Jeremy, Benjamin, HannahJoy and Hope Fowler, and Tiffany, Janie (Augsburger), Abbie (Franchino), and Maddie Ingersoll; and great-grandchildren, Ruby and Hanes Augsburger.

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