Loretta Cato Arnold of Annandale, VA departed this life on April 14, 2022, at the age of 89.
Her loving husband of 65 years, James Paul Arnold, passed away on March 13, 2022. She is survived by her children Keith (Kathy), Jim (Julie), Linda (Allan) and Neil (Christine), her granddaughters Lauren Williams (Joe), and Ellen Kuzemchak (Kyle), and step great-grandchildren, Peyton and Autumn Barrett.
Her brother, William “Billy” Cato, died before she was born. Loretta lost her birth mother Ruth Rowe Cato as a small child. She gained a mother for life when her father, William Gordon Cato, married Eva Brumback Cato when Loretta was five years old.
She was a devoted wife, and a concerned and supportive mother and grandmother. She was a friend to many. One of her special joys was to catch up with cousins or lifelong friends over the phone in long good-natured conversations. She inherited her sense of humor from her father, and truly believed that “laughter is the best medicine”. She will be missed by all who knew her.
Loretta was born in Alexandria, VA. She grew up in Alexandria and Dumfries, VA. Her early life was spent surrounded by aunts, uncles, and many cousins and family friends. Her parents operated a tourist home in Dumfries and an Esso service station next door. Her singing ability at high school events earned her the sobriquet “the Songbird of Occoquan”. She attended James Madison College and worked at Possum Point Power Station in an early job, and later worked for the U.S. Army at Fort Belvoir. It was at Fort Belvoir that she got to know her future husband Paul. They married in 1956 and spent the next 65 years in a marriage full of love and good humor.
She was a Cub Scout den mother, church choir mother, and day care worker. She made sure her children always got to every doctor appointment and sports practice with no fuss.She imparted numerous practical life skills. Delicious food was always on the table, and she taught her children to make many classic comfort food dishes. Her husband Paul said he could always rest easy that the household would run smoothly while he was away on frequent business trips. Later in life she was a model of contentment. She could usually be found in her favorite rocking chair, sipping coffee, always ready with a smile and a joke for whoever dropped by.
A memorial service for Loretta and Paul will be held at 12 pm on Saturday, April 30, 2022, at Annandale United Methodist Church, 6935 Columbia Pike, Annandale, Virginia 22003.
The service will be live streamed at www.annandalechurch.com/stream
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Annandale United Methodist Church.