Mother Leatha C. Cotten, 91, of New Haven, entered eternal rest, with her family by her side, on December 19, 2016. She was the widow of Deacon Edward Lee Cotten.

Mother Cotten was born in Bethel, NC on April 6, 1925, daughter of the late Rev. John Henry Carney and Mother Lena Carney.

Prior to her retirement, she was employed at Grace New Haven Hospital as a Nurse’s Aide.

Mother Cotten was a longtime member of St. Matthew’s UFWB Church where she served on the Mother’s Ministry and Missionary Ministry, in addition to singing on the Gospel Chorus and the former St. Mathew’s Singers Choir.

She leaves to cherish loving and lasting memories, daughters, Missionary Lena C. Shields (Bishop Dozier C. Shields) and Portual A. Barber; sons, Deacon John E. Cotten, Sr. (Sandra) and Bishop W. Vance Cotten, Sr. (Co-Pastor Kim L. Cotten); 8 grandchildren; 20 great grandchildren; 3 great-great grandchildren; and a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

She was predeceased by brothers, Walter Clayton Carney and John R. Carney; and sisters, Magnora Dolberry and Annie Mae Knight.

A celebration of Mother Cotten’s life and legacy will be held Saturday, December 24, 2016, at 9:00 AM at St. Matthew’s UFWB Church, 400 Dixwell Ave., New Haven. Viewing and visitation will be held at the church from 8:00-9:00 AM. Burial will be in Beaverdale Memorial Park.