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A tribute to Curran Cotton

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012 11:39 a.m. CST

Another outstanding individual in our community, Curran D. Cotton, was laid to rest this week. The church, during his memorial service, was filled with family and friends from all walks of life.

Many of these folks knew the Cottons from the time they moved to Newton back in 1961. Curran’s career with the Maytag Company began that same year. He retired in 1998 as the Vice President of Research and Development.

There were several touching tributes to Curran during the service, from friends who knew the Cotton family intimately for years. His sons, David and Steven, as well as daughter Lisa shared historical moments of family life, which was one of the highest honors that could possibly be paid to a loving father.

Pastor Emeritus David Raymond and Pastor Jessica Peterson-Orwenyo both shared some insights of Curran’s inner character and beliefs, which were a review of profound lessons to everyone, young and old. But dwelling on two words Curran had struck from his vocabulary years ago was, to me, one of the most touching tributes of the day.

Curran erased the words “can’t” and “impossible” from his personal vocabulary. He actually blacked them out in his dictionary, and recommended the same procedure for his extended family and colleagues.

What a daring and though-provoking action.

He went on to explain the reasons why they can be two of the most damaging words in a person’s life. His belief of eliminating the word “can’t” and “impossible” from the mind and soul were a totally honest evaluation, and part of his self-made formula for a more happy, successful and peaceful life.

How could a person possibly disagree? This shining and clearly defined philosophy left us all with something on which to seriously ponder, and put into practice.

So, we thank you, Curran Cotton, not only for your personal friendship over the years, but for your strong recognition to wash these two words from our vocabulary and our lives as much as possible. Curran, you will be deeply missed in the future.

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