BY EMILY SINGH
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of a great mother, grandmother and great grandmother, Matilda Elma Van Cooten at the age of 98. Van Cooten, mother of Pride News Magazine publisher Michael Van Cooten passed away at the Stream Villa nursing home located in Cobourg, Ontario.
Van Cooten immigrated to Canada in 1975 after her son Michael sponsored her. Prior to moving to Canada, Van Cooten served as a career domestic in Georgetown, Guyana. On May 24th Van Cooten would have celebrated her 99th birthday. Nonetheless, Van Cooten lived a full and joyful life surrounded by friends, family and loved ones who will forever keep her memory alive.
Van Cooten was a single mother of four to the late Danny, Lynette-Williams, Michael and Roland who is also deceased. Out of love and admiration for her father, Nicholas Van Cooten she made the choice to remain a spinster for the duration of her life so that her sons would carry on the surname and legacy of her dear father.
Van Cooten is pre-deceased by her mother, Matilda; father, Nicholas; brother, Claude Thorne; sisters, Enid Smith and Rosebud Van Cooten; sons, Danny and Roland; nephews, Hubert Thorne and Clifford Smith; and son-in-law, Michael Williams.
In addition to being a loving mother, Van Cooten was also a beloved grandmother to Rudolph (Junior), Ron, Sandra, Andy, Mykella, Shiren, Yolanda, Vanessa, Donnavan, Narissa, Anthony, Shonique, Radiant, Brianna and Aaliyah. She was also blessed with eighteen beautiful great grand children in her lifetime.
In 2002, Michael Van Cooten created a new category of the Canadian Achievement Awards of Excellence entitled the Single Parent Award to honour his beloved mother. She was the very first recipient of this prestigious award.
Matilda Elma Van Cooten will be greatly missed by all of her loved ones as well as the Caribbean community. The Toronto Caribbean Newspaper would like to offer their sincere condolences to Michael Van Cooten of the Pride News Magazine and his entire family circle during this difficult time.