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Catherine L. Cuffee


Sunrise: November 28, 1950

Sunset: July 10, 2021

Catherine Lawrence Cuffee

Catherine Lawson Cuffee made her final stroke of the brush on the canvas of life and signed her life’s portrait on Saturday July 10, 2021 at Chesapeake Regional Hospital.  Catherine was born November 28, 1950 in Norfolk County Virginia.  

She was reared in Norfolk County, which was later called Chesapeake, off of Fentress Road.  She was a graduate of Crestwood High School’s Class of 1969.  After High School, Catherine earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Norfolk State College, now Norfolk State University.  She continued her pursuit of academic excellence by earning a Master’s Degree from Regent University.

“Cat” as she was affectionately called by those who loved and knew her, met the love of her life, Russell Cuffee, and after their courtship, they were married on October 7, 1969.  From their union were born two handsome baby-boys. 

Catherine began her career after graduating from college as a Resident Hall Directress at Norfolk State College.  She later became a substitute teacher for the City of Chesapeake School System, which was the launching-pad for the job of her dreams. She became an Art Teacher at Oscar Smith High School in the City of Chesapeake where she retired after many years of service.

“Cat” was baptized at an early age at the Centerville Chapel A.M.E. Church, (Fentress) and was a member of New Weeping Mary Missionary Baptist Church.  She enjoyed studying the Bible, and her favorite passage of scripture was

1 Corinthians 15:1-4 wherein it says, “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;  By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.   For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;  And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:”

As a gifted and skillful artist, “Cat” found her passion early in life.  She will be remembered for painting portraits of family members, friends, and those in her community.  She enjoyed painting, drawing and all genres of art, and she loved to teach art to others. In a sense, “Cat” used her art to release her from the daily stress of life.  When faced with a challenge, she would pray to God and pick up her paint brush or drawing pencil and create a “Master Piece.”  She thoroughly enjoyed listening to music, watching television and cooking those special meals for her family.  She was a collector of “Ceramic Cats.”  Catherine was honest and forthright and did not hesitate to speak her mind or share what was on her heart.  She was a woman of conviction and strong beliefs.  She was a second mom to her sons’ friends and held a special love for her students.  Of course, her grandchildren were the loves of her life.  Most of all, she was kindhearted and giving.  She would give anything that she had and help anyone in need.  She was truly a woman whose character was reflected in her name, Catherine, meaning “Pure in Heart.”

She was preceded in death by siblings, Mary Lewis, Cleothas Nichols Jr. (Junie), and Ricky Nichols.

“Cat” leaves to cherish her memory, her husband of fifty-one years, Russell Cuffee of the home.  Sons, Russell Cuffee, Jr. (Carlotta) and Christopher Cuffee (Christina), Parents, Cleothas and Francine Nichols, Chesapeake, Virginia.  Six Grandchildren, Treshon Blount, Lorton County, Virginia, Carissa Cuffee, Jhordan Cuffee and JaVaughn  Gray (Jasmine) Chesapeake, Virginia, Celina Peterson, Fredericksburg, Virginia and Thomas Peterson, Virginia Beach, Virginia. One great-grand daughter, Aubriana Gray, Chesapeake, Virginia; Two sisters, Peggy Hill, Chesapeake, Virginia and Darlene Nichols, Portsmouth, Virginia. Five aunts, Irene Overton (Ike), Geneva Fallis, Dorothea Cuffee, Daisy Cuffee, and Bernice Cuffee. Two uncles, Joseph Lawson (Delores) and Clarence Lawson (Lorraine).  Brothers and Sisters in-love, Angelo Cuffee (Connie), Andrea Sutton, Brenda Browder, Bernard Lewis Sr., Deloris Spence, Trina (George) Tripp and Wayne (Jennifer) Cuffee, nieces, nephews, cousins, special friends, and her Oscar Smith High School and Norfolk State Students.  

Viewing Friday, July 16, 2021 2:00pm - 6:00pm Metropolitan Funeral Service 120 W. Berkley Avenue Norfolk, VA 23523 Service WATCH SERVICE LIVE ONLINE Saturday, July 17, 2021 10:00am Metropolitan Funeral Service Berkley Chapel Interment Roosevelt Memorial Park 1101 Campostella Road Chesapeake, VA 23320 *Masks Required*

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Condolences(15)

  1. reply
    Glenn Lee Koonce says

    What a JOY and privilege to work alongside Catherine at Crestwood Jr High School and Oscar Smith High School. Catherine was an individual of superb character who was self-motivated and always kind. She was highly respected and sought after by her colleagues and her students for guidance and expertise. It was refreshing in my position as the Principal to work with such an inspired individual! I always found her to be academically stimulating, organized for the maximum outcomes, and managed for optimal learning in her teaching responsibilities. Catherine was much more than a classroom teacher, she was a humble colleague always looking for the best in those that worked with her and with those she taught. Catherine’s greatest strengths are noted by three words: integrity, competence, and caring, which is defined by her exceptional work ethic and being a role model for academic expectations and in developing and maintaining high-quality relationships. You could always pick Catherine out in a crowd by her big warm smile!

  2. reply
    TJ, Sandy and London Lee says

    To the Cuffee family, may God’s love surround you all and fill you with peace at this time. I will continue to keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

  3. reply
    Sherry Riddick says

    My Sincere Sympathy for the loss of your wife, mother, sister and friend. She filled our lives with happiness and sweet feelings that we will carry in our hearts forever….
    God bless you and comfort you in your time of need. Rest in Peace Catherine (Cat) Cuffee…….We love you !

  4. reply
    Sheryl Gonzalez says

    My deepest condolences to the family. Catherine was truly a woman of God. She prayed for my sons and their success in life. She was an inspirational artist and wonderful friend, She will be missed but definitely remembered. Her art work is a part of my home forever.

    • reply
      Mr. & Mrs. Ellis Sivels Jr. and Family says

      My condolences to the family, friends and love ones. We are very saddened to hear that Mrs. Catherine Cuffee’s passed. Please accept our deepest sympathies. Our prayers are with you and the family. May your hearts be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times together as you celebrate a life well lived. Rest in peace. God bless you my friend. Love you always .

  5. reply
    Loretta Barnard says

    My condolences to the family, friends, and love ones. May God continuously bless, strengthen, and comfort you all during this time.

  6. reply
    Leigh Perry says

    I was very saddened to hear of Mrs. Cuffee’s passing. She was truly one of the sweetest and cheerful people I have ever known. She was a customer of mine for many years but she meant so much more to me then that. I I will miss her dearly and am very sorry for her family who have lost a truly amazing person. God bless you all.

  7. reply
    Rosa Sutton and Family says

    Cuffee Family,

    We are heavy with sadness at the passing of Cat. She was a dear dear friend and a ray of sunshine to me and my daughters whenever we would spend time together. I will miss my friend and will have some of the best memories from our times together. God bless you, peace be with you. With all love and prayers, Rosa

  8. reply
    Avis S. Brown says

    My heart is broken at the loss of Cat. She was such a kind and caring wonan of God. She was extraordinarily talented and humble. I will miss her presence in my life as a dear friend. May Our Father hold you all in the Palm of His Mighty Hand and give you peace as He gives her rest.

  9. reply
    Terry Nichols says

    I really cannot express how much I will miss my Cuz. Cat’s encouragement and love was always and forever be an inspiration in my life. I am grateful that we all have another blessed ‘Angel’ to guide us through life. Rest in Peace Cuz.

  10. reply
    Doris Wingate and family says

    To The Nicholes family we are holding you close in our hearts and prayers. what a beautiful person Catherine was Always inspiring and Truly love the Lord she had a Loving story behind every Portrait that was drawn.God blessings to you family.

  11. reply
    Millicent James says

    To Russell and the Cuffee family I am so saddened to hear of the passing of your mom, grandmother, wife friend to all. I know she was a kind and loving person who was adored by all and will be truly missed. I will never forget her corn bread hamburger pudding she made for us at work. May God continue to keep you and the family in prayer.

  12. reply
    Starr Parker Glass says

    Mrs Cuffee was one of a kind. Whenever you would see her in the halls at Oscar Smith she would always have a kind word to say. I am so sorry for your loss.

  13. reply
    A. V. Hollowell says

    I can’t say anything that we don’t already know about “Cat”. She was a special person inside and out. We will always remember “Cat” and our heart goes out to her family. We pray for you and wish you peace.

  14. reply
    Phyllis T. Wessells says

    To the family, you have my deepest heartfelt condolences. Catherine “Cat” and I were colleagues at Oscar Smith High School, both locations. We shared many lunch periods and moments of laughter. Her Art class was such a place of joy for students and adults alike. It was so enlightening to see her students move from drawing pencil and paint brush holders to actual artists! She expressed pride in her students’ work and encouraged them to strive for higher goals. It was always a thrill to see their work and her work on display. In addition to being a dedicated teacher, Cat was a kind, loving person. I will truly cherish the times we shared, especially Homecoming time and working on floats at the Oscar Smith H. S., Rogers Street location. I pray that you find comfort in knowing that Cat had a positive impact on so many lives. May God keep you in his everlasting care. Lovingly, P. T. Wessells

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