Juanita Brown was the eleventh child of Boise & Julia Cato. She was born May 18, 1922 in Sandersville, Georgia She attended Robin Spring Public Schools. Juanita was the last living sibling of the 14 surviving children. She loved playing outside with the other children.
She was married to Leo Ray Sr. to which 5 of her children were born. Additionally, she married Zeb Bethea, and had 3 children. Her final child was the product of her marriage to Bobbie Lee Brown. Together with Bobbie, they had a blended family that consisted of fifteen children.
Her family describes her as a loving and kind mother whose pride and joy was the caring and nurturing of her family. Juanita was a woman of faith and had a strong belief in God. She accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior at a very young age. She was baptized at the Robin Springs Baptist Church in Sandersville, Georgia and later joined Pinehill Baptist Church with her husband. Upon relocating to Denver in her final years, she became affiliate with Agape Christian Church, under the leadership of her son-in-law Pastor Robert Woolfolk.
Professionally, Juanita was a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) at Sandersville Memorial Hospital as well as a Domestic worker for the Tarbuttons of Sandersville.
Juanita is described by her children as quiet, somewhat shy, honest, and a fun loving woman who truly enjoyed life. She loved beautiful flowers and maintained numerous gardens. She also enjoyed shopping and traveling. In her spare time, she would reminisce and view family pictures. Her pride and joy was attending the annual Cato Family Reunions.
Juanita stressed the importance of education and tried to ensure her children obtained an education. She was also a disciplinarian. Her children stated they appreciate all her scolding and whippings, noting that because of them, they shaped who they became as adults. She also stressed the importance of loving and getting along with each other. She ended many of her children's arguments with this unforgettable saying "If you cannot get along with each other, how do you intend to get along with others in the world". This has stuck with her family and has been passed down through the various generations.
At the time of her passing, she left to cherish her memories: 8 sons, 3 daughters, 24 grandchildren, 28 great grandchildren, and 1 great great grandchild.