John Cotton Cummings, Jr.

Staff Written Obituaries

John Cotton Cummings, Jr., age 79, of Morgan County Georgia passed away December 14, 2020, at his home, of a heart attack. Cotton was born August 20, 1941 in Durham, North Carolina, to John Cotton Cummings, Sr., and Ruth O’Bryant Cummings.

He spent his youth in Macon, Georgia, attending and graduating from Lanier Boys High School in 1960. He attended Middle Georgia College in Cochran, Georgia, Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia and Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. He earned a degree in Physics and a Masters degree in Electrical Engineering. Cotton never stopped learning. After retiring he took welding and machinist classes at Athens Tech graduating first in his class.

Cotton worked as an engineer for At&T for 34 years. In 1990 he was sent to Bell Labs in Holmdel, New Jersey, for an executive management class, in which only seven people from AT&T at that time, were eligible. He loved every minute in the labs during his 16 months there. It was his dream job, being paid to go to school.

Nothing suited Cotton more than to have friends over for food and drinks. Everyone always felt welcomed with warmth and open arms. But as son Mark says, “never eat the last potato chip, he can get mean!”

In his early 30s Cotton built and raced a Formula V race car. He took that car all over the southeast to road courses, such as Road Atlanta, and had the greatest times ever. In his mid-40s he learned to play polo on Columns Drive on the Chattahoochee River with the Atlanta Polo Club. He was happiest sitting on the field after a game drinking a beer while the horses grazed nearby. Horses have continued to be a big part of his life since then. Lately he’s been involved in target shooting and reloading ammunition.

He leaves his wife 57 years, Karen Chester Cummings, sons Michael Cotton Cummings, of Woodstock, Georgia (Vicki Perry, Perry Cotton, 19 and John Cooper, 18), Mark Shannon Cummings, of Marietta, Georgia (Ginny Dixon, Kathryn Amelia, 14 and Karen AnneMarie, 12), his dear friends at the Curling and Reading Society, his fellow cattlemen at the Morgan County Cattleman’s Association, and his many friends all over the country. There will be a service in 2021 and a memorial party following. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office Explorers or the Robotic Team at Morgan County High School.

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