Opal Cotton
Plant a Tree
Plant a Tree


5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Sunday, June 28, 2020
Adams-Green Funeral Home
721 Elden St.
Herndon, Virginia, United States

Funeral Service

11:00 am
Monday, June 29, 2020
First Baptist Church of Vienna
450 Orchard ST. NW
Vienna, Virginia, United States


1:00 pm
Monday, June 29, 2020
Chestnut Grove Cemetery
831 Dranesville Road
Herndon, Virginia, United States

Obituary of Opal Hill Cotton


This is the link to the livestream broadcast of the Funeral service. It will bbe available to be seen at service time


Opal H. Cotton prayerfully and valiantly fought cancer for the past nine months, always positive and hopeful about her healing. She passed away peacefully on Monday morning, June 22, 2020 at her home at the age of 77.


Opal was born in Broken Bow, Oklahoma on November 15, 1942.  She was the oldest of six children born to Dennis and Christana Hill. Opal shared many stories about learning to cook and canning foods. She kept those skills and shared her good cooking with family and friends. In addition, she shared her cooking skills with her granddaughters Aliyah and Eliza.

Always a good student, she completed high school as valedictorian at Dunbar High School in 1960.  She then went on to college at Langston University in Oklahoma, a Historically Black College, and was named as one of Who’s Who Among America's Universities and Colleges. She graduated in 1964 after having a double major in sociology and history.  She later completed her Masters Degree in Education in 1979 at San Jose State University.


Opal met her husband Ulysses at the McCurtain County Fair as they stood in line to get on the Ferris Wheel. They grew up in neighboring towns and after Opal finished College they married on November 26, 1965. The newlyweds moved to Menlo Park and San Jose California where Ulysses was in the Army Reserves and worked for the Mineral Management Services and the Geological Survey. Opal was a social worker in San Mateo and completed her Master’s Degree at San Jose State. University. They were blessed with two children while in California, Joey, born in 1969 and Nina born in 1971.


Ulysses and Opal moved to Reston, Virginia in 1975 for one year, because Ulysses had an internship at Geological Survey and Opal began teaching in Northern Virginia. They returned to San Jose before moving permanently to Reston, Virginia in 1978 to raise their family.


Opal worked as a Title One teacher and then became an assistant principal at Poe Middle School and then Langston Hughes Middle School.  She was the principal at Dogwood Elementary School for 6 years before she retired in 2000. 

Opal remained busy as an active member of First Baptist Church of Vienna Virginia, participating in a variety of committees, bible studies and actively leading the College Connection Program.  She was an active charter member of the Fairfax County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and Educators, Then Now and Forever (ETNAF).


Opal and Ulysses raised their granddaughter Aliyah since she was in the second grade and were very involved at South Lakes High School as band boosters, honor society parents and the PTA. Their hard work paid off as Aliyah completed her Bachelor's degree with honors in English and Music from the University of Virginia in 2019. Aliyah will receive her Masters Degree in Fine Arts this summer from Boston University.


We will miss the joy that Opal brought to her family and everyone that she met. She was a loving wife, mother, sister and Nana. Her Delta Sigma Theta Sorors will miss her as well as the children and adults at First Baptist Church. She was a caring friend and confidante to so many. She was deeply spiritual and depended on the Goodness of God throughout her life. Her light of Love, Joy, Peace, and Hope remain with us.


Opal Hill Cotton leaves to mourn her loving husband of 55 years,

Ulysses Cotton, son Joseph Cotton (Carol), daughter Nina C. Blake (Elias)

grandchildren, Joseph Stoner, Aliyah Cotton, and Eliza Blake.

Siblings Ora Swain, Mary Hawkins, LeVell Hill, Pearl Hunter, and Leon Hill and Jessey Nelson, Aliyah’s Mom and Opal’s Caregiver.


In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to First Baptist Church of Vienna, College Connection Program. 


Do to the current situation with the pandemic, in addition to the Funeral service on Monday, we will be having a larger Memorial service at a safer time when a larger group can gather. Thank you for understanding.


Share Your Memory of