Russel "Rus" Cato, a loving husband, father, and grandfather, 68, of N. Anderson St., Morganton, NC died Sunday, May 9, 2010 at the Burke Palliative Care Center. Born in Richmond, VA on April 27, 1942, he was the son of the late Russel Littleton Cato and Mildred Outland Cato. Rus was a member of Grace Episcopal Church. He grew up in Emporia, VA and was a 1964 graduate of NC State University. Following his graduation, he went to work for Corning Glass, where he invented part of the Apollo moon camera. He later retired from Leviton, Southern Devices, having been plant manager in both the Morganton and West Jefferson locations. Rus was a leader of the Burke County United Way. He coached youth sports and was an avid outdoor enthusiast. He performed in Community Theatre in both Burke and Ashe Counties. He served as chairman of the Burke County Career Readiness Board of the Burke County Public Schools and also as an advocate for residents at J. Iverson Riddle Developmental Center.Rus is survived by his wife, Wendy Hodge Cato of the home; children, Chris Cato of Morganton, Scott Cato of Pilot Mountain, NC, Kerri Phipps and husband, Dewie, of Morganton, and Susan Cato and wife, Hayley, of Boston, MA; a brother, Jim Cato and wife, Patty, of Charlottesville, VA; and grandchildren, Ryan Cato and wife, Brittney, Meghan Phipps, Austin Phipps, and Piper Cato.In addition to his parents, Rus was preceded in death by a daughter, Buffy Leland, and a granddaughter, Bailey Noelle Cato.The memorial service will be held at 4:00 p.m., Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at Grace Episcopal Church with Rev. Bruce Walker and Dr. Jim W. Smith of Pleasant Ridge Baptist Church officiating. The family will receive friends from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. Tuesday at Sossoman Funeral Home. At other times the family will be at the residence. Memorial contributions may be made to Burke Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc., 1721 Enon Road, Valdese, NC 28690.

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