BVA Mourns Passing of Longtime Blinded Veteran Advocate
Barbara Brau Cotton Stocking, an instrumental figure in BVA’s history
in a multitude of roles as she served America’s blinded veterans,
passed away November 18, 2014.
BVA National Headquarters and the Association’s members and friends
nationwide extend their condolences to Dr. George Stocking and the
entire Stocking family.
Barbara was a charter member and past national president of the
Blinded Veterans Auxiliary (BVAA) and the Florida Regional Group
Auxiliary. She initiated and served as chairperson for many years of the
program overseeing BVAA scholarships for spouses and children of
blinded veterans. She also helped start a similar scholarship program in
Barbara was born in Freeport, Illinois, and moved to South Miami at
age 15. She was gifted in the field of public relations as both a
professional as well as a volunteer. She had a particular interest in
charitable organizations, working as Public Relations Director for the
Miami Heart Association, Dade-Monroe Lung Association, and Miami
Multiple Sclerosis Society. She was an officer and board member in Women
in Communications, Pilot Club International, the Dade Chapter of the
Public Relations Association, Miami Advertising Club, and was a member
of the Coco Plum Women’s Club for more than 60 years.
Through Barbara’s public relations experience, she became active in
the Dade Employ the Handicapped Committee (DEHC) and Dade Chapter of the
Florida Rehabilitation Association (FRA).
While working on DEHC and FRA activities, Barbara met blinded veteran
Dr. George Stocking, a Counseling Psychologist at the Miami VA Medical
Center who was also serving on the Blinded Veterans Association’s
National Board of Directors. They were married and together they
remained active in BVA both nationally and locally. Barbara’s experience
in public relations further assisted George in working with members of
Congress and the Department of Veterans Affairs, leading to improved
services, benefits, and quality of life for veterans with vision loss.
Barbara was an avid photographer and especially loved traveling with her husband.
She is survived by George, son John Cotton, daughter Cathie
Cotton-DeBoer; step daughters Debra Stocking, Diane Neiss, and Donna
Cohrs; six grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter.
In lieu of flowers, the Stocking family has specifically requested
that contributions be made to the BVA Florida Regional Group Scholarship
program, 3801 Coco Grove Avenue, Miami, FL 33133.