Marie Williamson (Cote)
Marie Estelle (Cote) Williamson, 90, died peacefully at her home in Ellington, CT on Tuesday, December 12, 2017. She was born May 4, 1927 in Willimantic CT, the third of five children. Born into a hard-working and industrious French-Canadian family, she learned at an early age to use every resource available, letting little go to waste.
She graduated from St. Mary’s School and Windham High School and was then accepted into the Cadet Nursing Corps at St. Francis Hospital. While her training was cut short by illness, she never lost her love of helping those in need. In 1947 she married John, the love of her life. They spent an amazing 63 years together until John’s death in 2010, raising seven children who produced 15 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren. Estelle was the soul of this large extended family, and they are eternally grateful for the bonds she instilled. In addition to regularly bringing her family together, she encouraged the inclusion of friends who were immediately considered family, having shared a meal.
Estelle was a beautiful, bright and talented woman. She was a master drapery maker and a skilled seamstress who could refashion a pair of last year’s men’s trousers into two jumpers for her ever-growing daughters. She could knit with her eyes closed, creating bundles of beautiful sweaters, socks, mittens, afghans and baby blankets that she lovingly shared with her family and friends.
During her adult life, she was a crusader for the underprivileged. She served as President of the Tolland County Chapter of the American Red Cross and was a leading voice in spearheading the requirement for public schools to educate students with special needs. She returned to college when her children were grown, earning a degree in Sociology and worked as a social services case manager in Enfield, Connecticut, advocating for adults with special needs. In her later years, she served on the steering committee for the design and building of the new Ellington Senior Center, taking great joy in seeing that project to completion.
Once their nest was finally empty, she and John embarked on many adventures. They purchased a summer home in Charleston, Rhode Island, where her children and grandchildren shared many happy days clamming, fishing and enjoying the beauty of the ocean. Upon retiring, they spent winters in Florida where she took up golf and made many new friends. She loved to travel and made it a point to see as much of the world as she could. Among her favorite trips were Hawaii, Alaska, Scotland and the Panama Canal.
She leaves her daughter, Kathleen Hurt, of Cincinnati, Ohio, and her children Michael and Melissa; her son John Williamson and his wife Kerry of Manchester, CT and their children, Jonathon, Ethan and Laura her son Steven Williamson and his wife Jean of West Yarmouth, MA; her daughter Marie Bedor and her husband Gary of Ellington, CT, and their children Lyndsey and Jeremy; her daughter Margaret Cavanagh of Ellington, CT, and her children Diana, Luke, Teresa and Joe; her daughter Dianne Trueb and her husband Tom of Ellington, CT and their children Jacob and Anna; her daughter, Paula Reid of Dover, NH, and her children Joe and Katherine, and her 14 beautiful great grandchildren: Max, Lucy, Camryn, Annabelle, Devyn, Phoebe, Noah, Isabella, Madelynn, Lillie, Faelan, Samuel, Quinn, and Abigail.
Estelle’s family would like to express gratitude and thanks to her three “angels” who took such wonderful care of her as her health declined in the last couple of years. Cynthia Adjei, Joanne Halloran and Sherry Skinner treated her with respect, dignity and love and we appreciate their undying loyalty to our family.
Calling hours will be held from 2-4 PM on Sunday, December 17, 2017 at Burke-Fortin Funeral Home, 76 Prospect Street in Rockville. A Funeral Mass will be held on Monday December 18, 2017 at 11:00 at St. Luke’s Church, Ellington, CT. In honor of Estelle’s commitment to those less fortunate as well as her life in Ellington for over 57 years, the family requests in lieu of flowers that memorial donations be made to Ellington Human Services Department, 31 Arbor Way, Ellington, CT. For online condolences please visit www.pietrasfuneralhome.com