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Obituary: Death of Carole Cotier - Decades of love with and for her husband John

Carole Cotier

Published: 08 September 2011

CAROLE Cotier, who has died aged 66, never went anywhere without her husband John after a pact they made decades ago.

“Even if it was just to the corner shop we’d go together,” said John, 67.
Carole was born in 1945 in Grafton Road, the third of five children, and went to Parliament Hill School. Her father, Harry Fulton, was a coalman, and her mother Nell was a housewife.
“I remember very clearly the first time I saw Carole,” John recalls. “She was with her friend walking down the street, and they kept walking past our house, again and again and again.

I was with my brother, and me and Carole kept smiling at each other. I was about 15 and she was 14. 

“Eventually we invited them in for some dinner. So we were together for 52 years, and married for 47 years.”
In 1964, when Carole was 19, they married at St Martin’s church in Gospel Oak. A year later they had their daughter, Amanda. A son, John, followed in 1967, when they moved to Kiln Place.
“We never had money in the early days,” said John. “We’d be getting rent arrears letters from the council, but she would still buy these bags and bags of food for the kids’ dinner. 
“She’d say: ‘To hell with the council. It’s my children that matter to me’.”
After Carole left school, she worked as an optician in Queen’s Crescent, and as a model for a fur coat shop in Plender Street, Camden Town. 
“She had such skinny arms when she was younger,” Amanda recalled. “She was only seven and a half stone, and she looked like Sophia Loren when she put her big glasses on. 
“She was a really progressive sort of person, way ahead of everyone else. Really, she should have been a designer or something.”
Amanda added that her mother had a “heart of gold... it was almost too big for her body”, and that she packed a lunch that made other children jealous.
The family recalled how the children would be sent to school with the elaborate hairstyles that took hours in the morning, and how she would wake up, sometimes at 3am to cook her grandchildren steak after they came home from a night out clubbing.
Carole loved big cats, and photographs of lions and tigers covered the reception area of her home. 
“For her birthday in October, we were booking a private zoo day for her where she’d get to feed the big cats, but it never happened.”
In June T-cell lymphoma spread to Carole’s lymph nodes, and she was taken to the Royal Free before passing away on August 25. 
She leaves behind John, her children, six grandchildren and three great grandchildren – aged 4, 3, and eight months.


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