Tuesday, January 28, 2014

RIP IMC

I wanted to share my mother-in-law's obituary.  She was a very smart woman and well ahead of her time.  She loved her family and her Catholic faith.  She was fiercely loyal and had a bit of an Irish temper.  She was a wonderful role model for me as a wife, a mom and  a Catholic.

COTELL, Irene Mary (Browne) Was born in Boston, MA on 9 June 1927 to Jeremiah and Brigid Browne, who had come to America the previous year from Ennis, County Clare, Ireland. 

She attended St. Francis de Sales Catholic Grade School in Roxbury followed by Notre Dame Academy in Roxbury. She was a 1948 graduate of Emmanuel College with a B.A. in Mathematics. She later earned a M.S. in Mathematics from Boston University in 1951. 

After her graduate degree, she returned to Emmanuel where she taught math. In 1953, she went to work for the U.S. Air Force at Cambridge Research Labs (CRL) as a geophysicist. She conducted extensive analytical work on accumulated data that were used to track the movements of Fletcher's Ice Island, which was a U.S. Air Force glacial ice station in the Arctic Circle. 

Her duties involved radio communications with researchers on the island to acquire and process data from the ice station. In 1960, she was invited to travel to the ice island for on-site duty in the Arctic. This trip above the Arctic Circle by Irene and her female colleague represented one of the earliest forays above that latitude ever undertaken by women. 

While working for CRL, Irene met her husband, Robert Cotell, who had been on the earliest mission to the ice island. They were married in 1959 and had four children. In 1964, the couple moved to Wellesley, MA where they raised their four children. 

Irene became an active member of St. Paul Parish, and a substitute teacher at St. Paul School. She was also a prominent leader in the Scouting movement where she served as a Cub Scout Den Mother, Boy Scout Troop Committee member, and served various roles in the Norumbega Council. 

She also enjoyed spending summers on Cape Cod, where her family owned a home in West Yarmouth. As a lifelong, devoted Catholic, she attended daily mass at both St. Paul church in Wellesley and St. Francis Xavier Church in Hyannis. 

Irene is survived by her four children: Catherine of Alexandria VA, Robert of Fort Detrick, MD, Richard and his wife, Jennifer of Needham, MA and Daniel and his wife Elizabeth of Lexington, NC; her three grandchildren: Jillian of Needham and Peter and Sarah of Lexington, NC; and her two brothers: Gerald Browne and Rev. Robert Browne, both of Marlborough, MA. Irene was pre-deceased by her sister, Catherine Brigid. 

Funeral from the George F. Doherty & Sons Funeral Home, 477 Washington Street (Rt 16), WELLESLEY, Thursday at 9AM. Funeral Mass in St. Paul Church, Wellesley at 10AM. Relatives and friends kindly invited. Visiting hours Wednesday 4-8PM. Interment will be held on Friday, January 31, at 1PM in the St. Francis Xavier Cemetery, Centerville. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations may be made to Boy Scouts of America, Knox Trail Council or the Alzheimer's Association

For directions and guestbook, gfdoherty.com George F. Doherty & Sons Wellesley 781-235-4100 - See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/bostonglobe/obituary.aspx?n=irene-cotell

We will miss you, Nana.

10 comments:

Mari said...

This is a wonderful tribute to your dear Mother-in-law.

Aimee said...

Wow, what an amazing life! Prayers for her soul and all of you. xoxo

Amelia Bentrup said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. She sounds like a wonderful woman!

Madeline said...

A beautiful obituary. I hope you are all doing as well as possible in a sad situations. Prayers for peace for all of you.

Billie Jo said...

Thank you for sharing this, my friend...
What an amazing life!
Hugs...

Colleen said...

She sounds awesome.

And that cemetary is in the village next to where I grew up (Osterville)...what a small world!

Wendy said...

Wow thank you for sharing. She sounds like such an amazing woman. After reading that and your FIL's obituary they were quite the impressive couple. That must have been quite an upbringing for Dan and his siblings.

Mary Lenaburg said...

What an amazing woman. Thanks for sharing her with us Beth. Blessings to you and your family.

Elise said...

Prayers for you & your family, Beth. She sounds like an amazing woman.

Rebekah Es said...

What a beautiful and amazing life.