Jeannette Clara Cotter
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Jeannette Clara Cotter
  • April 11, 1922 - May 15, 2017
  • Old Lyme, Connecticut

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Jeannette Clara Cotter (Bonneton) born 95 years ago in Eastern France passed away peacefully at home in Old Lyme CT on May 15, 2017.

Jeannette led a very active life which got started when studying for a Baccalaureate in Philosophy in Paris on June 15,1943 she was interrupted by the rapid entrance of the Wehrmacht in the Capital that day. She left Paris within the hour heading homeward East only to find herself eventually behind enemy lines. Because of her knowledge of the local Argonne forest she became a horseback courier for the resistance and handled the repatriation of downed Allied airmen through enemy lines. Jeannette received the Legion of Honor for her activities in the Resistance.

In the Fall of 1946 she met her husband Charles C. Cotter of NYC (former G3 intelligence operative in General Patton's 3rd Army) who had stayed in Paris after the war to study Philosophy at the Sorbonne. They married in Paris in the Spring of 1947 but during the honeymoon were asked to go to Budapest to manage CARE operations there. A year later the Russians invaded Hungary and they escaped via Vienna to Eastern France. Over the next 2 years Charles set up Care operations in Belgium and Holland with Jeannette handling a heavy administrative load. .

Upon returning to Boston in 1950 where Charles pursued a degree in International Law at Fletchers, she became a US citizen. Thereafter, as Charles rose within the Mobil Oil corporation she assumed all the responsibilities of an international corporate wife during their extended assignments in Senegal, Ivory Coast, Republic of Congo, Holland and Italy spanning a total period of 26 years.

Around 1955 Jeannette discovered Wilson Point, So. Norwalk through summer rentals and eventually bought 3 acres there in 1960 upon which they built their house in 1962. It was to be her US home base for the next 54 years.

Jeannette was always a very active person and loved Tennis, Paddle Tennis, Skiing (snow and water), organizing big dinner parties and especially dancing. In the late 80's she was President of the NYC Waltz club. In the 90's she gravitated towards Contract Bridge and became an active player in the Fairfield County circuit. She kept up her Bridge playing skills until she was 94, driving herself (weather permitting) to the neighboring Old Lyme Country Club.

Jeannette is survived by her two sons Patrick and John, 3 grandsons Alexander, Andrew and Geoffrey and her favorite great granddaughter Pia. She will be greatly missed for her liveliness and positive spirit by all who knew her.

A Memorial Service will be held at the United Church of Rowayton CT on June 13 at 1 pm. Memorial donations may be sent to the Center for Hospice Care, 227 Dunham Street, Norwich, CT 06360.