Obituary for M. Theresa Cote (Terrie)
M. Theresa Cote, 92, of Fitchburg, MA, known to her relatives and co-workers as Terrie, died on May 9th, 2023 at UMass Memorial Health Alliance Hospital.
Terrie was born in Fitchburg, MA on November 18th, 1930, the 17th and youngest child of Hector and Adelias Nadeau-Cote. She was raised in the Cleghorn section of Fitchburg where she attended St. Joseph Grammar School. There she received her diploma on June 18th, 1944. She attended St. Anne’s Academy in Marlboro, MA where she obtained a high school diploma on June 13th, 1948; as well as a diploma from CUA (Catholic University of America).
Terrie, a life-long educator was fluent in three languages: French, English and Spanish. She began her teaching career at St. Joseph School in Worcester from 1950 to 1952. She taught at St. Matthew School in Central Falls, RI from 1952 to 1954; St. Francis of Assisi School in South Fitchburg from 1956 to 1966; Sacred Heart of Jesus School in West Fitchburg from 1966 to 1967; and St. Mary School in Marlboro, MA from 1967 to 1970.
She received a Bachelor’s degree from Anna Maria College, Paxton, MA on May 31st, 1970 and a Master of Education degree from A.I.C. (American International College), Springfield, MA on May 30th, 1976.
In September, 1970, Terrie moved to Chicopee, MA, and for one year taught French and Spanish at Springfield’s Technical High School. Then she taught E.S.L. (English as a Second Language) at the Alfred G. Zanetti Elementary School for twenty-eight years. While teaching at Zanetti School, she also served as bilingual coordinator and was in charge of planning the Assemblies.
In order to help her students learn English, Terrie wrote a book “Scooter’s New Clothes” and also rewrote in simple English two classic plays: “Cinderella” and “The Wizard of Oz” which her students performed for parents and the whole school.
After 48 years of teaching Terrie’s career ended in Springfield as she retired from the position because of medical reasons on June 30th, 1998.
While she lived in Springfield, Terrie directed St. Mary’s Junior Choir in East Springfield for thirteen years as well as an adult choir and a children’s choir at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart for twelve years. She was also involved with a children’s choir at St. Joseph’s in Springfield and with the children’s choir at Mount Carmel Church for a brief time. She was adept in playing several musical instruments such as the guitar, a keyboard, the piano, and an omnichord. She was thus able to accompany the children during the school assemblies. While at St. Mary’s, she was able to cut a musical album in the late 70’s. She also rewrote two religious plays: “Bernadette of Lourdes” and “Our Lady of Guadaloupe” which the Children of Mary performed. She also took part in preparing and directing a yearly Christmas Concert.
After her retirement from the Springfield School System in 1998, she moved to Lunenburg, MA where she made her home with her niece, Lorraine, and her husband, Norman. Unable to remain idle, even in retirement, she continued teaching E.S.L. to French Canadian children in New Ipswich, N.H.
Terrie taught C.C.D. at Immaculate Conception Church in Fitchburg and served as parish C.C.D. coordinator. She served as lector and Eucharistic Minster. After resigning from the Religious Ed program there, she transferred to St. Bernard’s Parish.
Her hobbies included knitting afghans and baby blankets which she donated for Church fairs. She enjoyed spending considerable time writing a Cote Family History - and even creating DVD’s about her family.
On January 27th, 2008, she organized a special celebration where 242 members attended. One of her ventures consisted in writing a Cote Family Mini-Genealogy which included a biography of her parents and of her brothers and sisters. She even wrote her own autobiography in which she included countless family photos.
Terrie was blessed with being born into a large family and she is survived by 595 nieces and nephews, grand nieces and grand nephews, etc. She is also survived by many cousins living in Québec, Hartford, CT and Manchester, NH.
Terrie was predeceased by her parents Hector and Adelias Nadeau-Cote and her sixteen siblings, nieces and nephews and great grand nieces and nephews.
In 2011, Terrie moved to the Gables in Fitchburg where she began a program of French classes which lasted seven seasons.
She spent a lot of time keeping up with the Family History and collecting more family pictures. Being Family Historian was a full-time hobby which she enjoyed to no end. She was very generous with her time, talents and all she had.
A funeral Mass for Terrie will be held at St. Cecilia’s Church, 180 Mechanic St, Leominster, MA on Wednesday, May 17th at 11:00 a.m. Calling hours will be held at the Lavery-Chartrand-Alario Funeral Home, 99 Summer St, Fitchburg. on Tuesday, May 16, 2023 from 6 until 8 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to EWTN at 5817 Old Leeds Road, Irondale. Alabama, 35210-2162 in care of Michael Warsaw or to CatholicTV at 34 Chestnut Street, Box 9196, Watertown, MA, 02471, in care of Bishop Robert Reed.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of M. Theresa Cote, please visit our floral store.