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Joyce Endee

Jefferson bids farewell to Claudette Couture

by Tara Giles
Sports reporter - Coos County Democrat and Berlin Reporter
September 23, 2021
JEFFERSON — The town of Jefferson lost a big personality last week, with the passing of Claudette Rose Couture on Sept. 14.

At 77 years old, her most known greeting was "Hey, girl," or when she had something to say, she would lean in and say, "Listennnn" with great enthusiasm only a French Canadian could deliver. Last but not least, her simple words of wisdom were, "Life's too short to be sorry."

The mother of three children, there was no shortage of Shenanigans going on at the Couture home, on Turnpike Road. To mini-bikes being sped up and down grated roads, pool parties in the backyard and countless sleepovers, Claudette was always there to patch up a skinned knee and was always offering words of encouragement in her own, humorous way. Known as the best sleepover mom ever, she would laugh the next morning carrying a frozen bra she had just discovered in the freezer and would shout, "What the heck is this thing doing in the freezer, you girls!"

You knew she meant business, when she was saying something if her eyebrows shot straight up. And she meant business often.

The counter in her kitchen was always a place of comfort where she would serve anyone who stepped up, the best crepes imaginable. If you were being polite by not asking for seconds, she knew and would pop more on your plate anyway. She was an amazing seamstress, who had an entire floor of her home dedicated to just that. If you are lucky enough to be in possession of one of her fleece hats or mittens, you are in the possession of an item made with passion and love.

Couture had so many great stories to share.

One was recalled by her daughter Lisa, who told us, "Memere and Papa were in their RV, on their way to a craft show in southern New Hampshire and Papa stopped at a rest area thinking Memere was sleeping in the back, went in and came back and left. He didn't know that she went into the rest area and proceeded to leave. Memere went out to the RV to get back in and it was gone. She didn't know what to do so she called the state police to have him pulled over so he could turn around and go get her!"

Always doing right by her family, her granddaughter Brennah shared a story that encapsulates who she was.

"Memere has always had a lifelong fear of water, she never learned how to swim. Yet in 2018, when I got married in the Dominican Republic (which was her favorite place to vacation), the whole family was out on a big boat when we decided we all wanted to go in the water and hangout. After a while, Memere decided she wanted to join, and she overcame her fear to be with her family. She put her life jacket on, wrapped her arms around the ones she loved most and got in the water!"

Claudette's grandchildren loved helping their Memere at the annual Jefferson Christmas Festival each year. She was always seen chatting with fellow residents and loving every minute.

Grandaughter Jayda said, "There wasn't a chance you could walk by her booth without trying on a hat or a pair of mittens, and once you tried them you were hooked for life."

Claudette was born on April 13, 1944 in Saint Isidore, Quebec. She was the daughter of Marcel and Antoinette (Vachon) Gelinas. She moved to Jefferson in 1960 to work as a nanny and soon met Julien (Chick) Couture. They were later married on July 7, 1962 in East Hereford, Quebec. They settled down in Jefferson after their marriage and raised their family in "Couture Ville."

Claudette was an active member of Gate of Heaven Parish. She also enjoyed going to "the mall" with her best friend Carol Bacon, beating everyone at cribbage and having her grandchildren take her to "therapy" (Bingo). She also thoroughly enjoyed crafting with her grandchildren, taking trips to Prince Edward Island with her family and helping anyone in need.

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