She was working quietly in her beloved garden, one sunny Canberra afternoon, when Ethel felt a little tired and decided to take a nap. She died peacefully and was found at rest later that afternoon.
Ethel Cootes was born on 19 February 1932 in Bombala and died at her home in Canberra on 24 March 2016. She was the wife of Mervyn who died before her. Ethel had cared for him for a long time after had a stroke. Ethel loved family—her children Gregory, Colin and Lynne, grandsons Sebastian and Zachary, sister Janice, brothers Albert and Ted (dec), brother-in-law of Barry and sister-in-law Pamela.
Ethel's career was as a primary teacher. She was a masterly innovator and curriculum designer and powerfully dedicated to the wellbeing of her pupils. At St Philip's, Ethel imersed herself in a great array of practical help and ministry, with joy and loving care.
Ethel's daughter Lynne gave the eulogy of at Ethel's funeral on 1 April 2016. You can read it here.
Words that Ethel might have said
Relatives and friends, I am about to leave;
I leave myself not to the undertaker,
I leave my thoughts, my laughter, my dreams
I give you what no thief can steal,
And all I take with me as I leave
Fear not nor grieve at my departure,
Adapted from Prayers for a Planetary Pilgrim,
Ethel has picked her last bouquet,