Gabrielle "Gay" Cote of York, Maine, and formally of Boston, Massachusetts, died peacefully surrounded by family and friends on Wednesday, October 28th, 2020, at her beloved Lindsay Road home. She was a graduate of York High School and Chamberlain School of Retail and began her career as an intern at Jordan Marsh's fragrance counter. She steadily worked her way up the executive chain at Jordan Marsh, becoming Vice President of Cosmetics at the time of their merger with Macy's in 1994. It is at Jordan Marsh where Gay would meet many of her devoted lifelong friends. During her tenure at Jordan Marsh, Gay oversaw several fragrance launches. During these launches, many friendships were forged with such celebrities as Leonard Lauder, Paloma Picasso, Ralph Lauren, Dina Merrill, Polly Bergen, Carla Fendi, Diane Von Furstenberg, Sophia Loren, and Ralph Pucci. Gay finished her career as a fragrance contractor for Federated Department Stores before retiring back to York in 2011.
Her parents, "Big" Jim and Alice, built the family home in York in the 1940s; throughout her life, she continued maintaining and updating the homestead. Along with her mother, Gay cultivated lovely gardens on the property and was a member of the Old York Garden Club. Many will remember Gay as a dedicated York Harbor beachgoer who enjoyed being surrounded by her group in their regular spot. One of her proudest accomplishments came when she was named the Massachusetts Medical Center's top blood donor. In her retirement, she became actively involved with the Old York Historical Society and was a sitting member of their Board of Trustees. Gay was an adventurous traveler visiting such notable places as Italy, France, Egypt, Spain, Cuba, The Bahamas, and Hawaii. Throughout her life, her passions included needlepoint, puzzles, and being an avid movie buff.
Gay was happiest surrounded by her nieces and nephews, often behind the lens of her camera. She is fondly remembered by her two nephews, Michael Cote and Pierce Cote (Hannah), three nieces, Hannah McKinney, Jessica Iozzi (Steven), and Sarah Uribe (Juan), four great-nieces Madelynn, Samara, Phoebe and Jade, two great-nephews Mathias and Conrad and sister-in-law Terri (Jim) Askman. In the last several months, Gay was cared for by her loving sister-in-law, Wendy Cote, family friend Stephen Carr, many attentive neighbors, and compassionate caregivers.
Gay is predeceased by her parents, "Big" Jim and Alice, and two brothers, Christopher and Matthew. She is survived by one brother, James.
Graveside service will be held at the First Parish Church Cemetery, Friday November 6th, 2020 at 11AM.
Donations can be made to the Old York Historical Society, PO Box 312 York, ME 03909 in Gay's memory.
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