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sunriseCarole Marcotte died yesterday, early in the morning, in California. She leaves behind her parents, two brothers Gary and Kile, her sister Susan, many friends, and a husband, Bob, who loved her very much.

She was four and a half years older than I, and I looked up to her. One mistake she made in her life that I know about was her laughing—often alone—at her littlest brother’s attempts at humor. This forever endeared me to her, and provided encouragement—thus condemning those close to me to this day, to continuing stumbles into humor. Yes, let’s say it was her fault.

She had a natural, rich singing voice, which she put to use as a soloist in choirs and in churches throughout her life. This I also admired. An early high point for her was being chosen to sing, in Pennsauken High School’s production of West Side Story, “Somewhere” (“There’s a place for us”). I can still picture looking up to her, on a balcony in a blue light above the stage.

Waves of cancer took her away, but not before years of pain, treatments, surgeries, and more pain. She repeatedly surprised doctors with her resilience. After they had cut nerves to get to one mass of badness, nerves that would keep her from ever walking again, she walked. The doctors did not know how this could be. She made art, she laughed.

And as her body weakened, and as her pain increased, her faith strengthened. Many people noted this. She looked to the Lord, the source of strength, and I look up to her still.

Into Thy hands, O merciful Savior, we commend thy servant Carole and our dear sister. Acknowledge, we humbly beseech thee, a sheep of thine own fold, a lamb of thine own flock, a sinner of thine own redeeming. Receive her into the arms of thy mercy and into the blessed rest of everlasting peace, and into the glorious company of the saints in light. Amen.

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