Dimitry Cook de Chezet, 76: Known for her whimsy, grace, gentle nature

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TOPSHAM — Dimitry Cook de Chezet, 76, died Feb. 18.

A gentle soul with no rough edges and a whimsical sense of humor, she was a devoted and loving mother and wife.

Born June 16, 1934, she attended high school in Washington, D.C. and graduated from Hollins College, where she met her future husband, Jean-Paul “JP” de Chezet, a Belgian-born graduate of the Georgetown School of Foreign Service.

After they married in 1957 they moved to California, and eventually settled in San Diego.

While living in San Diego, she worked as a secretary at Sacred Heart Academy, was active in the League of Women Voters, practiced yoga and read Eastern mysticism.

She had happy memories of traveling up and down the Pacific coast in her pale blue Volkswagon Bug, loved walking along the ocean with her children, and hiking in the nearby Laguna Mountains.

In 1974 after Jean-Paul received his Ph.D. from University of California-Irvine, they moved to Quebec, where he took a professorship. She made the best of the big change and became acquainted with snow shovels, Canadian geese and put her college French to good use.

The couple retired to a home near a marsh in Harpswell, where they took walks, hand-in-hand, and watched the small creatures and birds.

They traveled to Italy and France often, and would send dozens of letters, sometimes with illustrations, to family and friends recounting their adventures.

By late 2007, Dimitry began suffering from dementia and the couple had to leave their Harpswell home.

The nurses at Amenity Manor in Topsham, the staff at the Governor King wing at the Highlands in Topsham, and her devoted caregiver, Sylvia Fish, provided unconditional support to her in the last years of her life, as did her doting husband, who visited her several times a day. Her gentle nature persisted to the end.

Her brother, F.H. Daniel Cook, predeceased her in 1991.

She is survived by her husband Jean-Paul; her two children, Dominique Louise de Chezet and Jamie, in Ottawa, and Alan Daniel de Chezet and Marnie, and their daughter Jade, in British Columbia; sister-in-law, Anita Cook, and her children, Raymond Cook, and “little” Dimitry Beauchamp and Travis, and their son Wilton.

There will be no service.

Arrangements are by the Brackett Funeral Home, 29 Federal St., Brunswick.