This section is dedicated to those Cotnoir family members who have distinguished themselves through the years for their contributions to society and their talents.

If you would like to highlight a member of your family, simply forward the details to Raymond Cotnoir by email at or to Angèle Foisy by email at  We would be pleased to dedicate a section on this page to them.



Laurette Cotnoir-Capponi

Professeur de coupe, couture et dessin de Mode

Laurette Cotnoir, widow of Luigi Capponi, director-professor of the Cours de Coupe-Couture et Dessin de Mode at the school carrying her name, born on January 3, 1897, in Saint-Germain de Grantham, County of Drummond, P.Q., of Leon-Narcisse Cotnoir (deceased 1931) and Olivine (Duff) Cotnoir. Miss Cotnoir was educated at the Convent of the Assumption in her native village where she was gold medalist in music in 1911, then with the Sainte-Marie Mount, the School for Higher Studies and the University of Montreal. In 1918 she married Signor Luigi Capponi, son of Count Luigi Angelo Capponi of Florence (Italy). She was widowed 3 years later. She then left for Italy and France to study, then returned to Canada where she is established as a Professional Seamstress and attended the School of Fine Arts. The success with which it reached quickly was thanks to the technical and scientific training one can only get in France, soon directed Mrs Capponi towards teaching her profession. She devoted herself with the passion for which she was known and after modest beginnings without any support, at her residence on Sherbrooke Street formed Haute Couture and Fashion professionals some of which were already affirmed honourably both in the United States and in Canada.

(Click here to read the full bio in french)












Writer, novelliste, poet

BIRTH PLACE :    Sorel 1948
CURRENT RESIDENCE :   Montréal (Québec)

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OMI (1887-1961)

Translation of an excerpt from : "Le bulletin de la société historique franco américaine 1960-61"

The Franco-American Society lost one of its true friends in the unexpectedly disappearance of the good Father J. Narcisse Cotnoir last Saturday, May 6th . OMI, from the Marian shrine of Notre-Dame-de-Graces of Colebrook, NH, He came slowly sliding towards his eternity in Boston, in a steady decline that was undermining not long ago.

Active until the end, he was in Lowell a few weeks ago to cheer friends and to celebrate a service and some Lowellois visited him in Colebrook, a fortnight before his death. He still seemed well after being ill for several days. Without even the strength, his health did not appear to be so closed to a sudden end.

Missionary to evangelize the poor in the spirit of the founder of his religious congregation, Bishop de Mazenod, it’s largely among the faithful and the young, humble and orphans, poor and needy, missionaries and missions, students and novices, the sick and pilgrims that he exercised his ministry.

To our recollection, without taking a single command post, he nevertheless had a strong sense of dedication to each of the faiths that he performed. Efficient chaplain of our religious, national and patriotic associations, he was also a member of our cultural and literary societies. Writer of merit whose writting was easy and delicate, he assigned weekly articles to his friends in the Franco-American press for they can used at their discretion. He even offered us a presentation before the conference of geographer Raoul Blanchard on "Impressions of a French Canadian in 1932. the French Alliance ‘’

Thus readers of the former "Étoile" of Lowell. have read "Jean Latourelles" for over twenty years, and after them those of "L'Impartial" in Nashua, NH, could also do for over ten years and this is because he contributed to two papers together for some years. We sang ’’Vallee Theresienne’’ of the shrine of Ste-Therese Dracut, Mass. where he had many opportunities to go to the department during his long period of ten years in Lowell, and even after that in the absence of the vicar because off ill.

He created the celebration of grandmothers in July. In recent years he also celebrated, the Marian shrine in the heart of the White Mountains. And we remember his twenties or thirties Haitian stories upon his return from a three-year mission to Haiti. His articles were constantly highlight the healthy traditions and customs of our home and its moral lessons were the best religious education nowadays. Man of works, as we see, he loved his religious congregation and he loved our own works for the Franco-American, he was always a wise counselor and one of the firmest supporters.of Lowell, in the library room of Lowell High.

He wrote short biographies of orphans, brothers, and a census of all deaths of his religious congregation published in several editions, work completed after eight years of research on the centenary of the death of Bishop de Mazenod, on May 21 that the Oblates celebrate everywhere, including in Marseille. Chaplain of the Franco-American Orphanage in Lowell, he is intimately linked to the founding of the Association of Alumni of this institution chaplain of the ‘’conseil lowellois’’ and Union St-Jean-Baptiste of America, he was of all their events and demonstrations. Chaplain later of the St. Joseph Hospital of Nashua, NH, he was lavish in prayers and consolation to the sick and religious, with his incomparable frank smile. Then he also worked as missionary in Haiti where, as he wrote to his friends, he did more for his ascent to the heaven.

In New Hampshire, he advocated for the Legion of Mary that he seek to spread on his entourage. Through it he gave a religious orientation to one of our Franco-American newspaper, "L'Impartial" in Nashua, to save the decline of our press in Franco-American, after having enthroned the Sacred Heart of Jesus as "Workshop Manager and Executive. He also continued to make his donations to pick rose petals to create three or four scholarships permanent missionaries to Haiti.

He also looked at the shrine of Colebrook, to increase membership in the Living Rosary Link all posts by Christmas and others by his many friends throughout New England. He was a devotee of the French Alliance of Lowell, of the Historical Society Franco-American Alliance and the Franco-American newspaper in New England.

Native of St-Robert-de-Richelieu, near Sorel, PQ, December 3, 1887, Father Cotnoir was educated at the seminary of St-Hyacinthe, PQ, and scholasticate Ottawa, Ont. where he was religious profession at the Oblate Fathers on September 8, 1915. He received the priestly anointing, June 17, 1916, from His Excellency Bishop Hugues Gauthier Cathedral in Ottawa. In 1917, his first allegiance was led into the parish of St-Sauveur, Quebec where he met the Apostle of the Sacred Heart, Father Lelievre, where he spent ten years working for youth. Arrived to United States in the parrish of St-Jean-Baptiste of Lowell, founded in recent years, he worked for us for nearly thirty-five years. He attended St-Jean-Baptiste and Ste-Jeanne d'Arc in Lowell, for ten years, and he staid for a while at Dracut shrine dedicated to St. Therese. On April 23, 1947, at age 60, he received his assignment to work for the Lord views under the blue sky and blazing sun of the Haiti mission.

Then from 1951 to 1958, he was the chaplain of St. Joseph Hospital of Nashua, NH. Meanwhile, three times, he was ascribed to the seminary, novitiate and then sanctuary Colebrook, as a teacher, then as deputy director of the sanctuary. Everywhere, he was quietly and humbly doing good. God alone knows how good he has been for the Franco-American.

May the Lord return him widely in the Hereafter! Model of the clergy for the Franco-American new generation, there is no other way to stay Franco-American and to be worthy of the title of Franco-American. He leaves to mourn two sisters, two half-sisters and several nephews and nieces. The death occurred at Deaconess Hospital in Boston, where the patient had just arrived after only five days of bed rest.

Hence he wrote to his 40th ordination in 1956, in Nashua: ’’It's time for me to roll down the hill... Soon I shall have to meet the 'Call of the Master... The door of the temple will be closed... In the shadow disappear already climbed the altar 15.000 times.’’

Father Cotnoir returned home from his first labors in Franco-American for the removal of remnants and the recitation of the burial, Monday, May 8, at 4 o'clock in the church of St. Jean-Baptiste of Lowell, and his funeral the next morning at 10 o'clock, with burial next to his colleagues Oblates at St. Joseph Cemetery in East Chelmsford, in the suburbs, where he sleeps his last sleep until the resurrection of the dead._

This colleague has had the opportunity to attend a number of celebrations of our Historical Society as a guest. And it’s only relatively recently that he gave is accession, to our society, perhaps to replace a former Oblate disappeared. But he was interested and a dedicated member to the point to travel from Colebrook, (close to Canada border) to attend our meetings.
Peace to his soul. Peace to his ashes!

Author: Anthony Clement