Elise Dallemagne-Cookson (1933-2005)
Cherry Valley, NY

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The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY
December 5, 2005

Cherry Valley - Mrs. Elise Camille Dallemagne-Cookson, 72, of Cherry Valley passed away Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2005, at her home. She was born in Tarrytown on March 31, 1933, the second daughter of Edmund and Irene (Poisson) Cookson of Peekskill.

Before retiring to Cherry Valley in 1989, Elise lived and worked in Hollywood, Africa, Argentina, Europe, the Caribbean and South Seas.

She was the wife of the late Capt. Pierre George Dallemagne of the Belgian Merchant Navy, explorer of the Belgian Congo, teacher and oceanographer. They had two sons, Pierre Edmund Dallemagne and Maj. Paul Charles Dallemagne, USAF.

Elise purchased and restored her home in Cherry Valley in 1987 and made it her permanent home two years later.

She started a foreign language program for the elementary and middle school at Cherry Valley-Springfield and was instrumental in developing a sister school/exchange student program between CV-S High School and schools in France and Spain.

She retired from teaching in 1991, and began a career in writing. She published "The Bearded Lion Who Roars," a memoir of the Belgian Congo at the time of its independence; "The Ombu Tree," a novel based on her life as a farmer in Argentina; "The Filmmaker," a novel based on her work in Hollywood after the McCarthy era; "The Red-Eye Fever - Adventures in the Belgian Congo," a memoir of pre-independence years; and "Marie Grandin - Sent by the King," a historical novel based on the life of her ancestors in 17th century Canada. She had just completed two other books, as of yet unpublished: "The Peru Story" and a biography of the 20th century French portrait artist, Jean Tabaud.

Mrs. Dallemagne is survived by her son, Paul, and his wife, Katherine (Graham), and their two children, Magdeleine and Paul Robert of Cambridge; two sisters, Julianne (Hugh) O'Connor of Scituate, Mass., and Irene (Gerard) Burke of Gaithersburg, Md.; three brothers, Maryknoll Missioner Father Edmund Cookson of Yunguyo, Peru, Capt. John (Donna) Cookson, USN retired, of Woodstock, Md., and Dr. Peter (Karen) Cookson, M.D., of Sharon Springs; and many nieces, nephews, dear friends and former students. She was predeceased by her son, Pierre, in 1996.

A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2005, at St. Thomas Church, Cherry Valley, with Father John Roos and Father Edmund Cookson officiating.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in Elise's memory may be made to the Pierre Dallemagne Science Foundation at Cherry Valley-Springfield Central School, Cherry Valley, NY 13320.

Arrangements were entrusted to the Ottman Funeral Home, Cherry Valley.

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Last updated: December 9, 2005