On Boxing Day evening I got the sad news that Graham Cottee had passed away earlier that day. This is what Val, his wife, wrote on Facebook :
Graham died peacefully with us all around his bed yesterday at 3.15 pm. He knew we were there and departed this life only after having his Christmas cake! After such a long illness it was so quick in the end as if he chose to go and I know that he is in... a much better place. Nothing seems real right now except family and friends.
Graham was one of the first people I got to know after we joined the church. I'll always remember him for his dry sense of humour, his heart for people, his deep love of God and that feeling of terror if he caught you when you'd forgotten to return some tapes you'd borrowed to the tape desk! (for many years Graham ran the church's tape ministry). He was a very private man, but was always willing to make time for others. For the last four years he has lived with a number of different illnesses - it is so true that he has gone to a better place. He will be much missed, not only by Val and his sons Simon and David and their families, but by all of us who had the privilege to call him a friend.
There will be a service of Thanksgiving for Graham's life in the New Year, I'll let you know via the blog and on the family news section of the website when we've got a date and time for that.