'On ne voit bien qu'avec le coeur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux'
  • 36 years old
  • Born on July 21, 1982 in Canada.
  • Passed away on February 9, 2019 in Vancouver, Canada.

Rachael: daughter, sister and sister-in-law, granddaughter, cousin, aunt, friend, student support aide, nanny--entered this world in North Vancouver and stole our hearts. She was beloved of her mom and dad (Ruth and Rob) and a great big (little) sister to her two brothers Michael and Luke. She made friends for life at school (Cleveland and Handsworth) and work, the one who gathered people together and kept them connected. Rachael was always a kid-magnet and became part of the family when she was a caregiver. Students at school loved and cheered for her. She courageously accepted the diagnosis of cancer in early 2016 and has journeyed through treatment with faith and humour. Rachael's health changed dramatically over Christmas, and she was cared for well at VGH until she moved from this life to the next.

A celebration of her life will be held at Fairview Baptist Church, 1708 W 16th Ave, Vancouver, at 2 pm on February 23, 2019. 

Rachael had asked that in lieu of flowers people might make a donation to the Meristem project at A Rocha Brooksdale in Surrey, BC. This will help to build a beautiful small prayer chapel, including a stained glass window, in memory of her dad, Rob, and Rachael. Before the memorial on Feb 23, donations can be made through the Canada Helps Fund, “BEC Meristem Project (in memory of Rob and Rachael Des Cotes). By the 23rd, you can donate directly here:  https://arocha.ca/portfolio-items/the-meristem-project/

Then come and visit when we have it built!

Posted by Donna Stewart on July 21, 2019
Happy birthday, dear one. I am so glad you are free of pain and living in joy.
Posted by Donna Stewart on April 6, 2019
"Friends show up" And Rachael's friends, from kWANTLEN, JULES.... SCHOOL,
CAP CHURCH, and Westside, from her Community group, from her high school and even her elementary school, showed up at her memorial service, and it warms our hearts all these weeks later. I wanted you to know that it warms my heart, still, after all these weeks. It says something about her, but also about you. Merci beaucoups.
Posted by Kai Peters on February 23, 2019
I met Rachael when I was doing my 2 year EA program at Kwantlen, we were both studying to become Education Assistants, we became friends and had a very strong bond based on the fact that were the only people in our program from Vancouver. My favorite memories were from when we would go to pubs or restaurants on Main st, every single time we hung out it was an event. Towards the end she was dealt a bad hand but she made the best out of it with sarcastic humor and a positive outlook. Thank you for being a role model and a friend. I'm going to miss you dearly. Love you, Rach
Posted by Denis Vaillancourt on February 20, 2019
We loved playing music with you gentle Rachael.
Now you play with the angels.
The Rakes will miss you.
As will everyone that ever knew you.
Love Denis, Trina and Arielle.
Posted by Nicola Underdown on February 19, 2019
Rachael swept me up and looked after me, like she did to so many other people. We met in 2010, when me & my husband relocated to Vancouver, and I started working for the Beaton’s pick up at the airport alongside her. Rachael was always so calm and unflappable, easy for everyone to get along with and able to make things run smoothly. She was a welcoming face for those students who were anxious and far from home; and she was always a welcome sight for me, too, as chatting and having fun made the hours of waiting around pass a bit more quickly! She took me under her wing, as we bonded over trash television (served with a craft beer or a cupcake) and she introduced me to some of her friends too, which helped me settle in, 5000 miles from home.
After our visas expired and we returned to the UK, Rachael and I kept in touch - sharing photos and news - and we always met up on our return trips. On my last visit, we talked about whether she might make it to the UK for a visit (and whether we could turn it into a trip to Paris, after her previous visit to become an au pair had not gone to plan). I can’t quite believe that won’t be happening; I don’t have the words to express how sad I am about that. Rachael, you will always be loved and missed on this side of the world.
Posted by Shauna Anderson on February 16, 2019
Dear Rachael - a fun, funny, beautiful, strong, fierce woman. She endured and persevered and overcame and smiled through many challenges. None of this is surprising given the Des Cotes family character but nonetheless remarkable. I was blessed to know her. Thank you Father.
Posted by Donna Stewart on February 15, 2019
Offered for the casket by her aunt Cathy Stewart:
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you.
Deep peace of the shining stars to you
Deep peace of the gentle night to you
Moon and stars pour their healing light on you
Deep peace of Christ to you, Rachael.
"then we will see face to face...then i will know fully, even as I have been fully known." (I Cor. 13}
Posted by Rob And Jenn Ohlhauser on February 15, 2019
Rachael - you will be missed. We have loved your fun, mellow, sarcastic, mindful, positive energy for a very long time. We appreciate the times you cared for our children years ago and knew them well in a short time.  xo Rob & Jenn
Posted by Paddy Ducklow on February 15, 2019
Serious, thoughtful, caring, resilient, hopeful and much more. I knew you too little and, from afar, admired you much.
Posted by Alana Prochuk on February 14, 2019
I became friends with Rachael way back in grade 2, when we were both in Mme Gautelier's class. That means that Rachael has been a constant in my life almost as far back as I can remember. And constant she was: incredibly loyal and gifted at maintaining decades-long friendships. Over the years, we never tired of reminiscing about and reenacting Mme Gautelier's eccentric PE teaching methods ("chassé, chassé, chassé, hop!" and "le crocodile: rampez, rampez, rampez!").

Rachael's spirit was life-loving, warm, social, unpretentious, inclusive. I can't count how many Thanksgiving feasts she single-handedly cooked up for her large circle of friends, how many times we all chilled on the floor of her cozy little Sugarbowl with her playlist in the background, sharing stories, memories, laughs, snacks, and drinks (especially craft beer from 33 Acres). A lot of us who were friends in high-school and even earlier days wouldn't still be in touch if we hadn't had Rachael to keep us connected. And new friendships were born because of Rachael, too.

Rachael's wisdom and spiritual depth made a huge and permanent impression on me. I can never forget how she kept repeating "Onward and onward (and inward)" as she coped with the horribleness and injustice of cancer. As I've said before, I think it's "Onward and onward (and inward)" with everything she taught us, all the gifts she brought into this world, which will keep enriching our futures and our inner lives. Love you, Rachael.
Posted by Liz Hodgson on February 13, 2019
I've known Rachael since she was a wee newborn, and she's always had the sense of fun, the kindness, the sass, that so many of us know her for. Though she was fragile at her birth and fragile at the end, she had many strengths and talents, and she was generous with both. Love you, honeybun/nicklemitz.
Posted by Heather Prochuk on February 13, 2019
We were privileged to know Rachael through our daughter, Alana. They met at Cleveland Elementary School and their friendship continued throughout. Rachael had an upbeat personality and a dynamite smile. She was open and caring, her laughter was infectious and her loyalty steadfast. She was such a bright light - extinguished far too soon.
Allan & Heather Prochuk
Posted by Leah Kostamo on February 12, 2019
My family was the recipient of Rachel's kid-magnet care when she looked after my daughter Maya at one of our first A Rocha conferences. I remember Rachel being so accommodating even though I think Maya cried her head off for most of the conference! I so enjoyed Rachel's presence around the first Centre where she came alongside various new interns and volunteers with friendship and encouragement (it was common back in those days to find Rachel sleeping on the Centre living-room couch in the morning after a late night of fun). Her cheekiness was a wonderful addition to our little community.
Posted by Paivi Helena Kivi-Woodyar... on February 12, 2019
I have so many fond memories of time spent with Rachael. About 12 years ago when I lived in Mount Pleasant, Rachael would come over once a week after her classes and we'd watch Bones, then House together. Each week, I repeated a line after the credits of House: "that's some bad hat Harry" and Rach would laugh each time, even though the line had worn thin. We went to movies together, we played scrabble, we visited and talked and shared food and likely a glass of wine or two. It's amazing that Rachael wanted to be my friend, especially given that I am more mother-age than peer-age, but that never seemed to bother her. So many memories: the busted knee and going downstairs on her bum, always a ready laugh - I can hear it - always gentle and kind, never a complaint about anything. I can see why people of all ages love her and why she was so great with kids.
Posted by Ruth Des Cotes on February 12, 2019
Rachael has brought a great sense of fun and love with her into this life. Her gift to others has been generous acceptance, a love which welcomed all, forgiving and quietly coming alongside both great and small, young and old. I always knew she was made to work with kids and had a special heart when, as a young girl, she sat with a severely disabled boy at church and just held his hand. She loved well!

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