Always, Kathryn was "Kat," and Yvonne was "Coot."
Nobody knew where the nickname "Coot" really came from, but sisters Kathryn "Kat" Elliott and Yvonne "Coot" Elliott Pickett were together so much, they were known all over Rock Hill as "Kat and Coot."
Kathryn worked cleaning the sheets and clothes in the laundry room at Magnolia Manor nursing home.
Yvonne worked cleaning at the YMCA main branch.
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Each had three children: two daughters and a son.
Each gave to their church, Nazareth Baptist, and gave to neighbors, friends, the poor - and each other - from those dollars earned by cleaning up after other people.
"All they ever knew was work," said Sheryle Pickett, Yvonne's oldest daughter.
"They gave to others before they worried about themselves," said Angelia Pickett, Yvonne's younger daughter.
"They spent all their time talking to each other, with each other, worrying about each other," said Dwan Elliott, Kathryn's oldest daughter.
"They even wore the same lipstick. Cherry Jubilee. Both of them, the same."
Their children and grandchildren went to doctors when they were sick, but these ladies didn't. They came from that age where a person knows nothing but work but cannot afford health insurance.
In January of last year, Yvonne got sick. Colon cancer, terminal. She could not work any more. Chemotherapy was tried, and chemotherapy failed.
"All my mother asked about, worried about, was her sister Coot," said Dwan Elliott.
Yvonne's condition worsened.
Then, just a few weeks ago, Kathryn, so worried about her sister, became so sick herself that she went to the hospital.
"Ovarian cancer, then cervical," said Dwan.
Kathryn, 50, went into the hospital for her cancer, but it was so advanced and had spread so far that she never came out.
Hospice was called for Yvonne, sick at home.
The large family, the kids and grandkids, rotated visits to both sickbeds - one in a house, one in a hospital.
"We told them, both, the other was sick," said Angelia Pickett, "but we didn't share how bad it was because they were both fighting for their own lives."
Finally, Tuesday, hospice workers told the Picketts that Yvonne, 58, had a day, maybe two, to live.
At Piedmont Medical Center, the Elliotts were told the same thing about Kathryn.
"And still, my mother was asking about Kat," said Sheryle Pickett, Yvonne's daughter.
"And my mother was asking about Coot," said Dwan.
The family made rushed visits to both the house and hospital.
Wednesday morning, Yvonne "Coot" Elliott Pickett died.
Nobody told Kathryn, so sick in the hospital, as she fought for her own life.
Then Thursday morning, Kathryn "Kat" Elliott died, too.
Every family member, the children, the grandchildren, the nieces and nephews, the cousins, all said the same thing Friday as they gathered at Yvonne's home.
These strong people, bound by family, said Yvonne only died when she knew Kathryn was going to die soon afterward. Then Kathryn died, they said, only after she knew Yvonne no longer suffered - although no one had told either sister how close to death the other was.
"There is no doubt that my mother held on until she knew in her heart, her soul, that she would be together with her sister in heaven," said Dwan Elliott.
"Absolutely," said Angelia Pickett. "They lived together and died together and are in heaven together."
And Monday, there will be a single memorial service for two sisters who spent a lifetime together.
Then they will be buried, side by side, Kat and Coot, in the Nazareth Baptist Church cemetery - close enough so their spirits can touch forever.