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Constance Eleanor Austin

September 5, 1953 ~ October 17, 2022 (age 69)

Obituary

With great sadness we announce the passing of Constance Eleanor Austin, 69, of Dover MA, on October 17th 2022, under the loving watch of family and friends. The cause of death was complications related to Parkinson’s Disease.

Connie was born on September 5th 1953 in Alabama where her father was stationed in the army. She was the second child and only daughter of Constance Shaw Austin of Trenton, NJ and Dr. James Howard Austin Sr. of Mars, PA. Her family moved to Weston Massachusetts and then to Brookline where Connie attended The Heath Elementary School, and then The Winsor School. After high-school she attended Reed College in Oregon for a year before moving to Europe, first to France where she traveled with friends and then to Florence, Italy where she studied language and art history. Later she returned to the US, to attend Wellesley College (class of 1979), where she received a B.A. in Renaissance literature and studies.

From an early age Connie was drawn to other cultures. At 13 she travelled by herself to Greece to spend the summer with the family of a friend. In her junior year of high-school she lived and studied in Chamonix, France with hosts that spoke no English. She continued to travel extensively throughout her adult life, in the US, to South and Central America, Europe, Africa, Canada, India, Japan, China and Russia. In China she boarded a train that would take her across Siberia in 5 days. The train was nearly empty – and yet one of the few people she met was another adventurous Winsor alumna, twenty-five years her senior!

After 6 months of law school, Connie was sure she didn’t want to write contracts and resolve disputes for the rest of her life and instead, she went on to work in the medical field eventually as the coroner at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston for a number of years. Later, she started and managed a highly successful catering business which allowed her more opportunities to travel.

Her interests and hobbies were many. She was a gifted athlete, excelling at any sport she picked up. She read constantly (in four languages) and in her later years belonged to a book club in Chestnut Hill. She delighted in exploring ideas with others, always ready to discuss big topics ranging from the scientific to the metaphysical. She rode horses and motorcycles, painted and made sculpture, supported and visited art museums around the world, adored animals and cherished her rescue dogs.

She leaves behind her aunt, Madeline Austin Samarco of Gibsonia, PA., her step aunt, Mary Virginia Shaw and husband Peter Mercer of Vancouver CA, her four brothers and their families - James Austin Jr., sister-in-law Susan Conger and their children, Tanner and Sam of Chicago, IL, Harry Austin and sons, Miles and Ames, of Taos, NM, Bayard Austin of Monroe Bridge, MA and daughter, Eleanor, and Bryan Austin, sister-in-law Luciana Austin, Bryan’s children, Oaks, Lydia, and Marley and Luciana’s daughter Malu of Dover MA. She also leaves behind many devoted friends.

Connie attended the First Parish in Brookline, and later the First Church in Chestnut Hill, a Unitarian Congregation in the Christian tradition. Memorial services will be private.

 

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