Constance "Connie" Emily West, 87, passed away on September 4, 2022, in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. A beloved daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, friend, and colleague, she is remembered by all those whose lives she touched with her care, dedication and endlessly clever wit.
Connie was born on August 9, 1935, in Hightstown, New Jersey, to Leroy White West and Grace Hunt West, following her older brother, George Addison West (1931). Both the West and the Hunt families hold long lineages in Mercer County, and Connie spent her childhood in Hightstown with a number of grandparents, cousins and relatives in close contact, something of which she always valued and enjoyed sharing stories. She graduated from Hightstown High School in 1954.
Connie graduated cum laude from Wilson College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music and a minor in English (1958), playing both piano and organ. She went on to complete her Master of Music with distinction degree at the Indiana University (1959). Ever dedicated to the value of continuing education to which she adhered throughout her life, she also attended Eastman School of Music and the University of Rochester in pursuit of further selected classes.
Early career positions for Connie began as an Instructor of Music at Keuka College, New York and Pfeiffer College, North Carolina. However, she soon moved her professional focus to positions in editing and publishing, including working as an editor at the "Instructor", a magazine for the classroom teacher, and editing collegiate research papers for professors at M.I.T. Evenutally, her professional focus lead her to numerous public relations and adminstrator positions within such esteemed educational institutions as Wilson College, Moore College of Art and Harvard University’s School of Public Health. Two summers were also spent working in public relations at the Bristol Valley Playhouse in Naples, New York – allowing her time spent in two of her great passions: theatre and Naples. She spent the last two decades of her career at the American College of Physicians in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, closing out as the Associate Administrator for the Board of Regents and Governance Activity.
In addition to her rich professional life, Connie engaged her enduring curiousity participating in numerous adult education programs and activities, including representing on the board of directors for the Main Line School Night program. She also volunteered her time graciously with such organizations as the Executive Service Corps of Delaware Valley, Philomel, and Surrey Services for Seniors. Music and arts were ever dear to her and she was a constant member to local museums, theatres, art groups, and music institutions, including the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Connie embraced life with a contagious inquisitiveness and constant search for the unique humor of every situation. She could find a friend in almost every stranger and held her family firmly within her heart. Always there for a family member or a friend, she could be counted upon for an open ear or good laugh most any time. Strong, independent, steadfast, and principled, she is and was a most treasured confidant and companion to all who knew her.
Connie was preceded in death by her parents, Leroy West and Grace West, and by her brother, George West and his wife Jean West. She is survived by her niece, Robin West Markussen and husband Steve Markussen, son Hunter Markussen and daughter Megan Markussen; nephew David West and wife Lisa West, son Evan West; nephew Andrew West and wife Leia Barrett; cousin Ellen Miner Abernathy and husband Dennis Abernathy, daughter Jill Abernathy and husband Doug Davie (daughters Charlotte, Abigail, and Madelyn) and daughter Kristin Abernathy and husband Ed Hammill (daughter Alexandria Wiebel Tantillo and husband Bryan Tantillo); cousin John Miner and wife Mary Miner, daughter Melissa Schermerhorn); and dear friend, Peter Giopulos.
Connie will be laid to rest aside her parents at the Cedar Hills Cemetery in Hightstown, New Jersey.
"Your principles mean more to you than any money or success." ~ Connie’s Favorite Fortune Cookie Fortune