A vibrant voice was stilled when Constance Beverly Van Scoter passed away peacefully at her home on Tuesday, April 15, 2014.
Friends of Mrs. Van Scoter (known by all as "Connie") were not surprised that she faced her last illness with courage and good humor. A woman of great love, charm and creative imagination, she contributed to the community and all that knew her.
A native of Grosse Pointe, Mich., Connie was born to Otis E. Bolin and Leona Hansen on Dec. 4, 1930, in Kingman, Ariz.
Constance Beverly Van Scoter
She met her husband, Jack, on a blind date when both were students at Michigan State University in 1950. "We both were tall so our friends thought we should see eye-to-eye," she later remarked. Marriage followed in 1957. She was a member of the American Association of University Women and Chi Omega Sorority.
Connie taught at East Commerce High School, in Detroit, Mich. She taught social studies.
After moving to Jack's hometown of Fredonia, Connie became active in local groups while raising two children: Sarah and John II. She enjoyed vegetable and flower gardening, cooking and baking, the arts, and was an avid student of civic history.
As a member of the Brooks Hospital Auxiliary, she was co-chairman of the Auxiliary High Fever Folleys. She was a member of Trinity Episcopal Church, Fredonia Jaycees, Pomfret Republican Committee, and Shorewood Country Club. She was a charter member of the League of Women Voters.
But perhaps her greatest devotion was to the Fredonia Shakespeare Club, to which she belonged for more than 50 years. A club tradition was to hold a December meeting at the Van Scoter home, when Connie would serve a very traditional Christmas pudding. Occasionally she would note that she "could bake other things," but the club members would not hear of it. Connie would chuckle and start the long preparation work several weeks ahead of time.
Connie was proud of her Norwegian heritage, and would honor that on the slopes of Cockaigne, the family's ski area. She also managed the ski shop there for many years. When The Grainery restaurant opened across the road, Connie and her mother-in-law, Florence (Mrs. Walter) Van Scoter worked tirelessly together to develop The Grainery's unique spirit and decor, combining artistry, vegetable and flower gardens and family home cooking.
One of Connie's favorite pastimes was traveling, often with a group of her high school friends. More recently she took a European cruise with her daughter, Sarah and granddaughter, Hannah Porter to Greece, Turkey, Italy and France. She also took a memorable trip with Jack to visit his family's origins in the Netherlands and another tour to Normandy, France and the Civil War battlegrounds of Virginia.
In addition to her parents, Connie was predeceased by her sister, Jacqueline Tischbein and sister-in-law Ruth Henry.
She is survived by her husband, Jack Van Scoter; her children: Sarah (Robert) Porter of Still River, Mass., and John II (Lisa) of Pasadena, Calif.; grandchildren: Hannah and Christah Porter and Kathryn and Jack Van Scoter; her brother-in-law, David (Mimi) Van Scoter of Monticello, Fla.; and niece and nephews: Jennifer and Walter Van Scoter and Geoffrey (Patti) Tischbein of Grosse Pointe, Mich.
A memorial service will be held at the Trinity Episcopal Church, 11 Day St., Fredonia, N.Y., on Saturday April 19, 2014, at 2 p.m. Interment will be in the Forest Hill Cemetery, Fredonia.
Memorials may be made to Trinity Episcopal Church or Hospice Chautauqua County.
Flowers gratefully declined. For more information, to make online condolences, or view a family photo slide show please go to larsontimkofuneralhome.com.
Arrangements are by David J. Dengler, Larson-Timko Funeral Home, 679-9000.