Paige's Return to Deutschland!

Hallo Berlin! This blog will be a place for friends and family to get very occasional snip-its on Biggs' life in Germany.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Missing the Mama

CONSTANCE MAE BECKLEY 
October 16,1949 - August 24, 2015 
For nearly 66 years the world was a richer and warmer place for Connie being in it. It is a poorer place with her passing. She leaves a grieving family, friends around the world, and a lasting legacy. Connie was a force of nature; her optimism infectious; her energy boundless; her generosity inspiring. She was accomplished in many things, but perhaps her greatest legacy is the example she set for us all in loving and caring for others.

Constance Mae Lamb was born October 16, 1949 in Colfax, Washington to parents Neva May (Crumbaker) Lamb and Delbert Morrell Lamb. Her parents were farmers in the Palouse region of Washington. When Connie was five years old, the family relocated to Moses Lake, Washington when her father became a partner in an International Harvester dealership. Connie and her younger sister, Colleen, attended 12 years of public school in Moses Lake. Connie graduated from Chief Moses High School in 1968. From there, she attended Washington State University where she met her husband, Kelly Beckley. Connie majored in Bacteriology and Chemistry at WSU and was a member of the Alpha Chi sorority.

In June 1971, Connie and Kelly wed in Moses Lake, the same week Kelly graduated from WSU and was commissioned in the United States Air Force. From 1971 to 1974, Connie completed her degree requirements to graduate from WSU while Kelly attended law school at the University of Oregon. During this time, they both held jobs and managed a campus apartment building.

In November, 1974, Kelly entered active duty as a JAG Captain in the United States Air Force and was initially assigned at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. At Vandenberg, Connie was employed at a local sugar company doing chemical analysis in the lab. In 1976, Kelly was reassigned to Ramstein Air Base, Germany. From 1976 through 1979, the couple lived in Kaiserslautern, Germany and Connie worked as a medical tech at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Europe's largest US medical facility. Both immersed themselves in the German culture, made lifelong friends, and worked on their language skills. They traveled extensively in Europe and Africa. Their first son, Tyler, was born in Germany in March 1978. Having a first son born on Sunday (Sonntags Kind) is, in the German culture, considered extremely lucky and the couple considered themselves to be.

When Kelly separated from active duty in the fall of 1979, Connie, Kelly, and Tyler returned to Eugene where Kelly entered private law practice and Connie was initially employed in the Lane County Water Quality Lab. From there she moved to the Chemistry Department at the University of Oregon setting up teaching labs. In 1985, she began her career as a financial advisor. Her many clients became life long friends. For many, she made a difference in the quality of their retirement years. During her career as a financial advisor, she served on the board of directors of her broker dealer and on numerous professional boards and associations. Connie was a member of the Emerald Executive Association and Rotary where she was a Paul Harris fellow.

Tyler was joined by brother Connor in 1981 and sister Paige in 1983. Connie was a working mother committed to spending quality time with her children. She was active in the children's athletic, musical, and scholastic activities. Long after all the children had left Eugene Montessori School, Connie remained active providing support and financial guidance to the school.

Among other civic organizations, Connie served as a board member of the Eugene Symphony Guild, the Portia Project (providing civil legal assistance to incarcerated women), Cascade Housing Association and Pacific Housing Association (providing housing to low income families). In recognition of her many and significant contributions to military and civilian families, she was awarded the Air Force Commander's Award for Public Service on the occasion of her husband's retirement from the Air Force in November 2004.

After diagnosis with breast cancer, she acted as a mentor to many individuals with cancer and was key in founding Our Place, an organization dedicated to supporting those diagnosed with cancer. Her iron will and steely resolve were key in holding off her cancer to allow living life to the fullest after diagnosis.

Connie maintained a warm and welcoming home where she and her husband hosted friends from around the country and from abroad. She was an accomplished cook and entertainer. She had style--lots of it. Her parties were legendary; they were grand events where no detail was overlooked.

Gardening was perhaps Connie's favorite hobby. She loved flowers and enjoyed working with the soil. Springtime was always an explosion of color in her garden. Connie was an accomplished floral designer and had a unique flair with all things beautiful.

Connie loved music of all types, but particularly classical music. At one time, Connie was an accomplished pianist. She and Kelly enjoyed dancing and fell in love with Argentine tango. They worked on their tango with lessons here and in Buenos Aires.

Connie was interested in other cultures and an avid traveler. She and Kelly visited more than 90 countries on six continents. After she was diagnosed with cancer in 2010, she and Kelly accelerated their international travel and touched six continents and more than 60 countries during that time. 

Connie is survived by her husband, Kelly; sons Tyler (Everett, Washington) and Connor (Eugene); and daughter, Paige and her husband Paul Biggs (Portland); and grandsons, Oliver Beckley and Crosby Biggs. She is also survived by her father Delbert Lamb of Moses Lake, Washington, and her sister Colleen Lamb-Gunnerson and husband Bryon Gunnerson of Sequim, Washington. Her grace, wit, warmth, generosity, energy, and courage will be sorely missed by her family and a legion of friends around the globe.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Teryl Hawk said...

Hi Paige! You & Connor popped in my head this evening, so I googled and came across your blog. I am so saddened to hear about your mother! I was unaware she passed this last fall. My condolences to your family! Would love to reconnect and catch up with you sometime.
Take care, Teryl.

12:48 AM  

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