Dec 23, 1931 – Apr 28, 2018
The Miller and Leander families and all of those who loved her, celebrate the life of Connie Doreen Stevens/Leander/Miller. Connie passed away April 28, 2018 with her children, Leda and Steven at her side.
Connie was born December 23, 1931 in Timmons Ontario. Her parents were John Stevens and Bronclas (Bronnie) Meredith. She had 2 siblings Clyde and Pammy . Connie lived with her parents until the age of 6 and was then cared for by her paternal and maternal grandparents. Her young life had much upheaval but she was surrounded by loving and generous spirited people and that was a great gift to her.
In 1946, Connie moved from Ontario to Penticton to be close to her Father, who had returned from the war. At a young age, Connie assumed the duties of care for her younger brother and sister. In 1948, Connie took her next step in life and attended the Naramata Christian Leadership Training School.
In 1951 Connie met Alex Leander. Connie had a beautiful voice and loved to sing and dance. Alex and Connie shared a great love of music and fell in love and married. They lived in Princeton, Hope and then settled in Grand Forks. They had two children, Leda and Steven.
Connie was a fun loving and a generous spirited mother. She had a great love for children and her kind spirit drew her to children with whom she could share her compassionate and loving ways. She was gifted in embracing kids with challenges and differences. Connie was actively involved with Brownies, Guides, Cubs and CGIT as a leader and a camper.
Connie worked with the Grand Forks and District Society for Handicapped Children and was instrumental in bringing children with special needs into community. In January 1965, with Connie as the educator, the first community school opened. When special needs children were brought into the education system, Connie became the teacher’s aide. Connie maintained friendships with the children and their families for many years.
In 1970 Connie left Grand Forks and moved to Penticton and then Vancouver and worked at a variety of jobs. During this time, Connie spent time with both her mother and father’s families: her mother Bronnie (& Jack), sister Wendy (& Barrie) and brother Barry (& Kathy) and her father John (& Audie) and brother Clyde (& Doreen). The reconnection with her family was a special time in Connie’s life.
In 1976, Connie married the love of her life, Bill Miller. Connie’s family immediately grew with the addition of Bill’s children Karen (& Craig), Mary Lou, and Billy (& Patsy) and their families, nieces and nephews and their many relatives. Connie and Bill settled in Princeton, a community they both had many ties to, and lived a full and community involved life in Princeton for 36 years. Their life was rich with many family members and friends. There was always a plate at their table for those stopping by to visit. Connie continued to spend time with community kids and young people who benefited from her caring ways. She had a way of turning a plain ole day into a party, filled with fun and laughter and always good cookies or pies to go with.
Connie and Bill adored their many grand and great grandchildren and nieces and nephews. Visits to their large family always included packages of cookies and goodies and homemade gifts. Never a Christmas or Birthday went by without a special homemade card and a carefully selected gift.
Both Connie and Bill enjoyed nature and spent much of their time camping, huckleberry picking, fishing, skiing and skating and just loving life. Many a child was loaded into their camper and driven off for a grand adventure in the woods.
They enjoyed travel and spent time in many countries around the world, both at work and at play. Their favourite place was always BC and they explored the natural beauty of many parts of BC extensively.
After Bill’s passing in 2012, Connie moved back to Grand Forks to be close to her daughter, Leda (& Lyle) and their family. Connie lived at the Silver Kettle for 3 years and then at Hardy View Lodge for 3 years. Connie made many friends with both staff and residents and greatly enjoyed her time at both the Silver Kettle and at Hardy View Lodge.
Throughout her life, Connie made many special friends and treasured those friendships. As a family we were blessed to have Connie, our Mum, our Grandma, our Auntie, our friend, as our angel. Her abounding love and wholehearted happy spirit enriched all of our lives. Her pure and vibrant soul has left its mark on all of us. The greatest gift we give to those who have left us is to live fully in their place; may we all carry on Connie’s legacy of love and generosity of spirit in our families and in our community.