It is with Praise to Our Lord and Savior that after a period of declining health Grammie Connie peacefully fell asleep in her Lord Jesus Christ on September 10, 2023, and now awaits His Coming to welcome her Home. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17)
Born in North Springfield, Vermont on September 2, 1935, Constance Ellen Snell was the first of five children born to Eva Fuller Snell and George Chase Snell, Sr. She attended Springfield High School and in her mid-teens worked as a candy striper at Springfield Hospital.
She married James Christian Neilsen, Ill on January 2, 1953. Connie and Brud moved with their six children to Claremont in the summer of 1964. They also opened their hearts and home providing foster care to a number of children.
Without a doubt, Connie's true calling came through her love for children. In addition to a house full of kids, she also taught both Sunday School and Vacation Bible School. Having worked at the Claremont Head Start, and with the coaxing of family friends, Jack Leonard and Judy Parkinson, she completed her GED, obtained her childcare license, and opened the Claremont Day Care Center in the mid-1970's. It was there that she became known as "Grammie Connie" to hundreds of Claremont's pre-school children. After the death of her husband, she moved to Concord in 1983. Operating as Tiny Tots Fun Spot, she and her daughter, Nancy, continued providing childcare in her home until her retirement in 2015, just before her 80th birthday. Until arthritis made it too painful, Grammie Connie enjoyed knitting little afghans perfect for bundling a newborn grandchild, and just the right size for a stroller or car seat.
For many years Connie enjoyed camping trips with her son, Jim "Butch", Anita and their sons, Jimmie, Richard and William and visits to Myrtle Beach where she was pampered by her sister, Patti. When Grammie Connie finally eased into retirement, she particularly enjoyed spending weekends in North Springfield, Vermont with her sister, Pauline, and her husband, Freeman, playing board games, card games, putting puzzles together, preparing meals and soaking in the warmth of their company. If you ever had the joy of going on a car ride with Grammie Connie, you might be caught off-guard by the speed in which she could decimate a decent size sheet of bubble-wrap! You would rarely find her without a hanky or tissue clutched in her hand, and butterscotch candies or Necco wintergreen mints in her purse. Regardless of where you were or what you were doing, Gram infused her love into every smile she gave, hug you received, cookie she baked, and game she played ~ her love was a reassuring and comforting presence.
Whether she was called Mom, Gram, Grammie Connie or Macie, her love of family was second only to her love for God. To the very end, Connie remained steadfast in her faith every minute of every day, never waivering. When any of her children seemed to be struggling or appeared to have strayed from their Christian upbringing, Connie would not hesitate to include a message in their birthday or Christmas card giving a gentle reminder of her heartfelt concern for their eternal life and always offering her unconditional love and support.
Connie is survived by her children: James Christian Neilsen, IV and his wife, Anita, Bruce Allen Neilsen and his wife, Peggy, Barbara Paronto and her husband, Skip, Nancy Young, Marilyn Colby and her husband, Roger, and son-in-law, Michael Paulette, husband of her late daughter, Darlene
Grammie Connie is also survived by her grandchildren: Jimmie (Kate) Neilsen, Richard (Melissa) Neilsen, William (Amanda) Neilsen, Aaron Neilsen, Andrew Neilsen, Sarah Neilsen, Kristel Davis, Kimberly (Damien) Deline, John Paulette, Amy Paulette (Geoff Joyce), Jessica (Matthew) Adams, Mark Colby (Rhianna Larkin), Roger Lee Colby, Ill, Sean (Cheri) Colby, Scott Colby (Hannah Lillie), and Tabitha (Aaron) Schmidt
by her great grandchildren: Jackson David Neilsen, Emmalyn Hope Neilsen, Raelyn Marci Neilsen, Maddelyn Grace Neilsen, Amity Louise Neilsen, Theodore Anthony Neilsen, Ezekiel Maynard Neilsen, Hailey Darlene Davis, Tyler James Davis, Curtis Deline, Natalie (Loren) Howard, Marlee Mei Paulette, Addison Esther Allard, Mmeilya Rae Allard, Madison Mae Adams, Brayden Thomas Adams, Cameron Sullivan, Cassie Sullivan Caiden Colby, Olivia Simone Colby, Arianna Colby, Weslee Jace Hutcheson, Joslyn Skye Hutcheson, Dessa Pelletier Finnegan Colby-Lillie Esme Colby-Lillie
by her great great grandchildren: Luna Brides and Oliver Damien Howard
by her Brother, Richard Snell and his wife, Astrid, Sisters, Pauline Barton and Patricia Cohen and by her long time friend and housemate, Brenda Fowler, as well as numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
Connie was predeceased by her parents, her husband, James Christian Neilsen, 3rd (Brud), her daughter, Darlene Kay Neilsen Paulette, her brother, George C. Snell, Jr., and her brother-in-law, Dr. Freeman Barton.
Her funeral service will be officiated by her Grandson, Jimmie Neilsen, in the chapel at Phaneuf Funeral Homes & Crematorium, 172 King Street, Boscawen, New Hampshire, on Monday, September 18, 2023 at 11:00 with interment following at Pine Grove Cemetery, School Street, North Springfield, Vermont. A Celebration of Life gathering will follow at the Loon Lake Function Hall in Croydon, New Hampshire.
Connie's family would like to express their deepest appreciation and affection to the amazing staff and volunteers at the Granite VNA Hospice House who provided Connie and her family with the most comfortable, compassionate, and loving care. In lieu of flowers the family suggests that donations be made to Granite VNA, 240 Pleasant Street, Concord, NH 03301.