CONSTANCE SHIRLEY ARNELL
September 29, 1927 - August 19, 2021
Connie was born in Edmonton to Richard and Beatrice Webster, just prior to the Depression of the 1930’s. Living in those difficult years taught her how to conserve and to make much out of little, life-long habits that served her well in the years ahead.
When Connie was 12, her parents moved the family to New Westminster, BC, where her father found work in a foundry. There, Connie finished grade school, and took a stenography course, after which she attended Normal School for teacher training, eventually finding employment in a school in Fort Langley.
In quite a departure from teaching, Connie later joined the RCAF, and was trained and employed as a meteorologist in Rivers, Manitoba. Subsequently, she would move to Kitimat, BC, and worked in the offices of the burgeoning Canadian aluminum producer, Alcan.
In 1961, Connie was swept off her feet by her future husband, Peter Hall Arnell, who had found his way to Kitimat from Gateshead-on-Tyne, England. After marrying in New Westminster, the newlyweds went back to Kitimat, but moved to several other places in the BC interior before settling down in Ganges, BC on Salt Spring Island, where, by 1968, Peter was poised to become a joint partner in the only land surveying company around. There, their family began: Stacey, their first child, followed by Tim, who was adopted, and then later, Roy was born.
But tragically, in October, 1968, Peter Arnell was accidentally but fatally shot while checking a survey site on Galiano Island. Connie was absolutely devastated: Peter was marvelous in her eyes. Nonetheless, she shouldered the burden of her family alone, seeking to work at times, but family requirements would bring her back home, and by the grace of God, she managed to hold the family together. But the teenage years are tough, especially for a single mom of three.
In 1976, Connie moved the family to Devon, Alberta, a bedroom community outside of Edmonton. In 1991, she uprooted again and moved to Winnipeg, where her daughter Stacey and son Roy were then living. When Roy moved his burgeoning wedding ring business to Kelowna, she followed suit in 2003, where she lived in a trailer park and helped out in her son’s business. In 2014, she moved back to Winnipeg. In the ensuing years, she experienced a serious decline in her quality of life because of an osteoporosis-related back injury suffered in Kelowna.
Connie had been living in a personal care home in Winnipeg since December, 2018, but she was brought back home to Stacey 6 weeks before her death.
Connie's family kindly requests that all of her friends and relatives take a few minutes to honour her memory by sharing photos, memories, and stories, using the comment section on this page.
Memories, Stories and Condolences
Please share a story, photo, memory or condolences for the family by completing the form below and click "comment".