Constance Berenice Keast (Allen) passed away peacefully at the age of 89 at Bethesda Place, Steinbach, Mb. on April 20, 2023.
Connie was born in Makaroff, Manitoba on July 30th, 1933 to William and Madalene Allen. She was the eldest of six children. The family moved to The Pas when Connie was 9 years old. She had a strong work ethic, excelled at school and was the recipient of the Governor General’s Award in her graduating class.
After graduation Connie moved to Winnipeg to enroll in Nurses Training. She completed a Registered Nursing diploma with a specialization in Psychiatric and General Nursing in 1955. The majority of Connie’s nursing career was at The Roblin District hospital where she nursed for forty years. She loved her job as a nurse. As an RN she specialized in labour and delivery, surgery and acute care. In later years mom was often the lone nurse on frequent ambulance calls. In all her nursing roles she brought a competent, high quality of care and comforted many. Most of Connie’s lifelong friendships were with her fellow nurses and Doctors.
Connie was married to her true love, Calvin, for 45 years. They shared a love of music, dancing and curling. They had five children, Barbara, Cameron, Tanis, Kelly and Tracey whom they cherished. Connie and Calvin had unconditional love for their children and they took great pride in their nine grandchildren. The family share memories of her quick wit, sarcasm and outspoken personality. Her children depended on her guidance and wisdom when facing life’s challenges.
Connie loved to entertain; celebrating birthdays and holidays were important to her and she made each one special. The Keast home was filled with family and friends, laughter and music. Connie took great pride in her home and large yard. She worked tirelessly to keep it immaculate and was secretly pleased when it became a favourite location for wedding photos.
Connie was a true believer in the value and accessibility of a quality education for every child and was elected as school trustee for Intermountain School Division for two terms. In her second term Connie was chosen as the first female Chairperson of the Board. It was during this term that she was appointed as the regional representative to the executive board of Manitoba Association of School Trustees. Through this appointment she was able to meet fascinating people and develop long term friendships with a group of powerhouse women.
Calvin was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in his mid 60’s and life drastically changed for them both. Connie retired from nursing and they sold their beloved Roblin home. They moved to Steinbach to be closer to family and medical resources. Connie was a devoted caregiver to Calvin for many years allowing him to stay at home until his death.
In later years Connie pursued interests by starting a Friends of the Library group to support the Jake Epp Library and became Chair of Southern Regional Health Authority’s Health Advisory Council. Connie shared many memories of her book club, Elderhostel adventures and visits to Iowa & Florida to see family.
Left to cherish Connie’s memory are children Barbara Coutts (Hal McLaughlan), Cam Keast (Gina Wonfor-Keast), Tanis Keast (Rudy Dyck), Kelly Keast (Joanne), Tracey Tallaire (Ken) and grandchildren, Chelsea, Chloe, Riley, Haley, Braedon, Carson, Connor, Tara, Michael and eight great grandchildren. She is also survived by brothers Ron Allen (Kathy), Greg Allen and sister Shirley Allen, brother-in-law Bill Keast (Sadie) and many nieces and nephews.
Connie was predeceased by her husband Calvin, parents William and Madalene Allen, sister Maureen Allen, brother Arthur Allen.
The Keast family wish to thank the staff of Bethesda Place for their compassionate care of Connie over the years.
A private celebration of life will be held at a later date in Roblin.
“Making the decision to have a child – it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” Elizabeth Stone
Rest in Peace Mom