Constance Bella (Fleury) Charest was born in Berlin, NH, on December 21, 1933, and passed away peacefully in her home surrounded by the love of her family on April 16, 2020. Constance was 86 years old and a life-long resident of Berlin, NH. She was the daughter of Oscar and Angelina (Pike) Fleury (proprietors of Fleury Funeral Home) and a 1952 graduate of Notre Dame High School. Constance married Leopold Charest on August 30, 1952, and they had three children: Helene, Paul, and Robert. Constance endured the tragic loss of her youngest son Robbie (age 16) on May 16, 1981, in a boating accident.
Those who knew her well referred to her as Connie and thought of her as a gentle spirit who had an abundance of patience. She was an empathic listener and displayed a quiet acceptance of others. Connie had a commitment to family. While her children were young, she skillfully ran the household on limited means. She enjoyed nature, gardening (with an affinity for zinnias), cooking, crewel work, and reading. Connie often said she liked books that are written with “good character development.” She described herself as a “simple person” who found beauty through the lens of “less is more.” Connie loved springtime and would mark the calendar at the first site of a robin. For her, this was the official beginning of Spring. Connie lived on Norway Street for 32 years and enjoyed the beauty of the simple flowers on her Japanese Crab Apple tree. She was a loyal daughter whose roots ran deep. Until their passing, Connie cared for her parents in the same house. When asked about her devotion to her parents, she often said, “I would do it all over again.” For about 13 years, Connie worked as an associate at her son’s photography business, Morning Lane Photography. It is through this employment that she made many connections with customers and thoroughly enjoyed the socialization, work, and independence it offered her.
The English meaning of the name Constance is “steadfastness.” Connie exemplified this quality in the way she conducted her life. She truly will be missed by her extended family, and she will never be forgotten. Her spirit will be felt in the warmth of the springtime sun, tinkling of the melting snow, and the site of that first robin. Connie is survived by her son Paul Charest (and wife Dolores Roy Charest) and her daughter Helene Piper (and husband Mike). She leaves behind three grandsons: Christopher Charest, Ryan Charest (and wife Ellen Mikesh), and Kendall Charest (and wife Andrea Dupont Charest). She has two great grandchildren: Leila and Oliver Charest (children of Kendall and Andrea). She also leaves behind two sisters: Caroline Fleury Patry and Louise Fleury Shaw, and many nieces and nephews. Constance will be interred at Holy Family Cemetery in Gorham beside her son.
Services will be held privately.
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