Connie Lynn Wilson
March 16, 2023
Connie Lynn Wilson, 73, passed away Tuesday, March 7th, 2023, at home in Shelton, WA. Connie and her twin brother, Curt Cheney, were born in Shelton on February 7th, 1950. Connie attended Bordeaux Elementary School where she met her friend for life, Karol (Mackey) Rogers in the 4th grade. She met her future husband, Duane Wilson, at Shelton High School. Connie and Duane began dating while in high school and resumed dating when Duane returned to Shelton after three years in the Army. They were married on February 12th, 1971. They had 52 wonderful years together. They had three children, Nicholas Duane, Jeffery Paul and Mollie Kay Wilson. Connie was a stay at home mom until all of the kids had graduated high school, were out of the house, and attending college. Connie then resumed her education at South Sound Community College where she got her Associate of Arts Degree and then attended The Evergreen State College where she earned a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science. She did research for the Washington State Home Builders Association after her graduation.
When Jeff married Carrianne Nicklaus and Mollie married Eli Dickison and ended up living in different parts of China for ten years, Connie discovered her love of traveling. Jeff and Carrianne's boys were born in different cities in Asia. Caleb (Xining China), Jacob (Chiang Mai Thailand) and David (Beijing, China). Mollie and Eli had three kids born in Shenyang, China, Ilana, Micah and Silas. Isaac and Joy were born in Shelton. Each time a child was born Connie, Duane and Nick were off to China or Thailand to see the new baby. After the trip to Chiang Mai, Connie realized that Thailand was a wonderful place to visit mostly because it was warm, friendly, had good food and was affordable. Xining is at 8,000 feet elevation close to Tibet and Shenyang is near North Korea and both places were very cold much of the year. She decided it was better to visit the kids and grandkids where it was warm. She also started her search for the perfect beach with perfect white sand. Every year she would find different islands or mainland beaches to meet the kids. She would research for months and always arranged perfect accommodations for our family and friends who traveled with us. She never found the perfect beach and sand but she came close a few times. When Nick married Nina, a Thai native, Connie booked a trip to Nina's province in Northern Thailand to meet Nina's family. Once in Asia she would arrange day trips or side trips to other countries. She got us to Malaysia, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam (Saigon or Ho Chi Min City and Hanoi) Laos, Hong Kong, Macao and several cities on Mainland China. All in all Connie visited Asia 28 times. After she learned the ropes of traveling to Asia she decided to branch out to Europe and Mexico. She booked visits to Croatia, Italy, London, Costa Rica, Cancun, Puerto Vallarta and Playa Del Carmen. If you traveled with Connie, you had to be prepared to walk and swim. One to four mile walks were the norm, a beach or pool or both were a necessity. She would only take a song tau or taxi if it was absolutely necessary.
Connie also loved to tent camp. For over 20 years she would book our favorite campsites at Lake Chelan State Park with Karol and Herb Rogers and their kids, Mark and Michael and their friends. Mollie would bring Susanne Feucht and Nicole St. Amand. Herb and Duane would go fishing in the morning and Connie and Karol would get the kids fed and head for the beach. At night there was pinochle and s'mores around the campfire. Connie and Karol cheated at pinochle and were poor losers if the men ever managed to beat them. After the kids had kids, she continued the yearly trek to Chelan.
Another tradition Connie started after everyone moved back to America was the twice a year cousins campout. Duane had built a shed at the back of their property and the kids decided it looked like a bunkhouse. So every year at the summer and winter solstice the cousins would camp out with Connie in that shed. She would show a kid appropriate movie and make popcorn, then get up and cook pancakes outside, weather permitting. The kids would decorate the cabin with either a Christmas or Fourth of July theme. The summer campouts were always more fun because it was warm. The coldest it ever got in the shed (no electricity or heat) was 36 degrees. The kids were from 4-18 yrs old and no one ever complained about being cold, mostly because Connie had every sleeping bag and blanket she ever owned on those kids.
Connie enjoyed her own version of gathering that her mother's side of the family called "Cousins". Once a quarter, the Oniels, McDonalds, Hunters and the Taylors would gather at restaurants in Mason or Thurston counties for lunch and visiting. Her family would also have a yearly family reunion at either Twanoh or Potlatch State Parks, and Connie treasured the chance to visit with family from around the region. Connie was also very active with the Mason County Republican Women. She held every position of leadership and she loved working with the strong group of women and men of that organization, and was very proud of accomplishing the goals they set each year.
She was a prolific reader with hundreds of books in her home from leather bound classics, to mysteries, historical, philosophical and political stories. It was not unusual for her to be reading three different titles at a time. She loved reading on the swing in her gardens in the back yard or under the cherry tree in the front yard with a cat in her lap.
Connie was preceded in death by her parents Arnold and LaDonna Cheney and Sister Linda Hastings. She is survived by her husband Duane; children Nick (Nina) Wilson, Jeff (Carrianne) Wilson and Mollie (Eli) Dickison; grandchildren Caleb, Jake and Dave Wilson and Ilana, Micah, Silas, Isaac and Joy Dickison; her twin brother Curt (Pam) Cheney and Sister Arlene (Earl) Hora and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
A Celebration of Life will be held for Connie April 15th, 2023 - 2:00 p.m. at the Faith Lutheran Church located at 1212 Connection Street in Shelton, Washington, 98584.
Connie and I graduated from high school together and I remember what a pretty and genuinely nice person she was. The world was a better place with her in it. So sorry for the loss. Judy (Long) Rogers-Lavigne
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