On Tuesday, November 26, 2019, Constance ("Connie") Raymond loving wife and mother of three children passed away in El Cajon, CA at the age of 97.
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Constance Monica Langley Appleford was born on 26 June 1922 in Lambeth County of London, England to Florence Minnie Webb and William Clarence Langley Appleford.
She graduated from the Royal Victoria Patriotic School, Wandsworth Common, London, an institution founded for the daughters of deceased sailors, soldiers, marines, and airmen.
During World War II, at the age of 18, she joined the Royal Air Force and served as a member of an all woman barrage balloon crew.
In June 1945, she married SGT Ray Raymond, U.S. Army, a military policeman who boldly wooed her even when he returned from recently invaded France with high-value German prisoners which he kept handcuffed to his Jeep during his visits.
One of 70,000 WW II war brides, the largest wave of female immigrants in U.S. history, Connie arrived in New York, N.Y. in the SS Holbrook, an army transport ship. She had endured the Atlantic transit with seasickness and morning sickness with her first child, Peter, who was delivered in her new home of Tulia, TX.
She had a second son, Alan Keith, the following year.
Eight years later, after embracing U.S and Texas culture, largely eliminating her English accent, enduring dust storms that turned the day into night, surviving the occasional tornado, she became a naturalized citizen in Amarillo, TX with her two sons in attendance.
The next year, she delivered her daughter Debra Lynne.
Throughout her life Connie was a lover of animals and had a soft spot in her heart for the most vulnerable. She drew joy from gardening, and she had a talent for transforming a sadly bedraggled plant into a flourishing organism.
A woman of great physical beauty she was always unassuming; facing incredible challenges in wartime she was always strong; and throughout her life no matter what the obstacle she always exhibited a brilliantly sharp and quick wit. Among the factors she could attribute to her long life were that she never smoked or drank and until she was about ninety she could out walk most people half a century her age.
The Bible says for a believer to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. Constance had faith in God's promise that Christ his son brought through his crucifixion, death, burial, and resurrection. She believed Christ's sacrifice on the cross paid for her sins. Because of her faith in God, she is now in His presence for eternity where there is no more suffering or sorrow, where there is only joy and peace.
Connie was preceded in death by her husband of 42 years. She is survived by her son Peter R. Raymond, CAPT, SC, USN, her daughter Debra Entrekin, seven grandchildren, nineteen great grandchildren, and six great great grandchildren.
A private graveside service will be conducted at Singing Hills Memorial Park, El Cajon, CA.