Constance Mills Creveling passed away peacefully on Saturday, Jan. 2, 2019, in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. A longtime resident of the Methow Valley and the town of Okanogan, she was born “within the sound of Bow Bells” in the City of London, which made her a true Londoner and Cockney.
Having been born on Oct. 8, 1930, she was 9 years old when World War II started. She remembered learning about the declaration of the war from a schoolboy in her class, rather than from her parents or a teacher. She and her two sisters and mother were part of the British Evacuation of World War II when they moved to Stockport in Northern England. Connie and her mother were placed with a Miss Lovelock. Connie vividly remembered Miss Lovelock saving her rations of butter and sugar and dried fruit in order to make a birthday cake for her, decorated with Michaelmas daisies, a flower that remained her favorite for the rest of her life.
After returning to London, having exhausted the education options available to her and experiencing the necessity of working to assist in supporting the family, she began her secretarial career at the age of 13. She learned shorthand and worked for various interesting organizations, having decided early in life that if she was going to work, she would find employment in the best places available to her, including BOAC (British Airways), Elstree Film Studios in London, and the British Foreign Office.
While working in the Foreign Service she served in the British Consulate in Bonn, Germany making many lifelong friends and even working with John Le Carre, who, unbeknownst to her, was an agent with MI6. He asked her to type his book “The Spy Who Came in From the Cold” but she was too busy, secretly thinking that he would never make a success of it. She then moved to the British Embassy in Jerusalem, Jordan. While in Jordan, she spent one Christmas in Bethlehem, another at a special embassy party at the ambassador’s home, drove her Mini to the Dead Sea and met her husband-to-be, Dewade Creveling.
Upon her marriage, she moved to the United States and experienced life on a cattle ranch in the Methow Valley. After raising their two daughters, Wendy and Karen, Connie and Dewade parted ways and Connie moved to Okanogan where she obtained a job with the fledging Okanogan Farmworkers Clinic (now Family Health Centers in Omak). As one of the first employees, she typed the grant that started the clinic, which was to become one of the first Community Health Centers in the United States, part of a large network of clinics that provide health care to low-income and uninsured individuals. She was very proud of her part in the clinic and worked there for over 10 years.
She loved spending time with her daughters and grandchildren and later moved to Coeur d’Alene to spend her later years in the Village at Orchard Ridge, where she enjoyed shopping, spending time with grandchildren and meeting new friends. She is survived by her sisters in England, Joan (twin) and Beryl (Tony brother-in-law); daughters Karen (Joel son-in-law) Hughes and Wendy Raub; grandchildren Adam, Avery, Foss and Gary; and many nieces and nephews and friends.
A funeral service took place on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019, at Rock Church in Okanogan. Arrangements have been entrusted to English Funeral Chapel, Post Falls. Please sign Connie’s online memorial guestbook at www.englishfuneralchapel.com.