Recent Obituaries
In Memoriam Archive

Constance Eleanor Austin ’77

October 17, 2022, in Dover, Massachusetts, from complications related to Parkinson’s disease.

Connie was born in Alabama, where her father was stationed in the army. The family moved to Weston, Massachusetts, and then to Brookline, where Connie attended Heath Elementary School and Winsor School.

From an early age Connie was drawn to other cultures. At 13, she traveled by herself to Greece to spend the summer with the family of a friend. In her junior year of high school, she lived and studied in Chamonix, France, with hosts who spoke no English. After high school, she attended Reed for two years before moving to Europe, first to France, where she traveled with friends, and then to Florence, Italy, where she studied language and art history. She returned to the States, where she got a bachelor’s degree in Renaissance literature and studies at Wellesley College.

After six months of law school, Connie was sure she didn’t want to write contracts and resolve disputes for the rest of her life. Instead, she went to work in the medical field, eventually as the coroner at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston for a number of years.

Later in life, she started and managed a highly successful catering business, which allowed her more opportunities to travel extensively. She was a gifted athlete, excelling at any sport she tried, read constantly in four languages, delighted in exploring ideas with others, and was always ready to discuss big topics, ranging from the scientific to the metaphysical. She rode horses and motorcycles, painted and sculpted, and adored animals. Connie is survived by her husband, Peter Mercer, and four brothers, James Austin Jr., Harry Austin, Bayard Austin, and Bryan Austin

Appeared in Reed magazine: March 2023

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