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PRISCILLA CONSTABLE


1919 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
PRISCILLA CONSTABLE Obituary
CONSTABLE, Priscilla

(McCaffrey) An elegant hostess, fashion designer and avid gardener, died March 22 in Essex, CT, where she lived for many years with her husband, the late James Cheston Constable. She was 97, and even as she grew frail and her memory faded, she bestowed a cheerful smile and wave on all who passed by. Born and raised in Boston, Priscilla attended the Woodward and May schools, enjoyed summers in Maine and Sunday strolls on Commonwealth Avenue with her beloved father, Robert Remington McCaffrey. The crash of 1929 ended her formal education, but through perseverance and imagination, she parlayed her sewing skills into a brilliant career in haute couture. During the 1940s, she designed wedding and debutante gowns for Henri Bendel in New York, often modeling them for fashion magazines. Shortly after the end of World War II, she met and became engaged to Cheston, who had just resigned his wartime commission as a U.S. army captain. After a glamorous social whirl in post-war Manhattan, they married in July, 1948. The bride designed and wore a wedding gown of pale pink satin overlaid with cinnamon lace. Several years later, the couple moved to Greenwich, CT, where Cheston worked for IBM, and they adopted two children. As a homemaker, Priscilla turned her artistic talents and energy to charitable and social pursuits. She was an active member of the Green Fingers Garden Club in Greenwich and the Colony Club in New York, and she volunteered for numerous causes. Both frugal and generous, she hosted memorable dinners and often appeared in stylish "costumes" of her own design. The family spent many happy summers on Nantucket Island. After Cheston retired in the 1970s, the couple moved to Essex, where their their annual Christmas Eve party on Foxboro Point was a popular social event for more than two decades. As a volunteer, Priscilla was deeply involved in developing the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts. In 2004 the couple retired to Essex Meadows, where Cheston passed away in 2013. Priscilla is survived by their son, Timothy C. Constable, a computer consultant in Watertown, MA; their daughter, Pamela G. Constable, a journalist in Fairfax, VA; and two granddaughters. A memorial service will be held at noon on Saturday, April 16th, at St. Ann's Episcopal Church in Old Lyme, Ct.. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Lyme Academy. To post a memory or condolence, visit: www.rwwfh.com, the website of Robinson & Weymer Funeral Home.
Published in The Boston Globe on Mar. 29, 2016
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