Constance Rauch

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Rauch, Constance ALBANY Constance Weil Rauch of Albany, died on November 23, 2015. She was 82. Born in Frankfurt, Germany in 1933, she was the daughter of Hans Weil and Senta Kaufeldt Weil. She spent her early childhood in Recco and Pieve, Italy where her father ran the Schule am Mittelmeer. In 1938, Italy's anti-Jewish laws prevented her from starting school, but fortunately Senta Weil's Latvian visa provided the means for migration to America. She arrived in New York in 1939, classified as an "enemy alien." She lived at 113th Street and Broadway and attended P.S. 165 and then the High School of Music and Art. She enjoyed wonderful summers at Sky Farm Camp in Maine. She earned a B.A. in English from Earlham College in Indiana, where she appeared as Cleopatra and as the lead in "The Lady's Not for Burning." In all these places, Connie made lifelong friends. Connie gave birth to two daughters; Katharine Barbara, a teacher, born in 1960 and Emily Constance, an artist, born in 1964. She wrote and published three novels while holding day jobs as a copywriter in the fields of advertising and magazine publishing for publications such as Seventeen, House and Garden, and the Readers Digest. At the Readers Digest, she was part of a landmark class action suit demanding equal pay for equal work. Her marriage ended in divorce in 1972. The family moved from Yorktown Heights to Chappaqua, N.Y. in 1976. Her first book, "The Landlady", was published by Putnam in 1975. "The Spy on Riverside Drive," was published by Popular Library, 1981 and "A Deep Disturbance," by St. Martin's, 1991. At the time of her death, she had just finished copy editing a semi autobiographical novel. In the 1980s, Connie moved to the Albany area, to the beautiful Helderburgs, where she pursued her writing. She used her excellent eye for home design to revamp a series of houses. In her peripatetic life, Connie always created in sense of home as a refuge. In true ecumenical spirit, she became an elder for the Rensselaerville Presbyterian Church. She never hesitated to reach out to all and provide clear-eyed, wise, warm, and empathetic advice. Life came full circle for Connie when she returned to Recco, Italy, where in 2010, she was made an honorary citizen in recognition for Hans Weil's heroic acts rescuing Jewish students during World War II. Connie reconnected with old friends and made many new ones at the Villa Palmathe site of the Schule am Mittelmeer, which survived the bombing of World War II. Connie never thought of herself as a refugee from the Shoah since, as she put it, "We survived." She lived life with a great sense of optimism and possibility. A proud liberal, Connie loved her cats, Jeopardy, Scrabble, crossword puzzles, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the beaches of Block Island and hikes in the woods of upstate New York. She was the ultimate authority on grammar, and more importantly, style. The weekly New Yorker was a constant influence. Connie was a special combination of a down to earth elitist, who inspired everyone who met her to strive and to thrive. Her many friends will never forget her. Connie Rauch was predeceased by a brother, Charlie Weil; and her beloved nephew, Glen Douglas Weil. She is survived by her two daughters, Katie Rauch of Warwick, R.I., and her husband, Keith Jackman and Emily Rauch of Rensselaerville, and her husband, Kevin Kelly, and his daughter Shannon Kelly, and her little cat, Amber.

Published in Albany Times Union on Dec. 6, 2015
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