LEVERETT - Constance "Connie" (Alfriend) Peterson of Leverett, and Greensboro, Vermont, died Oct. 23, 2016, of an infection, at Baystate Medical Center. She was a bright enthusiastic nature lover, 70 years old, and never a boring person.
Born in Alexandria, Virginia, in 1945, née Constance Lila Barrett Alfriend, she graduated from the University of Massachusetts in 1974 with a bachelor's degree in education and went on to earn her master's degree in public health.
Her career was devoted to the service of others, teaching classes to help people quit smoking, and working tirelessly for the health and well being of both college students and her peers.
She married Alan Carl Peterson in 1969. They had a son Alan Jr., who she raised single-handedly from age two, now a physician in Crested Butte, Colorado. "Connie", as her many legions of friends knew her, became an outdoor enthusiast, particularly in back country skiing, white water canoeing, swimming, backpacking, and bicycling. She was a prolific cook.
She was an advocate for human rights and justice, the environment, and gave generously. She demonstrated for equal rights at the Democratic National Convention in 1964. She was life-long volunteer, chairperson of the Canoe Committee of the Appalachian Mountain Club, leading trips for the AMC, teaching English as a second language, and continuing to improve smoking policy at local universities. One of her favorite activities was sharing the Sunday night classical music concerts on Caspian Lake with younger generations.
She leaves behind her beloved son and his wife Monique; her three and a half year old granddaughter Tory; her beloved partner Dr. Frank Sikora of Amherst; and her sister Bliss Alfriend Miga and family of Annandale Virginia. Her many, many friends and relatives miss her dearly, and we are thankful for the time we had with her.
Her memorial will take place Dec. 10, at 1:30 p.m. at the new Hitchcock Center for the Environment, 845 West St., Amherst.
Donations in her memory can be made to Oxfam and Heifer International.
The Ahearn Funeral Home of Northampton assisted Connie's family with funeral arrangements.
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Published by Daily Hampshire Gazette on Nov. 22, 2016.