Constance E. Makela, 77, of Washburn, Wis., passed away Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020, from breast cancer.
Constance grew up in Aurora, Minn. After graduating from the University of Minnesota, Duluth with a bachelor's degree in both art and home economics, she joined the Air Force in 1965 as a second lieutenant, and was stationed in many places around the world, including Saigon, Vietnam, where she witnessed the end of the Vietnam War.
She served on active duty until 1970, having achieved the rank of Captain. She then joined the private sector working for mining and defense companies, eventually retiring in 2005 after working for the Department of Homeland Security.
Her travels for work and pleasure brought her to many places around the world: Egypt, Germany, France, Spain, Austria, Switzerland, Holland, Finland, Sweden, England, Canada, Mexico, Curacao, Venezuela, St. Martin, Martinique, Puerto Rico, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Philippines, Japan, Okinawa, and Guam. She visited all of the U.S. states including Alaska and Hawaii and most of the Canadian provinces. She had an enthusiasm for all cultures, and throughout her life she enjoyed meeting and befriending interesting people from around the world.
Constance had a passion for creating things and learning new handicrafts throughout her life, including sewing, woodcarving, painting, clock-repair, jewelry-making, bookmaking, polymer clay sculpture, doll-making, picture-framing, and many other decorative arts. Her talents didn't seem to have a limit, and whenever she put her mind to creating something, the results were always impressive. She was happiest making unique items she could share with relatives and friends.
Constance's passing comes at an especially sad and challenging time in American history, and we will miss her terribly, all the while knowing that she lives on in us, and we honor her memory by our curiosity and enthusiasm for the world and by creating new, positive things.
Constance is survived by her brothers, Ron Makela (Victoria) and Gary Makela; nephew, Brian Makela; niece, Ginger Makela-Riker (Jason); grand-nephew, Gavin; grand-niece, Harper; and many cousins and friends she was close to.
She was preceded in death by her mother, Evelyn; and her father, Matt.
A Celebration of Life will be held on March 21, 2021, at Giant’s Ridge in Biwabik, Minn.