Constance (Connie) M. Portrey
September 25, 1925 – December 05, 2020
On December 5, 2020, heaven gained a special angel in Constance (Connie) Portrey, age 95. A Graveside Service will be held on Friday, December 11, 2020 ay 11:00 am in the Grandview Cemetery.
Connie was born on September 25, 1925, to Hazell Parnell Bry and Evelyn Marjorie (Rakness) Bry in Berthold, North Dakota. She attended grade school in Berthold and high school in Minot, graduating in 1943. After graduation she took some secretarial classes and for a time worked at the shipyards in Everett, Washington. After her parents moved to Bonners Ferry, Idaho, she joined them and worked at The Creamery. She met the love of her life Glenn Allen Portrey in Bonners Ferry and they were married on March 9, 1946. Four children were born in the following 10 years. In October 1952 they suffered the loss of their only son Dale at the age of 5. They persevered and worked together to raise their three daughters.
Connie was a stay-at-home mom, always ready to help where needed. She raised a garden and preserved the vegetables and fruit and made delicious jellies and jams. She was a room mother, a Brownie leader, and a 4-H leader for many years.
Music was an important part of her life and she sang in the United Methodist Church choir for over 30 years and for many years in the Community Choir. She had a beautiful soprano voice. For years she was active in the UMC Women’s group and was church secretary.
A second tragedy struck on August 21, 1970, when Glenn was killed in a logging accident. With two teenage daughters still at home, she moved into town and eventually went to work for Monk Shelman at Shelman Realty.
In April 1978 her youngest daughter Patricia (Tricia) died in an auto accident. A strong, woman of faith, as well as being stubborn and strong-willed, Connie kept working and eventually cared for both of her parents until their passing. She took them and her aunt Lillian Hetland on many vacation trips through Utah and the National Parks and their favorite Oregon Coast.
In the early 1990s, she moved to Spokane, Washington, because she wanted to and lived there until her passing. Always musical, she joined a women’s quartet that sang a variety of songs and many times entertained at various civic organization meetings in Spokane. Ballroom dancing was a favorite past time until arthritis made it difficult to dance. Until eight or so years ago, she worked part time as secretary at several Lutheran churches and for a real estate agency. She had many friends both in Bonners Ferry and Spokane.
Her family always came first. She attended as many of her grandchildren’s sports, school and 4-H events as she could. She never failed to send cards and “spending cash” to all the “kids” on birthdays, Christmas and anniversaries. Until arthritis made it difficult to travel, she came back to Bonners Ferry as often as she could. After a fall three years ago that resulted in a broken hip, she was a bit homebound. Though she could not get around like she wanted and that was frustrating, her mind was sharp. She had learned computer skills in her work at the churches and had a computer at home. She was proficient at email and loved to read everyone’s Facebook posts. Even the morning of her stroke, she was working a crossword puzzle.
Connie was preceded in death by her parents Hazell and Marjorie Bry, an infant brother, her husband Glenn, son Dale, daughter Patricia and granddaughter Margene Mendenhall.
Left with memories of a life well lived are two daughters Linda (John) Alt and Margi (Joe) Worley; five grandsons Don Alt, Patrick Alt, Russell (Sabrina) Alt, Rodney (Shannon) Mendenhall and Jeffrey (Julene) Mendenhall. Great grandchildren are Derrick (Cassie) Alt, Savannah Alt, Caitlin and Sky Alt, and Kaden, Connor and Ember Mendenhall. There are also many surviving cousins around the country.
Suggestions for memorials: Bonners Ferry United Methodist Church or Bonners Ferry Rotary Club.