Rachel Alleen Connor, age 93, of Saint Paul, Minnesota, died peacefully in her sleep on Tuesday, October 27, 2020. She died of natural causes after months of deteriorating health,which was accelerated by isolation from family and friends during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thankfully, the team at Cerenity Senior Care - Humboldt, passed Rachel’s “tests,” and she allowed them to comfort her with friendship, entertainment and numerous distanced and online visits with family. They even got her to take her medicine! The family offers sincere gratitude to the teams at Cerenity Humboldt and Allina Hospice St. Paul for taking care of Rachel in her final months.
Rachel was born on October 1, 1927, in Pike County, Indiana, to Oma Ellen (Robertson) and John Muvehill Connor. Rachel was the third of six children. She was a beautiful woman with a dazzling smile and sparkle in her brilliant, pale blue eyes. Rachel attended California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo and graduated from California State University in Chico where she earned a bachelor’s degree and an education certification.
Rachel was an intelligent professional. She could take dictation in short-hand, manage a company’s accounts, and keep an office humming. Although she was great on a typewriter, Rachel loved computers and worked with some of the earliest computers. She alsohad very strong mechanical skills: she could do everything from changing a tire or the oil in her car to disassembling and reassembling car engines and bicycles. Rachel even contributed in a small way to the work of the Apollo space mission.
Rachel’s interests were numerous and varied. Rachel enjoyed fresh air and the adventures of driving across the country to visit her family and friends. She truly cherished her memories of those trips. Rachel had a life-long love of the ocean, its geology and its sea life. She enjoyed exploring tidepools near Shell Beach, Pismo Beach and Carmel-By-the-Sea with her nieces and nephews. She liked cruising in her car, going on picnics, birding, picking wildflowers and listening to music. She enjoyed good food, strong coffee and deep conversation as well as practicing yoga, reading, and exploring philosophy. Ahead of her time, she was a health nut before it was popular. She was an avid tennis player, skier, pilot and road cyclist. She loved her cars and driving long distances. Some of Rachel’s favorite drives were along California’s Pacific Coast Highway, Arizona’s Route 66 andthe Rocky Mountains. She would never pass up an opportunity to spend time in nature, to breathein the fresh air, and to watch the sunset or gaze at the moon and stars. She played the piano and the guitar and would sing many songs. She adored classical music and opera. And, she loved her family, especially her dear niece Catherine Wickum of St. Paul, MN, upon whom Rachel doted and relied as a daughter.
Rachel believed that she carried “Home” within her heart. She lived in many places across the USA, including California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, New York, and Oregon. Rachel also lived in Beirut, Lebanon for a short time. Rachel spent many years in Littleton and Steamboat Springs, Colorado. She relocated to St. Paul, Minnesota, to spend her final years near loved ones.
Rachel was preceded in death by her parents and two elder siblings, Bybee Connor and Pauline Rushton. Rachel is survived by three siblings – George Connor of Booneville, IN, Ida McCarthy of Decatur, IL, and Ruth Conner of Saratoga Springs, NY – as well as many nieces & nephews and grand-nieces & grand-nephews.
In honor of Rachel, please spend time with your family, take a long walk, pick some wildflowers, explore a tidepool, plan a road trip, watch the sunset, or go on a picnic. A private funeral service will be held. Condolences may be left here on the Tribute Wall section above.