BANGOR, Maine — A woman who worked nearly half a century for the city of Bangor, most of the years at Bangor International Airport, died Sunday at her Winterberry Heights home at the age of 77.
Constance Ruth Strout spent the last 37 years of her 48 years with the city as administrative assistant to the manager of BIA.
During her years at the airport, Strout did her best to accommodate people passing through Bangor, according to an article published in December 2001 in The Weekly.
“She once borrowed a china cup from the airport gift shop so that Joan Mondale, wife of former Vice President Walter Mondale, wouldn’t have to drink her tea from a foam cup.” the article said. “She opened the conference room for former President Jimmy Carter when he found himself in the airport the morning the space shuttle Challenger exploded over Cape Canaveral.”
She said in 2001 that she had stayed on the job so long because “no two days are ever alike.”
“This is the most exciting place to work,” Strout told The Weekly.
She was born Oct. 2, 1934, in Milbridge, the daughter of Arnold Foster and Barbara I. (Kelley) Strout. She graduated from Milbridge High School in 1952 and Westbrook Junior College in 1954 and had planned to move to Boston. Strout said in 2001 that she decided against the big city and moved home.
In 1957, she went to work for the city of Bangor and moved to the airport 11 years later as the assistant to William Depuy, BIA’s first director. He was replaced by Peter D’Errico, who stayed until 1990. Bob Ziegelaar was Strout’s boss for the next decade, and in 2001 Rebecca Hupp was named the new airport manager.
“She was extremely competent and highly skilled,” D’Errico said Monday of Strout. “She was extremely helpful in the early days of getting the airport established. I’m very sorry for the loss.”
Strout retired on Feb. 28, 2005, and Gov. John Baldacci proclaimed Feb. 23, 2005, as “Connie Strout Day.”
In addition to her work at BIA, Strout served on the board of directors of the Alumni Association of Westbrook College. She received the Heloise Withee Award in 2002 for outstanding service to the board.
Surviving are her husband, Thomas R. Wood of Bangor; four cousins:
Susan Jane (Strout) Parker, Joyce (Beal) Bailey, Jimmy Beal and Bonnie Beck; and the children of her husband: Thomas S. Wood and his wife, Donna; Robert B. Wood and his wife, Christiana; Holly Ann Mayfield and Robin L. Hubbard.
Calling hours will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at Brookings-Smith, 133 Center St. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday with the Rev. Rex H. Garrett, director of chaplaincy services at Eastern Maine Medical Center, officiating. Interment will be in the Evergreen Cemetery, Milbridge.
Gifts in her memory may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association Maine Chapter, 383 US Route 1, Suite 2C, Scarborough, ME 04074.
Condolences to the family may be expressed at www.BrookingsSmith.com.