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Saturday, July 25, 2015

Constance F. Anstett, 93

Constance “Connie” Fleming Anstett of Southport, a longtime Westport resident and widow of the late Westport Probate Judge Robert M. Anstett, died July 23. She was 93.

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Constance Anstett:  longtime Westporter. Contributed photo

Active in Westport town affairs for decades, especially the Republican Party, she lived in Southport since 1995 but Westport was always special to her. Earlier this month, she was seen at the Compo Beach fireworks.

She was born Sept. 12, 1921 in Manhattan, the daughter of the late William and Agnes Garry Fleming. She graduated from Bronxville (N.Y.) High School where she was chosen by faculty and the student body to receive the high award for “Outstanding Scholarship, Citizenship, and Self-Reliance.” She spent the rest of her life trying to live up to this honor. She attended Rosemont College in Rosemont, Pa. and Katharine Gibbs School.

She married Everett Justus Dearman, Jr. during World War II when he served as a lieutenant.  Upon his death in the line of duty, she returned to New York and became an interviewer in the placement office for Katherine Gibbs School

In 1948 she met and married Bob Anstett, an attorney with Bristol Myers Co. A few months later, he and John Boyd started their law partnership in Westport.

Both immediately became involved with the Republican Party and worked on fellow Westporter John Davis Lodge’s campaign for governor. Lodge served as governor from 1951 to 1955.

She had a great interest in local government and the Westport Republican Party. She served on the Republican Town Committee from 1954 to 1966 and co-authored “The Republican Plan” for use in Republican campaigns.

She not only ran her husband’s campaigns for the Representative Town Meeting (RTM), Board of Education, and four terms as probate judge but also worked in other local, state, and national campaigns.

In 1995, the Anstetts were awarded the John Lodge Award for Outstanding Public Service. He died March 18, 1995 at age 78.

She was a founding member of the St. Augustine Study Group, which began in 1955. She treasured the study group friendships and the challenge of their active discussions of faith. 

She also became involved in various committees at St. Luke Church and spent time working with a wonderful group of people. St. Luke Church was an important part of her life.

In 1980, she was one of four women who raised the necessary funds to purchase the Wheeler House for the Westport Historical Society.  In 1999, the Society presented her with its Millennium Circle award for her contribution.

She was dedicated to her family. Her children said, “She was always there for us.”

She is surved by her son Peter Anstett and wife Leslie of Westport and daughter Sally and husband Patrick Barry of Venice, Fla, and her two grandsons, Robert H. Anstett of Bakersfield, Calif. and David L. Anstett of Alexandria, Va.

A Mass of Christian Burial will take place on Tuesday, July 28 at 11 a.m. at St. Luke Church in Westport. Interment will be private.  Harding Funeral, 210 Post Road East, is handling arrangements.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to be made to St. Luke Church Building Fund, the Alzheimer Society in memory of Robert M. Anstett, or the Connecticut Yankee Council of The Boy Scouts of America.

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Posted 07/25/15 at 01:44 PM  Permalink



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