Torrington- James David “Jim” Constable, 81, of Torrington passed away Thursday, April 20, 2023, at Hartford Hospital.
Born on January 9, 1942, in Oneonta, NY, Jim was the youngest child of the late Fred Constable Jr. and Florence Ruth Constable (née Pinney). He was a Vietnam War veteran who served two decades in the U.S. Army, and is remembered for his strong work ethic, artful storytelling, sharp wit, and sense of humor.
Jim enlisted in the U.S. Army the day he turned 18 years old. While stationed in Neu-Ulm, Germany some months after completing basic training, he met Ilse Söhnel, a young woman who lived in the area and worked at the base. Jim knew then she was “the one” and told his friends that day: “I’m going to marry her.” His prediction came true. On June 20, 1963, Jim and Ilse were married.
Over the course of his 20-year military career, Jim was stationed at various bases across the United States and served two tours in Vietnam. He was honorably discharged with the rank of Sergeant First Class in 1980.
After his military service, Jim moved to Torrington with his family and started his second career — quality assurance at Howmet Aerospace in Winsted. When Jim was hired, he set a goal: He wanted to work his way into a quality engineer role even though he did not have the typical educational credentials. He succeeded.
In his personal life, Jim spent many hours outdoors working to maintain his picturesque yard, which developed a reputation among local wildlife as an something of an oasis, with an abundance of snacks.
His greatest joy, however, came from the time he spent with his children, his grandchildren and, especially, his wife, Ilse. The two logged countless road trips and travels over nearly six decades of marriage. He spent the last years of his life caring for Ilse and learning to cook — though Ilse notes he will need to keep working on that in his eternal life.
Jim is survived by his wife, Ilse (née Söhnel), 83, of Torrington; his children, Andreas A. “Andy” Constable and his wife, Sue, of Barrington, RI; James D. Constable Jr. and his wife, Sherri, of Tifton, GA; and Robert Constable of Keene, NH; and Patricia “Patty” Bailly and her husband, Roger, of Toccoa, GA; a sister, Lois Rausch of Walton, NY; and six grandchildren. He was predeceased by two sisters, Barbara M. Clapper and Lora Jean Brady, and his brother, Duane F. Constable.
Memorial services with Full Military Honors will be held Wednesday, April 26, 2023, at 4:00p.m. at Gleeson-Ryan Funeral Home, 258 Prospect St., Torrington. Friends may call Wednesday afternoon from 3:00p.m. until the time of services.
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