Livonia: December 27, 2013 at age 90. Predeceased by her parents Henry and Mary Sauders Wyffels. Connie was born in Canandaigua, residing in Cheshire, NY and a long term resident and business owner in Livonia.
She is survived by her son Hank (Wendy) of Venice, FL; grandson Scott (Heather) and great grandson Finch of Haddonfield, NJ; grandson Brett of Mount Laurel, NJ.
A private funeral service will be held at the convenience of the family. Arrangements entrusted to the Kevin W. Dougherty Funeral Home, Livonia-Honeoye. To send a condolence please visit: www.doughertyfuneralhomes.com
Laurena “Connie” Herrington
When “Connie” was born on November 25, 1923, her loving parents named her
Laurena. She grew up as their only child during the great depression, living in the beloved
Bristol Hills in upstate New York. There are a collage of memories which she shared from
her childhood which include wearing hats, her dad shooting an owl out of the air as it was
headed in to snatch a candy bar from her hand, collecting eggs from the chickens and
filling 5-gallon buckets with eggs, learning how to drive a tractor, helping her mother in
the kitchen, helping her father with chores, and getting her nick-name “Connie” from a
character she portrayed in a school play. She grew up to be an expert marksman, and went
hunting well into her 70’s.
There were many joys in her life, which included her family, her cousins by the
dozens, her friends, her private get-a-way in the Bristol Hills, her rock garden, flower beds,
Harry Lauder Walking Stick tree, her red-and-white trimmed house, and her beloved
“Junique Antique” shoppe. And of course, she fondly loved collecting hats, amassing over
1,200 hats which she lovingly catalogued and placed in her bedroom.
I’ll never forget the first time she showed me her hat collection. It was a day that
she had agreed to let me come and photograph her hat collection for a book titled
“Connie’s Dream” that I was making for a photography class in 1998. As I entered her
bedroom, it was as if I had entered a special sanctuary that had a quiet reverent hush over it
because everywhere I looked, I saw hats! It inspired me to write a whimsical poem that
was included throughout the book that was sprinkled with photographs paying tribute to
her love for collecting and wearing her hats! It was always easy to shop for Connie- the
formula was simple- start at a hat shop and then find the most beautiful hat! I’ll never
forget finding a pink flamingo hat and sending it to her. She not only loved the unusual
hat, but she wore it in her shop! She shared with me how she would start each day. She
would open her eyes, then look up at the hundreds of hats hanging overhead from the
ceiling, and those placed strategically around the room to see which one caught her eye as
the “hat of the day.” She used to say that was the biggest decision of the day- deciding on
which hat to wear. Then, she would go through her clothes closet to find the appropriate
outfit to match with her hat of the day. She often would get stopped in the grocery store or
WalMart by people asking her where she got her beautiful hat! It’s no wonder that many
in the area have referred to her as the “Hat Lady.”
Connie took great pleasure running her “Junique Antique” shop, which until lately,
was open 6 days a week. She would open the shop each day and often sing as she brought
eye-catching antiques outside to display. She always seemed to have time to stop and have
a chat, and would often remind me to stop and smell the roses. In between customers,
when it was not winter, she would tend to her rock garden, her flower gardens and her
indoor houseplants. During the winter she enjoyed doing jigsaw puzzles, spoiling Mittens
and tending to her many house plants and a huge Christmas Cactus that faithfully bloomed
every year. She also loved her heritage to Holland which inspired her to visit her relatives
there and to live in her red house with white trim, and to drive red and white Ford cars
throughout the years. So today I want to say, thank you Connie for your friendship, your
prayers, your faith in God, your encouragement, your listening ear and inspiring me to dare
to wear a beautiful hat! You’ve made a difference in my life! And yes, I will continue to
wear hats and stop and smell the roses!
Photographs and tribute by Connie’s friend, Gloria Dingeldein.
In Loving Memory of Connie 12/27/2013.