Constance “Connie” (Jacobson) McQuillan, age 87, of Alexandria, and formerly of Glenwood, died January 13, 2021, at Grand Arbor Assisted Living in Alexandria.
Connie will be buried in Fort Snelling Cemetery, next to her husband, Dawson Thomas McQuillan. Arrangements are with Hoplin-Hitchcock Funeral Home of Glenwood.
Constance “Connie” Elaine Jacobson was born June 25, 1933 in Rolling Forks Township, Minnesota. She was the 12th of 13 children born to Carl John and Gina Selma (Aslakson) Jacobson. Connie grew up on the family farm near Swift Falls along with her eight brothers and four sisters. She attended a nearby country school before graduating from Glenwood High School in 1951. At that time, she was awarded a scholarship to attend Fairview School of Nursing in Minneapolis where she earned her LPN degree. After graduation she worked at Glenwood Community Hospital until 1959 when she became employed as an Army civilian nurse and moved to Frankfort, Germany. In 1962 she returned to the states and entered the Army Nurse Corps and was assigned to Cleveland Ohio. There she received her Registered Nursing degree from Chaminade University and met Dawson. They were married on April 16, 1966. He worked for Northwest Airlines in maintenance and management.
In 1970, Dawson accepted a transfer to Hawaii and the couple moved to Ewa Beach, on the island of Oahu. They enjoyed 43 wonderful years there and made many dear, lifelong friends. Connie loved to entertain on her back patio and was a wonderful hostess and tour guide to many who were fortunate to visit her while she lived in Hawaii. She was well-known for keeping the postal service in business with her frequent priority box mailing of mango bread to friends & family. She and Dawson loved to travel to the mainland as well as Europe, New Zealand, and Australia.
Connie served for four years of active duty and 37 years in the reserves, before retiring as a full Colonel from Tripler Army Medical Center. Her years in the military were spent training, recruiting, and working in hospitals throughout the United States and Japan.
Three years after Dawson’s death in 1996, Connie returned home to Glenwood, Minnesota where she purchased a townhome in the Glenwood Retirement Village Community. In 2016, health issues prompted a move to Grand Arbor where she received wonderful care and continued to reside until the time of her death.
Connie will be remembered for the wonderful generosity, hospitality, and love she shared with her family and friends. She was confident and competent in everything she did. Not only in her genes, but from years of supervising operating rooms and the pediatric ward, Connie was always in control. She'd say, "I just gave them MY LOOK and everyone knew I meant business." Besides "Her LOOK", she was known for her big smile and quick wit. She rarely missed a family event or celebration of any kind. She loved dogs & cats, her exercise, fashion, sunshine, dancing, woodworking, and traveling. Connie enjoyed Happy Hour, always had a cup of coffee in hand, enjoyed telling about her many life experiences, and cherished her connections with friends and family. She was a member of the American Legion and Glenwood Lutheran Church. Because she felt education & opportunity were important, she served on Honolulu’s Women's League of Central Union Church scholarship committee for several years after retirement from nursing and was also a generous giver to many service organizations for children's needs and animals. Connie left a lasting mark on anyone who crossed her path.
She is survived by an older brother, Gerhard Jacobson of Virginia and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews, other relatives, and friends. Connie was preceded in death by her parents, Carl John and Gina; her husband, Dawson McQuillan; siblings, Arnold, Thelma Engstrom, Eleanor Jacobson Kain, Mildred Ripley, Ralph, Edith Kliltzke, Andrew, Erling, I. John, Gordon, and Dale, along with nieces and nephews.
Memorials may be directed to Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church in Swift Falls - 201 Falcon Ave. Benson, MN 56215
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