Constance Kesner was born on October 18, 1911 to Harry George Kesner and the former Estelle Byk. Her older sister, Hortense was born several years earlier in 1907. Constance, nicknamed “Connie” lived with her family in Brooklyn, New York at 277 Eastern Parkway. Years later (1945) Hortense would raise her family just down the street at 284 Eastern Parkway!
|Connie (right) and sister Hortense (left) about 1916|
On July 12, 1935, Connie traveled to England. The passenger manifest states her destination as “American Express London” There were several passengers with that same destination listed. She returned to New York on August 10. Her address at that time was 125 Eastern Parkway.
|1935 - Emanuel "Moggy" Margand|
|1935 - Connie holding her new niece Jessica|
Sister Hortense (Jessica's mom)
can be seen on right
Connie married Emanuel Victor Margand (Moggy) on June 2, 1936. Moggy was born in England and had been residing there, having made several visits to the United States as a student. A topic for further research is whether the two met here or during Connie’s trip to England.
By November 1936 Connie and her new husband were residing at 881 Washington Avenue Brooklyn. On Nov. 19, 1939 the couple had their first child, a daughter Patricia Ann, nicknamed PAM (her initials!) Their second daughter, Nancy Adele was born on Feb. 11, 1947.
|21 Merleland Road New Rochelle, NY (Google Map Image)|
By 1952, the family had moved to New Rochelle, NY. I remember visiting their home at 21 Mereland Rd. There was a playhouse in their backyard that I was sooooo jealous of! I thought it was coolest thing ever. I still can visualize my aunt’s front hallway and dining room. They had a bird in a tall cage – I had never known anyone else who owned a bird so I thought that was pretty cool. In the front hall was a small table where my aunt kept her outgoing mail. You may think that a strange thing to remember. The reason I do is that my Aunt Connie was amazing when it came to sending cards. She always sent the card on time. I once asked her how she managed to accomplish that. Apparently, she sat down every month with her list of dates and wrote out all the cards for the coming month. She then put the intended mailing date in the corner where the stamp would go. GENIUS!! Only my mom and my brother, Mark have managed to impress me in the same way.
|My Aunt and me - 1982 (nice 80s hair, right??)|
Another memory of Aunt Connie was in 1982. I had gone down to Florida to visit Scott (now my husband) and made a side-trip to Hallandale to spend some time with Connie and Moggy. Connie was 70 or 71 at the time. I was standing on their balcony and had just told her that I was thinking of marrying Scott (after dating on and off for 7 years) She replied, “Oh, honey. Why don’t you just live with him?” I was really taken aback – a woman from her generation making that suggestion!
My last memory of Aunt Connie is a very sad one. One day in 1999, I received a letter from her and Moggy. There was a $1000 check enclosed. The note with it said, "Enjoy this while you can." The next day I was notified that she and Moggy were dead. Connie and Moggy, had been suffering great physical pain and made a choice to end their lives. According to a newspaper article, Moggy first shot Connie and then himself. I can’t imagine how difficult that decision must have been and the strength it must have demanded to follow through. To some, their actions may be viewed as unacceptable. I view it as a sign of their love for each other. One must also reflect on our society’s opinion of “death with dignity.” I do know my father had great difficulty with the entire situation as he could not bring himself to attend their burial service.
Constance Kesner Margand died on November 1, 1999. I will always remember her spirit and her kindness to our family.
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