Connie McBride passed away of natural causes at her home in Colfax on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019. Her family knows she is now in her eternal home with her Lord.
Connie was born Oct. 2, 1942, in Colfax to Fred and Josephine (Parvin) Largent. She grew up on a cattle and wheat farm north of Potlatch, and was a 12-year student in the Potlatch schools, graduating in 1960. She attended the University of Idaho and graduated in 1964 with a degree in home economics. She later earned a master’s degree in education leadership from Gonzaga University in Spokane.
Connie and her future husband, Ed McBride, were classmates from first grade on, and started dating (“going steady” was the now-antiquated term of the time) in high school. They were married Dec. 22, 1963, in their final semester of college. They moved to Yakima, where she taught junior high home economics, and where she discovered her deep love for teaching.
In 1966, Ed was drafted into the Army and, after his training, he was assigned to Fort Knox, Ky., and she quickly landed a teaching position in a nearby school in Brandenburg, Ky. Upon Ed’s discharge, they returned to the Palouse, and Connie taught a variety of subjects at Garfield Junior/Senior High School while Ed attended law school at the University of Idaho. Upon his graduation, they moved to Colfax and she chose to “retire” (so she thought) from teaching to raise a family.
It wasn’t long before she took on teaching a night school twice a week for developmentally challenged adults. Those students came to love her deeply and she loved them back with equal devotion. In 1986, she answered the call to go back to teaching at Garfield Junior High, and later in the Garfield-Palouse High School. During that term, she led the gifted program “Odyssey of the Mind,” earning numerous awards at state and regional tournaments.
In 1992, she started teaching in Jennings Elementary School — mostly third grade — in Colfax, retiring in 2013. That last day of school was a sad one for her, but she knew that, at age 70, she needed to put away her whiteboard markers and rulers and workbooks, and gracefully exit that most rewarding career, having loved every minute of it.
From a very young age, Connie had a personal relationship with her Lord Jesus. When she and Ed moved to Colfax, she soon became an active member of the Colfax United Methodist Church, serving in virtually every leadership role. She was an ever-ready participant in church projects, especially if it involved the kitchen. She also served for several years as lay leader, both at the local church level and the district level. She was a member of the lay leaders’ council of the Pacific Northwest Conference of UMC for eight years, and greatly enjoyed attending the annual meetings for more than a decade. At the time of her death, she was president of the Colfax church’s United Methodist Women.
Connie was a Cub Scouts den mother for several years, and a 4-H cooking and sewing leader for even longer. If it had to do with kids, she was always ready and willing to be a part of the action. She was a member of the Colfax School Board from 1980-85, serving a year as chairwoman, as well as a member of the Athenaeum and P.E.O. clubs of Colfax, and a life member of Beta Sigma Phi.
As an exceptionally loving, devoted and proud mother of their three children, Shannon, Steve and Shelby, she set the bar high for anything they took on, and they knew it! One of the saddest days of her life was the loss of their beloved daughter, Shannon, in August 1986 at age 19. It was that same month that she was invited to get back into teaching, and she always felt that it was in God’s plan to give her this diversion to help in the grieving process.
Connie is survived by Ed, her husband of 56 years; their son, Steve, and his wife, Juhi (Bhatia) and daughters Rubi and Rani, of Puyallup, Wash.; and by her daughter, Shelby, and husband Jeff Munnoch, and their children, Nathan and Alexis, of Burien, Wash. Her older brother, John Largent, and wife Lois, of Moscow, also survive her. She is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews, grandnieces and nephews, and great-grandnieces and nephews.
Very special friends now in Texas are Greg and Barb Bow, whose children, Emily, Maddie and Andrew, were “grandparented” by Ed and Connie when they were young. Another special person in her life was a third-grader named Jasmine, and that close relationship has remained strong through the years. Connie is also survived by wonderful, loving friends. Her legacy will surely live on in the hearts and minds of the many students she inspired over the years.
A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the First Baptist Church, 200 N. Mill St., Colfax, followed by a graveside service and a lunch provided by the Methodist church. The family suggests memorials be made to the Colfax UMC or to the Colfax Schools Foundation. Bruning Funeral Home in Colfax has been entrusted with arrangements.