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Celebrating the Life of Connie
Connie McCoid Alsback Wachter passed away at her home in Bradenton, Florida, surrounded by her family, on May 24, 2018. Connie was born in Jersey City, New Jersey on August 17, 1935, the only daughter of John James McCoid and Agnes Devitt McCoid. Connie, together with her brothers Bobby, Jack and Richie, completed the McCoid clan, a tight-knit Irish family.
Connie was intuitive, funny and sharp as a whip. You could always find her with a book, a crossword puzzle or a logic problem. More than that, she was compassionate, welcoming and understanding, and many friends and colleagues came to confide in her. She found talent and joy in mahjong, interior design, gardening and cooking. Her unique take on traditional dishes and her ever-growing recipe book inspired her children to take to the kitchen. She perfected her now famous spinach balls, chicken cacciatore and “McCoid” suey, which her children still cook today.
As the only girl and the baby of the family, the McCoid family adored Connie, even giving her the loving nickname of “ConnieKins.” As a child, Connie loved to spend time with her brothers and her closest girlfriends, Barbara, Irene and Pat. In 1949, Connie began high school at St. Mary’s. Her confidence, athleticism and vibrant energy made her the perfect high school cheerleader. After graduating from St. Mary’s, Connie worked as a secretary at DuMont Laboratories, an American television equipment manufacturer.
Connie always enjoyed a party and loved a good time and a good laugh. When she wasn’t working, Connie often took trips down to the Jersey Shore with her girlfriends. There, with a little help from Barbara, was where Connie met Sam Alsback. After a one-year courtship, Connie and Sam married in Lyndhurst, New Jersey on February 11, 1956.
Connie’s six children were all born in Middletown, New Jersey where Sam was a stellar salesman at The Mart Furniture Galleries. During this era, Connie was also a star in her own right. In addition to the incredible feat of raising six children, she worked in the marketing department at Humanities Press, an Atlantic Highlands-based publishing house. After a successful start, Connie later bought equity in the company.
Connie loved her children – she loved sitting with them, talking with them and laughing with them. She passed on a number of valuable lessons to them from the corporate world, and they fondly remember her advice on professionalism, social graces and strategic thinking. She was always thinking like an entrepreneur and provided her children with innovative yet sound business advice. And, no matter what financial situation the family was in, Connie was always able to stretch a dollar, ensuring fulfilling holidays and fun family vacations.
In 1994, she and Sam moved to Bradenton, and this is where she came into her own. After joining the Tara community, there was no club or activity in which Connie was not a part of. While she dabbled in golf and water aerobics, she really shined inside the clubhouse. If you couldn’t find her playing bridge or mahjong with her girlfriends, you could find her hosting trivia, organizing bingo or putting on a fashion show. Most impressively, at the behest of her daughters, Connie put together the club’s first mahjong group. What began as a small group of friends playing mahjong eventually turned into competitive tournaments with other country clubs in the area.
During this time, Connie became a grandmother, and this is where she really shined. Affectionately known as Mimi, she loved spending time with her grandchildren and taught them how to be generous, empathetic and funny. She encouraged them to push boundaries and fostered in them a love of learning. Her grandchildren will forever remember her love of birds, her affinity for the color green, her Christmas pins and sweaters, her bold jewelry, her scratch backs, her dry humor, her sarcasm and her quick wit.
Following the death of her late husband Sam, Connie married Wilbur Wachter in 2010. Wilbur was equally as kind, generous and fun as Connie, and importantly, he was just as involved in social activities at Tara. Together, Connie and Wilbur ran famous trivia nights that are still talked about in the Tara clubhouse. What’s more, they shared an immense passion for life and adventure, and traveled together across Florida, around the U.S., and even to Ireland.
Connie was preceded in death by her parents, John and Agnes McCoid, by her husbands, Sam Alsback and Wilbur Wachter, and by her son, Sammy Alsback. She is survived by her son, Kenneth Alsback, and four daughters, Karen Johnson, Cheryl Farino, Gail Leon and Jennifer Alsback. She is further survived by her much beloved daughter-in-law, Ardine Alsback, her cherished sons-in-law Chuck Johnson, Edmund Farino and Dave Leon, and her devoted grandchildren: Greg Leon, Ellen Farino, Samantha Leon, Brandon Farino, Evan Leon, Derek Farino, Matt Johnson, Nicole Farino, Gemma Farino, Sophia Farino, Shea Alsback, Chloe Alsback and Katie Alsback.
The family wishes to thank the incredibly kind and selfless personnel of Tidewell Hospice, especially Jamie and Shell. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Tidewell Hospice in Connie’s name.
Cremation will be handled by Griffith-Cline Funeral Home. A private family service will be scheduled later in Bradenton, Florida, where her ashes will be joined with her late husband Wilbur and her late son Sammy, as per her wishes.
Tidewell Hospice, Inc.
5955 Rand Boulevard, Sarasota FL 34238