LANDERS, Calif. — Theodora Louise (Constantikes) Appling, 60, passed beautifully and peacefully away on Feb. 2, 2008, in the arms of her husband at her home in Landers, Calif.
Theodora was born in Messena, N.Y., and grew up in Pennsylvania, Kansas and Ohio, graduating from high school in Mount Vernon, Ohio, and later attending college in Mansfield, Ohio, and Beaumont, Texas. She was the daughter of Frances Louise (Grubb) Constantikes and the late Theodore John Constantikes of Mount Vernon, Ohio. In 1974 she married Robert David Appling in Arco, Idaho. For the next 33 years Theodora chose to be a wife, mother and grandmother and was the foundation of her family. As the wife of a National Park Service ranger she moved every few years from one national park to another, to Jewel Cave in South Dakota, Knife River Indian Villages in North Dakota, the Kettle Falls District at Lake Roosevelt and Fort Vancouver in Washington, White Sands in New Mexico and Big Thicket in Texas. At each new home she quickly and efficiently located the best schools, doctors, dentists and all the other necessities of family life. She also made and left dear friends at each home along the way. Theodora could turn fabric and yarn into dresses, shirts, sweaters, baby clothing and quilts with an uncommon skill and amazing attention to detail. She returned to college while in Texas and excelled as an A+ student while pursuing a degree in public health and nutrition. She was looked up to by her classmates, leading study groups and tutoring those needing help and she was adored by her professors. With one semester remaining before completing her degree, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Theodora and her husband relocated to Seattle, Wash., so that she could have the best care possible, and after two years she was disease free. Unfortunately another form of breast cancer struck in 2004. Following treatments in Portland, Ore., and Vancouver, Wash., she and her husband escaped to the Southern California desert so that she could have sun to ease her discomfort. But on Feb. 2, 2008, just as the most beautiful sunset blossomed, Theodora passed away. Her husband believes that she waited for just that moment so that she would be remembered by all who loved her with each setting sun.
Theodora is survived by her mother, Francis Louise (Grubb) Constantikes of Mount Vernon, Ohio; her husband, Robert David Appling; her son, Theodore Robert Appling, daughter-in-law, Elissa, and grandsons, Brennton and Keenan of Belgrade, Mont.; her son, Nathaniel John Appling, daughter-in-law, Sonia Salias, and granddaughter, Yemaija of Albion, Calif.; mother-in-law, Geneva Ann Appling of McMinnville, Ore.; sister, Dorothea, and brother-in-law, Ken Baltes of Destin, Fla.; brother, Kim Constantikes of Missoula, Mont.; sister, Penelope Constantikes and niece, Camille Gulley of Boise, Idaho; brother-in-law, Larry Appling and family of Cedar City, Utah; sister-in-law, Claudia Williams and family of Willow Creek, Mont. She will be with her father, Theodore John Constantikes, who preceded her in 1989.
A celebration of her life is planned this summer at their home in Ariel, Wash. Donations in her name, to an education savings account for her grandchildren, can be made at the High Desert Credit Union in Yucca Valley, California, (760) 228-3046.