Obituary: Connie Poore Oct. 27, 1943 – Feb. 8, 2022

Connie Poore left this world and her loving family on February 8, 2022.

Connie was born on October 27, 1943, in Casper, Wyoming and moved to Albuquerque at the age of 10 after the death of her father.  She graduated high school from St. Pius High School in Albuquerque in 1961.  After high school she completed a degree in biology at UNM at a time when few women were in the sciences.  She then taught several years of high school biology in Richland, Washington before having two children, Jim Gustafson and Heather Beckman.  She moved to Los Alamos in 1976 as her husband at the time, John Gustafson, joined LANL.  

Although ever the science-minded person, she was an artist at heart and cultivated a rich artisan portfolio as a weaver, potter, jewelry maker and photographer.  In 1985 she returned to UNM and completed an MFA in Art History.  In 1986 she married Ray Poore (also a resident of Los Alamos) and many adventures ensued. Their adventures ranged from riding motorcycles across country, to cycling the roads of Los Alamos and Northern New Mexico, logging endless early morning hours photographing the beauty and culture of Northern New Mexico, to volunteering with the Rock Art Field School documenting petroglyphs.  She never stopped pursuing a life-long passion for learning.  She always forged ahead in the face of challenges, and did so with grace, strength and a dash of humor.  Some of her most exciting adventures and fondest memories were when she and Ray lived part-time in South Africa in the 1990s, and being in-country when Nelson Mandela got elected.  

She continued to pursue many of these activities even after having a stroke at the young age of 46, followed by the physical complications of severe osteoporosis.  Although her mobility became limited over the last 20 years of her life, she still followed her artistic pursuits.  Even though her body slowly failed her a little bit more each year, she never gave up her independence and will to keep-on-getting-on.  She was aptly named “Grandma Go-go” by one of her grandchildren, because no matter her challenges, she just kept on going.

She leaves behind a loving family that is grateful for many wonderful years and memories.  Her son Jim Gustafson, daughter Heather Beckman, stepsons Robert Poore and Jonathon Poore, seven grandchildren (Hunter and Ayla Gustafson, and Isabelle, Ian, Gretchen and Desmond Poore) and one great-grandchild (Adrianna Gustafson) will always remember her fondly.

And because she is just that cool, she donated her skeleton to the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology.  In her words, “If my body is this jacked up, someone should benefit from studying it”.  

The family is holding a private memorial.  If you wish to reach out, please email Heather Beckman at