Connie’s story of life could be summed up in a phrase of action, of human interaction, that she did not proclaim, but simply lived: “I never met a stranger."
Connie had the gift of congeniality, which was a great benefit to anyone in her presence who may have been at a loss with new people or places. Even in her years of battling ALS, when a new caregiver, nurse, or even hospital transporter came into her life, she could strike a chord with the individual and find a common bond.
Her love of people extended beyond her requirements of commitment. She once took on a mentor role as a community connection to a person that could not read late into life. The regular visits to teach and talk continued for years even as the official program was long over and blossomed to a lifelong friendship for Connie and her husband.
On a blind date set up by a co-worker at City Hospital, she would meet her future husband, Jack. He may not have known he was going to marry Connie on that first date, but Jack certainly wasn’t a stranger the moment they met. Providentially, that co-worker would become Connie’s sister-in-law, Luella. And Connie and Jack would go on to share a blessed 64 years of marriage together.
Connie and Jack raised their five children in a warm environment of hospitality. Even for an unannounced visitor, there was somehow always a feast set around them within minutes at the kitchen table. Her and Jack’s faith in their Savior, Jesus Christ, carried the family to church every week, even if throwing on a long wool coat over a nightgown was in order.
Connie received God’s gift of eternal life on January 27, 2019. She was 84. She was preceded in death by her father and mother, Herbert and Elizabeth Ritchie, and brothers, Dean and Jay. She is survived by her loving husband, Jack, along with children Teresa Christensen, Scott Herman, Kevin (Wrenn) Herman, Anita (Stu) Ruff, and Mark (Melanie) Herman, Fifteen grandchildren, twelve great-grandchildren, and sister, Jeanne Pipkins.
Visitation will be from 10 AM to 12 PM, Saturday, February 2, 2019 at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 2113 Ravenna Street, Hudson. A service will immediately follow. Memorials may be made to Gloria Dei or The ALS Association.