Connie's Story

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Connie Jo Carlson, 74, of Ottumwa passed away February 18, 2018 at her home surrounded by family after battling cancer the past few months.
She was born February 15, 1944 in Ottumwa to Donald J. and Josephine C. Crawford Genochio. She married James M. "Jim" Carlson August 14, 1965 at the First Lutheran Church in Ottumwa, Dr. Allen Langhoff officiating.
Connie grew up in Ottumwa and later recalled that her years as a student at Evans Jr. High in the late 1950's were some of the best times of her life. After graduating from Ottumwa High School in 1962, she attended Ottumwa Heights College and Iowa Success School.
She worked in the offices of John Deere Ottumwa Works from 1963 until leaving in 1970 to tend her growing family. She later worked for Arlans, Ranks and Target department stores, sold Home Interiors products, worked in accounting for Strawhacker Food Service and Public Health Nursing. She retired from the City of Ottumwa finance department in 2006 after 22 years of service.
Connie was a member of First Lutheran Church where she was involved with the youth programs while her children were growing up. She was active in the Pickwick School PTA and her King's Daughters group. She and her husband, Jim were host parents with the Iowa Junior Miss scholarship program in the 1970's and 1980's. She also served on the program's board of directors.
A skilled crafter in several mediums, Connie enjoyed sharing her handmade expressions of love with others. She loved craft shows, having lunch with friends and most of all, her family. She embraced her role of grandma with all her heart, attending countless ballgames, concerts and other functions. Connie was also a superb cook, always looking for an excuse to prepare a big family dinner. Every birthday and every holiday was a special event for every member of her extended family. Her "banquet room" home addition was designed for just such occasions.
Surviving is her husband, Jim; a son, Scott J. (Heather) Carlson; two daughters, Jill E. (Dan) Barnes and Kristen L. Carlson (Renate Cormier); six grandchildren, Rachel Carlson, Jacob Carlson, Nicholas Carlson, Lucas Barnes, Ellie Barnes and Ava Barnes all of Ottumwa; a sister, Linda (Wayne) Reese of Ellendale, MN and Fountain Hills, AZ. All of Connie's other surviving relatives were special to her, including her niece, Lindsey Reese. She also leaves behind Annabelle, her labradoodle.
She was preceded in death by her parents.
Funeral services will be 10 a.m. Friday at First Lutheran Church with Rev. Mark Johnson officiating. Burial will be in Shaul Cemetery.
Visitation will begin at 11 a.m. Thursday at Reece Funeral Home with the family present from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday.
Memorials may be made to First Lutheran Church, American Cancer Society or Good Samaritan Society Hospice.
Published on February 19, 2018
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