Obituary for Constance ‘Connie’ Marie Rivers
February 11, 1951 – April 21, 2023
Constance “Connie” Marie Rivers, age 72, ended her earthly race and went home to be with her savior, Jesus Christ, on Friday, April 21, 2023.
Connie was born on Feb. 11, 1951, to Richard and Sarah (Ekizian) Monkman in Racine, Wis., and spent her first three years living in a variety of southern states while her dad pursued a professional baseball career.
After returning to Racine, Connie was a student at S.C. Johnson, Mitchell, and Horlick before graduating from Carthage College with a bachelor’s degree in history. After graduation, Connie spent five years living and working in Washington, D.C., before returning to Racine where she was united in marriage to her husband of 34 years, Thomas Rivers.
Connie was the loving and devoted mother of two children, Noah and Hannah, whom she spent 20 years of her life educating at home.
Her home was a beautiful place of refuge filled with art, music, books, delicious food, lovely things, and a never-ending environment of love and learning.
Her gifts and interests were so varied that it was difficult to keep up with her. She was an accomplished pianist and vocalist who possessed a beautiful ability to harmonize effortlessly, beginning as a six-year-old child singing duets in church with her mother.
She was a lifelong learner and devoted educator of her children, giving them an excellent education and instilling in them a lasting love of reading, learning and accomplishment. When her own children graduated, she continued to tutor students of a variety of ages.
In 2002, Connie conceived the idea of a sports organization for homeschooled students. With the help of a few dedicated parents, Lakeshore Christian Homeschool Athletics was born, providing boys and girls the opportunity to play basketball and volleyball at a competitive level. Her vision generated connections between dozens of families that last to this day.
Connie loved and needed to be surrounded by beauty. She took a house and transformed it into a welcoming, peaceful home. Her remarkable sense of style reflected in the many beautiful furnishings, artwork, china, and the way it flowed together, exuded her very essence: warmth and loveliness.
She was a wonderful cook, always preparing delicious meals for family and friends and making mealtimes an important part of a structured family life. Her creative flare was channeled into trying new recipes until the very end of her life.
Connie possessed a remarkable gift for hospitality. Her meals, gatherings, and especially her tea parties were legendary; whether indoors or out, the china, tablecloths, candles, flowers, and all the trimmings were never absent.
Connie loved nature and gardening and was an avid bird watcher who spent hours chronicling the many songbirds that came to her backyard feeders. She even gave little names to the squirrels, chipmunks and rabbits, and regularly participated in Audubon bird-watching events.
Most importantly, Connie loved the Lord Jesus and devoted her life to his service and the study of His word. Her quiet mornings were spent in prayer, playing and singing hymns, and Bible study with the help of her favorite resource, Adam Clarke’s commentary. She spent much time talking to and helping others through encouraging conversation and prayer.
Connie was an “ideas person” who daily investigated the latest economic trends, world events, public health questions, gardening techniques, animal husbandry, travel, genealogy, literature, movies, music, and so much more at a pace that was almost impossible to keep up with.
Connie lived an incredibly full and valuable life, making a marked difference in the lives of all she touched. In every conceivable way, she fulfilled her wedding vows, “For better, for worse; for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health; until death do us part.” Hers was a life well-lived.
Connie was preceded in death by her parents, Richard and Sarah Monkman, and her brother, Randall Lee Monkman. She will be sorely missed by her husband and children, as well as her many family and friends.
Funeral services celebrating Connie’s life will be held at Draeger-Langendorf Funeral Home on Saturday, April 29, 2023, at 10:30 a.m. Interment will follow in Graceland Cemetery. Visitation will be held at the funeral home on Saturday morning from 8:30 – 10:30 a.m.
Obituary and photo courtesy of Draeger-Langendorf Funeral Home.
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