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Constance (Connie) Margretta Sullivan 1921-2021


Last updated 11/16/2021 at 2:22pm

Constance (Connie) Margretta Sullivan, 99, of Shoreline, Wash., passed away peacefully on June 13, 2021, with her children by her side.

Born in Anamoose, N.D., Dec. 23, 1921, as the youngest child of Josephine and Hans Hem, Connie spent her childhood years in Wilton and Minot, N.D. After graduating from high school at the age of 16, Connie enrolled at Minot State Teachers College, where she graduated in 1942 with a BA in English and minors in art, chemistry, and education.

After a one-year stint of teaching high school at Berthold, N.D., Connie decided to follow her dream and move somewhere with mountains. And so, in the spring of 1943, she landed a job at Darrington High School in Darrington, Wash., where she taught English and home economics for six years.

Ever the aspiring artist, in 1949 Connie left tiny Darrington to study fabric design and pottery at the Los Angeles County School of Art. Seeing how other more talented artists than herself were struggling financially, Connie returned to teaching.

In the fall of 1950, she was hired to teach home economics at Fairhaven Junior High School in Bellingham. In the spring of 1951, Connie met the love of her life, John Sullivan, a teacher intern at her school. Connie and John were wed in Minot on June 30, 1953.

After their wedding, Connie left teaching to become a homemaker and to lovingly raise their three children. The couple settled in the Lake City area of Seattle, later moving to the Richmond Highlands area of Shoreline, where they lived for 52 years.

Favorite activities of Connie included singing, sewing, knitting, dancing, writing, baking, and eating ice cream. Connie thoroughly enjoyed card games, sudoku, baseball games, camping, trips to North Dakota and California to visit family, European vacations – which included reconnecting with relatives in Norway – as well as outings to the beach, and dinners with family and friends.

In retirement, Connie and John became regulars at the Edmonds Senior Center and the Sound Singers (of Edmonds) choir.

Connie led a faith-based life. She generously shared her time and God-given talents. She often opened her home to people in need of a hot meal or a place to stay. She served countless meals in local soup kitchens.

For decades, Connie worked as an election poll worker. Throughout her life, she shared her artistic and musical gifts with her church and community. As a choir member, Connie graced the congregation with her gorgeous soprano vocals.

In later years, she taught the Norwegian folk art of rosemaling. She made beautiful, intricate rosemaling pieces for family and friends. Connie was a member of First Lutheran Church of Richmond Beach for over five decades. Her strong Christian faith was her guiding light.

Connie lived a life full of gratitude – blessed to be a blessing to others.

Connie was preceded in death by her husband of 62 years, John, her parents, her brother John D. Hem, and her sister Elizabeth (Hem) Elder. Connie is survived by her children, John (Merry) Sullivan, Brian (Marcene) Sullivan, and Laura (Mike) Brieske; grandchildren Danny and Peter Sullivan; Lindsay (Justin) Elizondo; Douglas (Jenny) Sullivan; Mikaelie Sullivan; Margo (David) Wells; Kenworth (Victoria) Brieske; Lewis Brieske; and William (Kyrsten Lounsbury, betrothed) Brieske; and her great-granddaughter, Saphira Elizondo.

A memorial service celebrating Connie's life will be held at First Lutheran Church of Richmond Beach in Shoreline at 7 p.m. July 8. Please come and share memories of Connie.


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