Services: 11:00 a.m. Friday, September 27, 2013 at First United Methodist Church, Denison, Iowa
Visitation: 4:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. Thursday, September 26, 2013 at Pfannebecker Funeral Home, Denison, Iowa
Burial: Crawford Heights Memory Gardens, Denison, Iowa
Constance Ann Uker was born in Odebolt, Iowa, August 25, 1932, the daughter of Raymond and Mildred Cady Leonard. She was baptized in the Swedish Lutheran Church in Odebolt and confirmed in 1946 at the Methodist Church in Scranton, Iowa. When Coni was four years old the family moved to Scranton, Iowa, where she received her education graduating from Scranton High School with the class of 1950. She then furthered her education at Iowa State University where she earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Home Economics in 1954. A lifelong learner she accumulated many additional credit hours at various universities through the years. Coni’s 38 year career as a Home Economics teacher began in 1954 in the Grand Junction Community Schools in Grand Junction, Iowa, where she taught High School Home Economics until June of 1957. Her career resumed in 1961 in the Denison Community Schools where she taught Middle School and Home Economics until retiring in 1995. On June 11, 1955, Coni was united in marriage with Don Uker at the First United Methodist Church in Denison. Their union was blessed with three children: Kevin, Kimberly and Kerry. In the early years of their marriage they made their homes in Grand Junction, Iowa, Colorado, New Jersey, and Poiters, France before returning to Denison in 1959 where they resided until moving to Casa Grande, Arizona in November of 2011. Coni was a longtime active member of First United Methodist Church in Denison where she had served as Bible School Superintendent for six years, United Methodist Youth Fellowship Leader for 12 years and Church Circle for 45 years serving all offices including leader. Other committees included Sanctuary Building Committee 1975-1977, Nomination, Pastor Parish Relations, Worship, Trustees, Chairperson of several fund raising activities including Senior Breakfast, AAUW lunches and Faculty Breakfasts. In addition to her many church activities, Coni enjoyed working with the youth of the school and community evidenced by her service as Rainbow for Girls Advisory Board for two years, Student Council Advisor, 14 years, Area Student Council Advisor, 12 years, and was a 4-H Leader for the People Pleasers 4-H Club for 17 years. Adult organizations that occupied Coni’s time included Federated Women’s Club, 20 years, serving the offices of president, vice president, secretary, scholarship chair and on the executive board; Eastern Star, 28 years and was a Star Point Officer; Beta Sigma Phi, 45 years serving in all offices; and Donna Reed Festival Committee Chairwoman, Memorabilia for 5 years. Professional memberships included Denison Education Association, 35 years, President, vice president and many chairmanships; Iowa State Education Association, 37 years; National Education Association, 37 years; Iowa Home Economics Association, 38 years, Northwest Representative, 3 years; American Home Economics Association, 25 years; Iowa Vocational Association, 10 years; and American Vocational Association, 10 years. Coni’s hobbies and special interests included youth, family, reading, scrapbooking, foods and nutrition, travel, sewing, swimming and the Donna Reed Foundation. Her most loved hobby was quilting having organized a Quilting Group and serving as president at the Palm Creek RV Resort in Arizona. Coni died Monday evening, September 23, 2013, at Alegent Creighton University Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska. At the time of her death she had been blessed with 81 years and 28 days. She was preceded in death by her parents, Raymond and Mildred Leonard and son Kevin Uker. Those remaining to cherish Coni’s memory include her husband, Don Uker of Casa Grande, Arizona, two daughters and husbands: Kimberly and Michael Blunk of Grinnell, Iowa, and Kerry and John Philips of Woodbury, Minnesota; five grandchildren: Brittany and Collin Blunk of Iowa City, Iowa, and Maxwell, Kinsey and Kate Philips of Woodbury, Minnesota; two sisters: Shirley Jensen of Arcata, California, and Mary Ellingson and husband Bill of Indianapolis, Indiana, nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Funeral services were held at 11:00 a.m., Friday, September 27, 2013, at First United Methodist Church, Denison, Iowa, with those officiating included Rev. Alberta Ervin; Rev. Dr. Edward Peterson as Eulogist; and Father Craig Collison as Speaker. Music for the service was provided by the congregation singing “Amazing Grace” and soloist Sue Rosener singing “The Eastern Gate”, “In My Father’s House Are Many Mansions” and “If We Never Meet Again” with Nancy Miles as accompanist. A recording of “Mother’s Hands” was played as a recessional. Pallbearers included Kate Philips, Brittany Blunk, Collin Blunk, Max Philips, Kinsey Philips, John Philips and Michael Blunk. Interment was at Crawford Heights Memory Gardens, Denison, Iowa. Following the interment the family invited everyone to return to the church and join them for fellowship and a luncheon catered by Hy-Vee. The Pfannebecker Funeral Home, www.pfannebecker.com, Denison, Iowa, was in charge of the arrangements.