Connie Christiansen was a devoted teacher in Harlem and Kinnikinnick school districts


Connie Christiansen (1942-2023)

Connie Christiansen, the daughter of John and Alice Dean, was born September 14, 1942. She grew up on the family farm near Rushville, IL and graduated from Rushville High School in 1960.

Connie attended Western Illinois University and earned her bachelors degree in education. She continued her education at National Louis University in Chicago, IL, where she received a masters degree in education.

Connie passed away October 2, 2023, after a long journey with dementia.

Connie met her husband, Charles (Chuck) Harold Christiansen, while in college. They were married on August 2, 1964 in her home town of Rushville, Illinois. Together they moved to Machesney Park, Illinois where both started teaching in Harlem School District. Connie taught at Harlem for three years before their daughters Cheryl and Beth were born. The couple were married 59 years.

Throughout her teaching career, Connie made a significant impact as a math teacher in Harlem and Kinnikinnick School Districts. After teaching, she served as a technology coordinator and led in-service staff training. Connie was known for her focus on working with each student as a whole person, by relating math skills to everyday life and through her relentless pursuit to bring out the best in every student

Connie cared deeply that each of her students perform to the best of their abilities, often meeting with them before or after school if needed. She received the Governor's Master Teacher Award, State of Illinois in 1984, for her leadership and instructional effectiveness in the teaching profession.

Connie attended Roscoe United Methodist Church where she was an active member and volunteer for over 50 years. She was a woman of deep faith and found great joy serving God through teaching Sunday School and Confirmation Class, as well as holding a variety of leadership roles in which she made a deep impact.

She developed rich and meaningful friendships with many members and found joy and gratification leading retreats and other church events to deepen connection with others and their faith. She was part of the team that established Hilltop Ministry Center in Machesney Park.

In her free time, Connie coached volleyball, sponsored the student council, held various leadership roles at church and within the school district, tutored students and spent much quality time with family and friends.

She served as a tutor in the Rockford School District Parent and Community Engagement Department (PACE). Connie also enjoyed golfing, gardening, cooking, baking and hosting gatherings at their home.

Connie is survived by her husband, Charles Christiansen, her sister Jan Devitt, her daughters Cheryl Englebretson and Beth Hutson, and her grandchildren Noah Englebretson, Emma Hutson, Nicole Englebretson, and Jacob Hutson.

Services were held at Roscoe United Methodist Church on Saturday, October 7, 2023. A private interment was held at Sunset Gardens in Machesney Park, IL. In memory of Connie (and in lieu of flowers), contributions can be made to the Alzheimer's Association or Roscoe United Methodist Church.

Connie will be deeply missed by her family, friends, and all who were blessed to know her.

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