Constance J. Drumheller
Constance J. Drumheller, age 81, of Estes Park, passed away Wednesday, January 8, 2014. She was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma October 16, 1932. She had no children, and was preceded in death by her parents, Grace W. Drumheller and C.A. Drumheller.
Connie was a unique individual and beloved member of our community, and she dedicated her life to the education, wellness and joy of others. Her early years were spent in Oklahoma and Houston, Texas, where she attended the St. Agnes Academy Catholic High School. Following high school, she pursued a career in nursing, and graduated from the Sacred Heart Dominican College with a BS degree in nursing, and was then awarded a Federal Traineeship for the Colorado University Masters Program. Professionally, she was a teacher and clinical instructor for 25 years, and taught Medical-Surgical and Pediatrics Nursing to college level nursing students at Loretto Heights College, Glockner-Penrose Hospital and St. Francis Hospital. Connie held her students to high standards; and her young patients and their parents “absolutely adored her.”
After living in Colorado Springs for several years, her love of the mountains, nature, and the out-of-doors brought Connie and her parents to Estes Park, and Connie commuted daily to work in Denver. Connie was multi-talented and enjoyed a broad range of interests. Following her nursing career, she became a Seasonal Ranger with Rocky Mountain National Park. During her service with the Park, she developed interpretive naturist programs and led 2-3 day wilderness trips to teach visitors low impact backpacking. She was noted for continually improving methods to help people understand and enjoy RMNP.
Connie was fascinated with exploring Utah and Arizona, and used her talent as an award winning artist and accomplished photographer to share her perspective of the mountains and deserts of the southwest with others. She also became Coast Guard certified to captain boats on Lake Powell and conducted Colorado Mountain Club sanctioned unique hiking and houseboat tours of Lake Powell for several years. Her tours were educational, fun and highly acclaimed.
Connie believed in giving back to her community, and in 2001 received the AAIU salute to Women Award in recognition for her contribution to the Estes Valley in business and volunteerism activities. She was active with Crossroads Ministry, both as a Board member and coordinating volunteer activities; and she also enjoyed volunteering at Prospect Park Living Center.
Connie suffered from a history of respiratory problems which increased with age, but never slowed her down. She continued to live in Estes Park in spite of advice to move to a lower altitude and more agreeable environment. She cherished this special place and determined to spend her last days here. Connie attended Our Lady of the Mountains Catholic Church, and throughout her life found strength and comfort in her Catholic faith. She was one of a kind, and has found a special place in our hearts and in Heaven.
A Memorial Mass of the Christian Burial will celebrate Connie’s life on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 10:30 a.m. at Our Lady of the Mountains Catholic Church.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Rocky Mountain Nature Association, Estes Park Medical Center Foundation, or Our Lady of the Mountains Catholic Church in care of Allnutt Funeral Service, 1302 Graves Ave., Estes Park, CO 80517.