Tribute To Longtime Tonto Village Resident, Connie Weldon

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I am dedicating this week's column to Connie Weldon.

Connie died Friday, Feb. 29 after a life-long battle against cancer.

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Connie Weldon loved to get together with the women in Tonto Village to play Mexican train dominoes. Connie will be remembered by everyone in the village. Bon Voyage, Connie!

The oddity of this date is that exactly eight years ago, Connie lost her husband Harry to cancer.

Connie had a huge influence on every life she touched, including mine. I remember when she was feeling well, we would go into town together. She drove, and we would stop for lunch somewhere. Connie loved hot dogs and Kentucky Fried chicken wraps. I remember when she drove her beloved Ford truck she would put it in cruise and fly down the hill. She said that she loved to go fast. That was just about the only way that she could.

"Connie was one of the most honest people I have ever met," Dara Sutton writes. "She was always there to listen when I needed to talk and I knew I could trust her to keep it confidential."

Connie was spiritual and loved the Lord and loved Tonto Village Chapel. Her wish was to have grass planted in the rear lot of the church so that the children would have a place to play.

Connie loved her dog, "Saki," her parrot, "Sam" and, most of all, she loved her home in the woods.

Her favorite game was dominoes. When she was healthy she would sew and make quilts.

Connie had courage and determination and had a very positive outlook on life even though she spent most of the last 35 years in a wheel chair or used a cane. She rarely complained. She was definitely not a whiner.

She told all of her friends that when she gets to heaven, she's going to run. Connie, you go, girl. Run just as fast as you can.

Heaven is a little brighter now that Connie's there.

Connie's former pastor, Ken Schroth said, "Connie is hanging out with our very best friend now, she's better than she's ever been."

Some of the domino divas went to the nursing home in Mesa just after Christmas to play dominoes with Connie and one of them, Annette Godfrey, said, "A friend like you deserves some fanfare. In so very many ways, dear friend, I am better for what I've learned from you. This little elephant I have loved. He sits in my office where I see him every day. He tells me to remember the joyful things that happen each day. Now his job is to tell you that you have a friend whose life is better because of you."

"For us, death is like a passageway from one life to eternal life, so we have to remember that Connie is changed to perfection. I don't know if I'll know her when I get to heaven", says Dara Sutton.

Birthdays

My good fishing buddy, Theresa Meeker is celebrating her birthday today, March 8. Theresa divides her time between Tonto Village II and Scottsdale.

I owe a debt of gratitude to her, Theresa is the person who insisted I get a colonoscopy, since she had been tested already, and she was only 52. Well, I took her advice, and lo and behold, the doctors found a cancerous tumor and took it out last November. I literally owe Theresa my life without cancer. Thank you good buddy.

Bill Snyder, my husband of 50 years, will celebrate his birthday on March 9. He has been a wonderful husband for all those years, may the Lord give him a special blessing.

Pat Watson, of Tonto Village I , plays the piano for Tonto Village Chapel and Star Valley Southern Baptist Church, will add another candle to her birthday cake on March 12.

Kent Mortenson, of Tonto Village III and Tempe, will also observe his birthday on that day. Kent is an expert plumber and has helped-out many of the residents of the village.

Happy birthday to each and every one of you. May your birthday make you feel as great and special as you are.

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