Constance Lee Connie Cottingham Gartin

Constance Lee Connie Cottingham Gartin

May 09, 1932 - January 27, 2023

Constance (Connie) Lee Cottingham Gartin, 90 years, was born in Chariton, Iowa, on May 9, 1932 and died January 27, 2023. Connie was the eldest daughter of Lee George Cottingham and Frances Gwendolyn Coffman Cottingham. She was raised on a farm south of Russell, Iowa, with her sister, Gwen Ann Cottingham, who was born December 5, 1945. She was active in 4-H clubs, the Baptist youth group, and served as a church pianist.

After graduation from Russell High School, she attended the University of Iowa where she received the Bachelor of Science Degree from the College of Nursing in 1954. In 1960, she received a Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health.

Connie was employed as a Des Moines County Public Health Nurse in Burlington, Iowa, followed by employment as a Laramie County Public Health Nurse in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

For five years, she was an instructor and later Assistant Professor in the College of Nursing at the University of Iowa. She then directed an After Care Research Project in five counties at the Mental Health Institute in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, which resulted in the establishment of the Henry County Public Health Nursing Service and the Jefferson County Public Health Nursing Service.
In 1972, Connie helped organize the Division of Nursing at Iowa Wesleyan College in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, where she was an Associate Professor of Nursing for almost thirty years and was appointed Professor Emeritus when she retired. In 2017, Connie was honored as the inaugural inductee to the Dr. Lois Frels Nursing Hall of Fame.

On December 27, 1963, she married Donald Eugene Gartin in the First Baptist Church in Russell, Iowa. To this marriage, two sons were born, Timothy Lee Gartin on February 8, 1967 and Marcus Laurel Gartin on June 5, 1968. They established their home in Mt. Pleasant where they lived for 54 years.
Faith played an important part in Connie’s life after trusting Jesus as Lord and Savior at thirteen years old. In various churches, she served as pianist, assistant youth leader, and Sunday School teacher.

Connie served on various public health committees, was a long-time member of Entre Nous, PEO Chapter Original A, and the Accountability Board of the 8th Judicial District of the Iowa Department of Corrections. For many years, she cared for her parents and managed their family farm.

Survivors include her sister, Gwen Cottingham (Dale Stirn) of Seattle, her son, Tim and his wife Tara Gartin of Ames, her son, Marc and his wife Mary Gartin of Mt. Pleasant, four grandchildren, Nathan Gartin, Peter Gartin, Elizabeth (Xavier) Heron, and Joshua Gartin along with one great grandchild, Henry Heron.
Preceding Connie in death were her parents, Lee and Frances Cottingham and her husband, Donald Gartin.

Services will be held on Saturday February 4th, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. at the First Baptist Church in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, with Pastor Steve English officiating. The family will receive friends from 9:00 am until the time of the service at 11:00 am. Burial will be at Salem Cemetery south of Chariton, Iowa. A memorial has been established in honor of her commitment to nursing education at Iowa Wesleyan University. Contributions may be sent to: Iowa Wesleyan University (Nursing Dept.) c/o Jim Pedrick 601 N. Main Street, Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, 52641. Please ensure the memo line reads, “Connie Gartin Memorial”

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