March 23, 2019 & Jan. 13, 2021
Formerly of Rock Rapids
Constance “Connie” House passed away March 23, 2019, and her husband, Richard “Don” House passed away Jan. 13, 2021. The couple, formerly of Rock Rapids, Iowa, had decided some time ago that upon the death of either, the announcement would wait until the other had died also.
Connie Olthoff was born July 26, 1929, to Jon and Katheryn (Collette) Olthoff and was raised in Kamrar, Iowa. Don was born Oct. 11, 1929, in Webster City, Iowa and grew up in various mid-Iowa small towns. He worked as a telephone lineman and repairman based out of Webster City and the pair met while Don was doing repairs to the phone system in Kamrar when he was just starting out and she was just finishing high school. They married Jan. 2, 1947, in Bethany, Missouri.
His job building line systems and hers as a telephone operator took the couple to many small towns throughout Iowa. They eventually settled in Rock Rapids where they raised three children.
Some time before their oldest graduated from school, the couple decided Connie would go back to school so she could get a college education and better job and, therefore, they could afford to send all their children to college. She began taking courses in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, while working full-time. A year later, she transferred to Westmar College in LeMars, Iowa, graduating magna cum laude. She went on in later years to receive her master’s degree and then stopped just short of receiving her doctorate.
The couple moved to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, after the children had moved away. There he worked for the highway department and then as inspector for various construction projects while she taught school. She ran the gifted-talented programs, first in Coeur d’Alene then for the state of Idaho. She also wrote and the couple sold through their publishing company, Listos Publishing, textbooks and other books to guide teachers in gifted-talented programs as well as English second language programs.
During retirement, the couple moved to Weslaco, Texas, for a few years, then settled in Bullhead City, Arizona. Five years ago, she started exhibiting symptoms of dementia (or Alzheimer’s) and succumbed to the disease March 23, 2019. He moved to an independent care home after that until he died from COVID on Jan. 13, 2021.
Survivors include their three sons, John, Dan and Mike; and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.