ATHENS — A long-time resident of Athens, Connie Stanforth passed away in her home on Tuesday, June 11.
Connie was the only child of George Stromp Jr. and Ruth (Yoder) Stromp, born in Alliance, Ohio, on Aug. 1, 1941. Connie graduated from Alliance High School, then earned a B.S. degree from Mount Union College, with a major in education. At college, she was a member of Delta Delta Delta sorority.
Connie married William Kirby “Pete” Stanforth of Hillsboro, Ohio in 1963; together for 47 years, until Pete’s passing in 2010, they were a devoted couple, raising a son and foster daughter.
Connie was an elementary school teacher at Morrison School in Athens City district, before taking time off to care for her son until he reached school age. She then returned to teaching at Albany Elementary School, Alexander Local district. She is remembered by many Alexander graduates as their favorite teacher because of her creativity and ability to make learning fun. Her students participated in hands-on science lessons, such as hatching eggs and watching caterpillars turn into butterflies. She created a classroom business program known as “KidBiz” which won an award from the Ohio Council on Economic Education. One of her classes created and performed a dramatic presentation of nursery rhymes called “Mother Goose on the Loose” in which Connie played the role of Mother Goose.
Connie was a two-time recipient of the Martha Holden Jennings award for excellence in teaching. She had a positive influence on so many children of all ability levels, encouraging their love of learning and discovery.
Connie enjoyed sports activities, particularly water sports and golf. She loved swimming, boating, fishing, and water skiing, spending summers as a youngster at Guilford Lake, near Lisbon, Ohio. Through college, she worked as a lifeguard at Suntan Acres, a swimming beach in Alliance. She met Pete on a beach near Hillsboro. She and her family fished at Hocking Valley Sportsmen’s Club, Rainbow Lake, and Forked Run Lake in Meigs County.
She learned golf from a high school friend and returned to playing again at the Athens Country Club. She enjoyed competition in the Women’s Golf Association and the regional Southeastern tournament. She served as WGA president for a time and organized the group’s hospice benefit tournament. She won the Club championship once and took much pleasure in encouraging and mentoring women golfers new to the game. She was a fan of women’s professional golf, volunteering for a time as a walking scorer at the LPGA Championship in Mason, Ohio, and attending LPGA tournaments in many locations around the country. Connie supported the O’Bleness Hospital charity golf tournament as a volunteer; she reigned over the scoreboard for years and received the Volunteer of the Year award from the tournament committee.
More recently after she retired from golf, Connie became a Reds fan, keeping score sheets and never missing a televised game. Among Connie’s other interests were collecting and restoring antiques; her collections included flow blue china and antique postcards. She also had an extensive library of children’s books and loved reading mystery fiction. Another pleasurable pastime, especially shared with Pete, was watching birds and other wildlife from a shelter house overlooking the woodlot behind their residence.
Connie was a 50-year member of the Order of Eastern Star and served as Mother Advisor to the Athens chapter of Rainbow Girls; she was affiliated with the First Presbyterian Church of Athens.
She is survived by her son, W. Kirby Stanforth II, of Beaver, West Virginia; grandson, William K. Stanforth III of Athens; and foster daughter, Debra Stanforth of Myrtle Beach.
She will be sadly missed by many friends and former colleagues, in particular her golf pals and good friends Nancy Rue of Athens and Maud Jidestig of Palm Valley, Texas, and her roommate and sorority sister, Carol MacDonald Gillette of Pittsburgh.
A celebration of Connie’s life will be held at the Athens Country Club on Sunday, June 23 from 2-4 p.m. Friends are invited to join her family in remembering this fun-loving, creative, witty, and mischievous lady, who was a devoted teacher, sportswoman, wife, mother and a loyal friend. Please come and share your memories.
Instead of flowers, please consider a donation in Connie’s name to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital or Shriners Hospital for Children-Cincinnati. She admired the work of both.
Arrangements are by Hughes-Moquin Funeral Home, where friends and family may sign the online guestbook or view a memorial tribute video at our website, www.hughesmoquinfuneralhome.com.