Quilting 2

Constance Marie Sutphen

June 4, 1931 ~ April 15, 2022 (age 90)


Constance (Connie) M. Sutphen, age 90, a resident of Covenant Living at Windsor Park in Carol Stream, Illinois, passed away with her family by her side on April 15, 2022. She was born on June 4, 1931 to the Reverend Leslie and Dora Ostberg in Ridgway, Pennsylvania.

The Reverend Ostberg was a pastor in the Evangelical Covenant Church, and Connie grew up in many places as a preacher’s kid. She lived in Des Moines, Iowa, Oak Park, Illinois, Worcester, Massachusetts, and Chicago, Illinois. Her brother J. William (Bill) was born 7 years after Connie and preceded her in death in 2021.

Being a preacher’s kid was not always easy. Some members of the congregation did not approve of movies, so her father took her to see Snow White in a different town. He said, “Maybe it would be a good idea not to tell anyone that you saw this movie.”, and she adopted a lifelong habit of keeping confidences.

Dora Ostberg was a graduate of the University of Chicago and instilled a love of learning to Connie. She also taught her to sew her own clothes and to make wonderful meals for many guests that frequented the parsonage.

Connie attended North Park University and later transferred to Northwestern University where she majored in English. Her professor Karl Olsson said that she had one of the most brilliant minds he had ever encountered. After graduation, she taught first grade in Highland Park, Illinois.

She met the love of her life Richard (Dick) J Sutphen, a neighborhood boy who was attending her father’s church in Chicago’s Edgewater neighborhood so he could play basketball.  Dick was not of Swedish heritage and had a dark complexion and black hair. He was nicknamed the Svart Svensk (Black Swede). They were married shortly afterward.

Dick and Connie set about creating a family. When Connie awoke after delivering their first child, Dick announced, “We have a boy…….and a girl.” Twins J. Van and Leslie were a pleasant surprise.

They moved to Glen Ellyn, Illinois to a fixer upper house. Daughters Mary and Ann were born. Four kids in 4 years! Connie loved being a mother and was very involved in her children’s activities including Brownies, Cub Scouts, and church youth group. She would make cookies and send them to her kids when they were away at camp or at college. She also made sure that her kids were interested in academics and performed to the best of their abilities.

She also cultivated and maintained many long-term friendships, many of which continue even today. She taught her children the value of surrounding oneself the family you create through friendship.

Connie was an active member of the Glen Ellyn Covenant Church for 62 years. She was a member of the Diaconate. She was always serving her fellow congregation members – preparing meals, visiting them, and entertaining them in her home. When the church started a preschool, Connie served as its director for many years. She was also an active community volunteer, participating in Friends of the Glen Ellyn library and the PADS Shelter. She had a strong belief that we should care for people from all backgrounds and all walks of life.

Connie and Dick loved to travel and visited all 50 states as well as many European countries and the Holy Land. They particularly loved Paris and were on their way for a visit when Dick suffered a stroke while visiting their daughter Ann in the Netherlands in 2000. Dick passed away at an early age, and Connie launched a new life as a widow.

She continued to travel and visited China. She also became a proficient quilter, producing many beautiful hand quilted masterworks. She sold her house and moved to a lovely condominium in downtown Glen Ellyn. She spent every summer at the cottage that she and Dick had renovated themselves at Long Lake, Wisconsin. She was an avid swimmer and even swam in Long Lake the last time she visited in 2019.

In recent years, Connie slowed down a bit and developed a new life at Covenant Living at Windsor Park in Carol Stream, Illinois. She took advantage of the activities and walked the beautiful campus every day as long as she was able.

She is survived by her four children Van (Alice) Sutphen, Leslie (Byron Lanning) Sutphen, Mary (Greg) Johnson, and Ann (Bart) Becht, and 9 grandchildren Jesse (Jane) Sutphen, Wade Sutphen, Todd (Julia) Johnson, Anders (Jennifer) Johnson, Emma Johnson, Kevin (Katie Sohmer) Becht, Bastian (Fiancee Ashley Schuett) Becht, Natalie Becht, and Lydia Lanning. She also has 5 great grandchildren Harper, Winter, and Valley Becht, and Elsa and Lars Johnson.

A Memorial Service will be at 10 AM July 23 at Glen Ellyn Covenant Church, 277 Hawthorne Blvd. Glen Ellyn, Illinois 60137. Reception to follow in the church.

 Memorial gifts may be directed to the Benevolent Care Fund of Windsor Park (https://covliving.org/ways-to-give) or the Alzheimer’s Association (https://act.alz.org/site/Donation2?df_id=39209&mfc_pref=T&39209.donation=form1) .




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Memorial Service
July 23, 2022

10:00 AM
Glen Ellyn Covenant Church
Guaranteed delivery before the Memorial Service begins

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