- Written by The Herald-News
Connie Gail (Engelke) Bracken was born on Aug. 4, 1955, to Charles and Delores Engelke and was raised west of Froid, Mont., on the family farm. She graduated with the Class of 1973 from Froid High School and attended Montana State University. She married Tom Bracken at the Congregational Church of Froid on Nov. 30, 1974. Together, she and Tom enjoyed operating the Engelke and Bracken farms.
As a youth, Connie was an active 4-H member in Roosevelt County and continued as an adult volunteer leader of the Up-N-Atom 4-H Club for 36 years. She taught, guided and led many youth to master and excel in clothing construction for fairs and the Make-It-With-Wool competition, quilting, leather crafts, livestock production, gardening and horses. She was continually interested in learning new techniques to share.
Connie was a creative, joyous and very hardworking woman who excelled in anything she put her mind to do, especially home improvement projects. With her "can do-will do" attitude, she mastered many talents from becoming a Master Gardener to designing and helping to build the family home, owning and running her own sheep herd and business, driving a team of horses, operating the swather for haying and the combine for harvest, helping neighbors and supporting her community.
Always ready for an adventure, she enjoyed traveling and exploring new sites. She and Tom attended many National Finals Rodeos each December, participated in wagon train and trail rides with their team "Jack and Daniel," and dancing, especially to George Strait songs. She found serenity kayaking on the rivers with her friends. She was a very loyal and caring daughter to her parents.
Connie was an avid quilter with many yards of fabric and lovely projects completed. She looked forward to Thursday quilting with the Flying Geese Quilters and trips to Medora, N.D., with the Badland Quilt Guild.
Above all else, her greatest creation was her son, Justin. She and Justin shared many water and snow skiing escapades, working together and attending 4-H events. She was amazed at his fine woodworking skills. She was a ‘second mom' to many youth. Connie was elated to welcome her daughter-in-law, Sadie, into their family and was eagerly awaiting the birth of her first grandchild. A completed special quilt awaits his arrival.
Connie made friendships easily through her many travels that took her from Anchorage, Alaska, to Australia and New Zealand and across the United States and Canada. Connie will be mourned, but not forgotten, by her plethora of friends and acquaintances.
She is survived by her husband, Tom; son and daughter-in-law, Justin and Sadie; her parents, Charlie and Delores; niece, Kristin and family; sister-in-law, Linda and family; and several great-nieces and -nephews. She was preceded in death by her brother, Donnie, and his son, Dusty, and Tom's parents, Ray and Anna.
Connie, age 61, passed away, after a courageous and valiant battle against cancer, on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017, at the Roosevelt Medical Center. Memorial services were held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 24, at the Froid Community Center. Pastors Ron Martin-Dent and Tim Hutslar officiated, with readings by McKade Mahlen. Honorary bearers were Allen Bummer, Corwin Kanning, Mark Mahlen, Steve Olson and Bill Reynen; ushers were Steve Hove and McKade
Mahlen. In the spring, her ashes will be inurned on the hillside overlooking the ranch she dearly loved so that she may watch over and continue to enjoy her family, cattle, sheep and horses as they continue in her eternal dreams.
Fulkerson Funeral Home of Plentywood has charge of arrangements: Read and print the obituary, post remembrances and send cards and flowers online at www.fulkersonsplentywood.com.