Constance Louise Brandsgard of Humboldt died April 26, 2019 at Iowa Methodist Hospital in Des Moines. She was 93 years old.
Connie was born July 1, 1925 in Humboldt, Iowa, the youngest child of William J. and Veronica (Kiener) Vonderhaar. She was raised in Humboldt where her father owned a hardware store with his brother. She attended St. Mary’s School, where she acted in plays and sang and played piano in musical shows and recitals. She was in the last graduating class of St. Mary’s High School in 1942. She attended Iowa State University to study fashion design but was forced to leave after a year to help support the family when her father died in 1944.
While living at the family home, Connie worked at the Triple A office which administered farm price supports. It was during this time that she fell in love with one of her brother’s best friends, Mark Brandsgard, and they were married on September 9, 1950 at St. Mary’s Church. Together they had four children in five years: Mark William, Mary Elizabeth (Betsy), John Charles, and Matthew Brian.
Connie was a full-time parent and homemaker. She enjoyed sewing and refinishing antiques and was a talented artist. A devout Catholic, she served as St. Mary’s Parish secretary and sang in the choir. For many years she was secretary of the Sioux City Diocesan Catholic Youth Organization and received the Pro Deo Et Juventute award for her work on behalf of Catholic teenagers. Connie was also a lifelong Democrat and often hosted receptions for candidates at her home.
In the 1960s Connie and Brandy purchased a cottage at the Humboldt Country Club which became the scene of countless family and social gatherings. Connie loved to entertain guests and was the consummate hostess. She was known for her elaborate buffets, the most cherished of which was the breakfast she prepared early every Christmas morning after midnight Mass.
Connie was a kind and generous person, but what made her special was her complete unselfishness. She always thought of others first, was interested in what people were doing and what they thought, and always remembered what they told her. Connie was positive and upbeat, always remembered birthdays and anniversaries and made everyone feel special, especially her grandchildren. She was a loving and tireless caregiver when Brandy became ill. Were it not for her weaknesses for Moscato and “The Bold And The Beautiful,” she might well have been perfect.
Connie is survived by her four children: Mark and his wife Rose (Clay) Brandsgard and their children, Gracie and Jack, of West Des Moines; Betsy Brandsgard of Davenport; John Brandsgard of Kansas City, Mo. and his daughter Haley; and Brian and his wife Jonette (Noble) Brandsgard of Johnston and their children, Ben and Erin; as well as many nephews and nieces. Connie was preceded in death by her husband, Brandy, and her brothers and sisters: Bill Vonderhaar, Paulette Bradley, Charlotte Schultz, Julia Grethen, and Jean Vonderhaar.
Visitation will be held Wednesday, May 1 from 5-7 p.m. at the Mason-Lindhart Funeral Home in Humboldt. A funeral Mass will be held Thursday at 11 a.m. at St. Mary’s Church in Humboldt. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to St. Mary’s School Capital Campaign.