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October 18, 2019

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October 18, 2019

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 Memories & Condolences
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September 24, 2019
September 23, 2019
Dear Bill, Rachel, and Ben;

My husband and I were in Ellensburg last weekend and my friend Jane Orleman gave me Connie's obituary. It was a blow for me. She was one of my favorite people.

My relationship with Connie started in the late 70s when I was an art student at CWU. I took illustration from her and she was also on my thesis committee when I started graduate school. She was a wonderful instructor, though I'm afraid I wasn't much of a student. The quarter I took illustration from Connie I was taking two other studio classes and burning the candle at both ends. I managed to get all my assignments in but they were very small. The tiny drawings were a size that could be worn and I still have them. The size didn't faze her, she must have decided it was normal for a jewelry student in a drawing class.

After I came back from graduate school on the East Coast, I would run into Connie at the gallery where I worked in Seattle and occasionally in Ellensburg. She was on my mailing list and came to my shows and always responded to my annual New Year's letter with a hand written letter of her own. Some of them were really funny including a memoir she wrote about her father and working in the family grocery store. I remember she wrote that there are two kinds of shoppers: there are the people who make a list and come in once a week and then there are people who send a child over several times a day. I think just about everybody fits into those two categories. I am really going to miss her quiet wisdom and observations.

About 10 years ago I ran into her and she said had a show up at a frame shop in Ellensburg. I went right over and bought one of her drawings. It hangs in my bedroom where I can enjoy it every day. Her drawing is like her personality, quiet and intentional. A few years later she invited me to put work in a show at the Spurgeon Gallery that featured emeritus professors and students they chose. I was very proud that she chose my work to be in that exhibition.

After that exhibition, Connie and Jane and I started having luncheons together about once a year. Our last luncheon was in mid- April. She told us she had no desire to draw but she had been thinking a lot about why she had become an artist. She credited her mother for taking her on nature walks when she was a child. It must've been a relief from her father and the grocery store.

Connie and I also shared the collector bug. She sold off some of her collections periodically and several beaded bags made by native Yakama artists eventually found their way into my collection via our mutual friend, Ken Cory. When Ken died very suddenly in 1994 at the age of 50, it was a horrible shock. At that time she was still chairman of the art department. It took us a while to clean out Ken's office and she was very kind and patient with the friends that had been delegated to go through his things.

I wrote her after our lunch last April as I was concerned about her balance and felt she needed a walker or rollator. She wrote back that had had a series of falls and was using a walker and that she and Bill were moving into Hearthstone. Other than that she mentioned a few medical tests but mostly was her usual cheery self. It was like her not to talk about her personal challenges. She didn't talk much about her personal life at all though occasionally she would tell me what Rachel and Ben were up to.

Thank you for printing the obituary. There were many things about her professional life that I didn't know about. I have a lot of experience in placing artwork in museum collections and if you are interested in placing some of her drawings do not hesitate to call on me for advice.
Tacoma Art Museum collects work from Northwest artists and would be a logical destination for one of her drawings. I know the curators there and they own several pieces of mine.
You can reach me at 425 318 1075 or [email protected]

Take care of yourselves.

Nancy Worden
September 23, 2019
I will miss Connie Seth. Had her for drawing in the late 80s. She cared about her students learning and tried hard to make sure we walked away better at drawing. She was a WONDERFUL human being and creative thinker. Keep an eye out for doctored paintings in motels. She told me she used to add something to them while traveling.
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