Connie Lou (Oxley) Fahnestock was born March 14, 1927 in Scott City, Kansas to Clark and Mary Gladys (Cronin) Oxley. She married Jim Fahnestock in 1949. In Colorado, Connie was organizer and first president of the Jefferson County Historical Society in 1973, and led the campaign to lobby Jefferson County to purchase a 17-room log home, now the glorious Hiwan Homestead Heritage Park and Museum, and in 1975 was the first woman awarded "Jefferson County Person of the Year," presented by Colorado Governor Dick Lamm. Connie created her own buckskin clothing and visited schools and historical events in character as "Flying Fawn," demonstrating how Native American women and children completed everyday activities 150 years ago. Connie and Jim, both pilots, flew small airplanes to out-of-the-way destinations in the Bahamas, Mexico and Central and South America. They also traveled to New Zealand, Dominican Republic, Germany, Holland, Haiti, Aruba and Rio de Janeiro. She managed to do every adventurous thing she possibly could find on these trips, often involving wildlife, strange foodstuffs, or scuba gear. In 1989 they moved to Fort Collins where Connie continued her love of history through museum work, historic preservation, living history interpretation, consulting for the Colorado Wyoming Association of Museums, and as a member of the Poudre Landmarks Foundation Board of Directors. Connie died Saturday, January 18, 2020 at the excellent Juniper Village dementia home in Louisville, Colorado. She was afforded the care & love & affection of not only the wonderful staff, but the many & varied residents we met while there. Trail Winds Hospice of Boulder greatly eased the process with love & expertise - we thank them forever. Connie was surrounded by love - in life and in death - by four children: Katie (Fahnestock) Kingston (Louisville, CO), Jim Fahnestock (wife Barb) (Sellersville, PA), Barb (Fahnestock) Ruiz (husband Jon) (Eugene, OR) and Karey (Fahnestock) Robinson (husband Bert) (Firestone, CO). Her kids' spouses, 8 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren also provided great support and joy since Jim's death in 2003, and her mother's death in 2006. Jim and Connie shared a unique request for those wishing to honor their memory: "In lieu of memorial gifts please take someone you love out to dinner."
Published in Colorado Hometown Weekly on Jan. 29, 2020.