Remembering a Friend

Friends and family gather to remember longtime social worker

A memorial for Connie Enerson was set up outside of the social services building in Hettinger. (Photo by Cole Benz/The Record)
A memorial for Connie Enerson was set up outside of the social services building in Hettinger. (Photo by Cole Benz/The Record)

For The Record

It was a beautiful fall day on Thursday, Oct. 13, the kind we all wish there was more of here in North Dakota, a father and son, friends, and co workers gathered at the corner of the Adams County Social services building. What was once a bare spot, is now filled with flowers, a bench to sit and a memorial stone. They gathered for a reason, and that reason was Connie Enerson. Oct. 13 was the one year anniversary of the passing of Connie Marie Enerson from ovarian cancer. She was the reason that the memorial was created. Gathered in that place, one thing was clear; Connie Enerson will be remembered.

Connie Enerson was born Connie Slater in Hettinger, on Sept. 10, 1954 on another beautiful fall day. She grew up on the family farm with her five siblings. She loved rural North Dakota and would never leave the Hettinger area. She loved the outdoors, horses, fishing, and baking.

She attended Hettinger High School and would graduate in 1972 with honors. In Connie’s high school memory book she quoted a poem by Henry Van Dyke: “Time is…Too slow for those who wait. Too swift for those who fear. Too long for those who grieve. Too short for those who rejoice. But for those who love, Time is not.” The poem would become a perfect description of the way Connie lived her life.

After graduating, she began working at the nursing home in her home town where she would meet the love of her life, Rod Enerson. As fate would have it, he was helping with some electrical work at the facility. They married on Dec. 27, 1974. The year Connie passed away they would have been married 41 years. Connie and Rod had two children, Rhonda and Scott. She would stay home with them until they began school. She took pride and joy in being a wife and mother. Her children have many happy memories of arts and craft projects at home with their mom.

Connie worked many odd jobs, even planting trees for soil conservation. Her interests were varied and she was always willing to help. She came to work for Adams County at the Register of Deeds office in 1998 and would continue working for the county for the remainder of her life. She began working at Social Services in March of 2004. Connie is described by her co workers as “the glue that held everything together”. She was a listener and a giver to those who sought advice. She made those who came to the Social Service office feel welcome and she never judged anyone in need. She relished every moment and always took the time to be there for anyone seeking advice, a caring ear, or even just one of her delicious recipes. She supported her community as well as her friends and family.

Connie was known for her spirited laugh and the ability to brighten the day. Her supportive nature was treasured by those who knew her, but on June 1, 2015 it would be Connie’s turn to be supported. She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, as her mother had been several years prior. Connie fought her battle as she lived her life, with a brave face and positive attitude. Her husband Rod never left her side. The day before she passed she was still happy to be helping her co workers from her hospital bed. She lost her battle on Oct. 13, 2015 with her friends and family beside her.

After her passing her coworkers missed her dearly. The office where she served her community for so many years wasn’t the same. There was an unkempt corner outside the Social Services office that they decided would make a perfect place for a memorial for Connie. Adams County commissioners granted them permission to use the small corner for a memorial, and with donations of time and money from those who knew Connie ,they worked to make it happen. Today it’s no longer a forgotten corner, but a flower filled memorial to Connie. There’s a large engraved memorial stone with a teal ribbon for ovarian cancer awareness and a bench to relish a beautiful day and remember their friend. They are proud of the memorial, as they should be, and it’s certain Connie would be too. They would like those in the community to stop by and enjoy the space and take a moment to honor the life that gave so much to her family, friends, and community.