Cover photo for Connie M. Challey's Obituary
Connie M. Challey Profile Photo
1950 Connie 2023

Connie M. Challey

March 26, 1950 — October 22, 2023

Connie M. Challey, 73, of Hankinson, ND, passed away surrounded by her loving family on Sunday, October 22, 2023, at Sanford Medical Center in Fargo.

A time for visitation will take place from 10:00-11:00 a.m. on Monday, October 30, 2023, at Emmanuel United Church of Christ in Hankinson. A memorial service will begin at 11:00 a.m. with Pastor Ken Adams officiating. The family asks that Connie be honored by wearing colorful and casual attire. In lieu of flowers, the family would like memorial donations to be made in Connie’s name to Make-A-Wish Network as she always had a special place in her heart for children. 

Connie was born on March 26, 1950, in Gackle, ND, to Wallace and Beatrice (Holmstrom) Schmidt. She was a cheerleader through high school and graduated from Gackle High School in 1968. After graduation, she moved to Valley City where her parents had moved to run a hardware store. There, she attended Valley City State College where she obtained her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education in the fall of 1972. During her freshman year, in 1968, she met a sophomore named David Challey, and on July 28, 1973, the two were united in marriage at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Valley City.

For the first three years of their marriage, Connie taught kindergarten in Veblen, SD, driving back and forth from Hankinson. In 1975, she took a teaching job in Hankinson teaching second grade, a career that would last 37 years until her retirement in 2012. In 1978, she became a proud mom to son, Tom, and in 1980, welcomed daughter, Tarah. In 1983, the family built a home on Lake Elsie and have lived on the lake ever since.

Family was the most important thing to Connie. She decorated her home with plentiful photographs of her children and grandchildren. She loved visiting with her lake friends and having coffee with her retired teacher friends and others. She was a kind and soft hearted, generous woman who always made sure everyone was taken care of and fed. When the family would take hunting and fishing trips, she would miss them dearly, and was overjoyed at their return. Connie loved people and kids, and made friends everywhere she went. Her joyous spirit and bubbly personality was infectious to others. 

Connie was an avid reader and kept busy by playing games on her iPad. She had hummingbird feeders and enjoyed watching them flutter about. She enjoyed pontoon and ranger rides in her floppy hat, making Scotch bars, and in retirement, staying up late and sleeping in the next morning. In the last eight years, Connie enjoyed snowbirding in Mesa, Arizona, where she and David would rent a condo in a gated community on the golf course. There, she would read and watch videos on her iPad while watching the golfers and made close friends in the community. She had a love for all animals, especially dogs, her own, and those of her family. 

Left to cherish the memory of this amazing wife, mother, and educator is her husband of 50 years, David Challey; her children, Tom Challey (Sarah Sanders) and Tarah (David “Soup”) Larson; beloved grandchildren, Lincoln Challey and Emma Sanders; mother, Beatrice Schmidt; sister, Cathryn Schmidt; brother, Craig Schmidt; and many nieces and nephews.

Preceding Connie in death was her father and her parents-in-law, Charles and Helen Challey.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Vertin-Munson Funeral Home, Wahpeton, ND.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Connie M. Challey, please visit our flower store.
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Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Monday, October 30, 2023

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

United Church of Christ - Hankinson

204 Main Ave. North, Hankinson, ND 58041

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Celebration of Life

Monday, October 30, 2023

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

United Church of Christ - Hankinson

204 Main Ave. North, Hankinson, ND 58041

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