Connie (Hower) Brentnall entered eternal rest on December 17, 2021, at Crest Haven Care Centre in Creston, Iowa. She was born on July 30, 1945, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to Helen (Weidman) and Eldon “Mike” Hower, joining older brother Ron.
She loved dance and baton twirling as a girl, charmingly and enthusiastically performing for family and friends, bringing cheer to the audience. She was a conference champion swimmer and served as head cheerleader for Creston High School, graduating in 1963. She attended Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri, where she became the first in her family to earn a B.A. in 1967, majoring in early childhood education.
She married Mike Brentnall in 1967. They were married for 25 years before divorcing. She taught elementary school at Saint Dunstan Catholic School in Millbrae, California, until the birth of John in 1970. Terry completed the family in 1973 and they settled in Creston shortly after his birth. Being a Mother was God’s call for her, and she loved her sons unconditionally, making sure to tell them in every conversation that she loved them “with all of her heart”. She fostered intellectual curiosity, encouraged participation in athletics, healed physical and emotional wounds, joined them in high jinks, and proudly trumpeted the boys’ triumphs great and small.
Connie was a devout Christian, finding nurturing spiritual homes at the First Presbyterian Church and later at the First Christian Church. She read the Bible and prayed often, with special attention in prayers given to the marginalized, the lonely, and the suffering.
She began twirling the baton again at age 60 as a fun way to get exercise. She entered Creston’s Fourth of July talent competition at age 65, outfitting herself in red, white and blue, and choreographing a routine to the song “Only in America”, earning 2nd place. She was thrilled with the results and hoped she inspired others to follow their dreams regardless of age.
She and John were directly hit by the tornado that struck Creston in 2012. She suffered life-altering injuries in the event. Her motto whenever facing adversity was to be brave and strong. She most certainly was as she navigated daunting challenges in recovery. She appreciated the support and uplift provided by the talented local medical professionals, compassionate friends and God’s everlasting love and abundant grace as she worked at improving physical mobility and accepting new limitations. She caught Covid-19 a year ago and her body deteriorated at an accelerated pace this year. She is now unencumbered, smiling down from heaven, and perhaps performing a routine to keep the angels entertained.
Connie was preceded in death by her parents and brother Ron Hower.
Connie is survived by sons John (Brent Sistek) of the Twin Cities, and Terry of Idaho Falls, Idaho. She is also survived by sister-in-law Sharon Hower, and many cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Open visitation for Connie will be held on Wednesday, December 22, from 4:00-8:00 PM with family receiving visitors from 6:00-8:00. Celebration of life services will be held 11 AM, Thursday, December 23, at Pearson Family Funeral Service & Cremation Center in Creston, followed immediately by a light luncheon. Internment at Graceland Cemetery at 2:00 PM. The service will be available via LiveStream at www.pearsonfuneralhomes.com. Memorials can be directed to either Creston Area Rescue Effort (C.A.R.E.) or First Christian Church of Creston, where funds will be used to support children’s ministry and programming.