Mary Constance “Connie” Feltz, age 98, passed peacefully into the arms of her Lord on June 10, 2023, reuniting with her loving husband of 69 years, James H. Feltz, who passed away in 2017.
Connie, the youngest of two daughters, was born in Compton, California on September 4, 1924 to Norbert and Helen Stretz, formerly of Boonville, Missouri. She graduated from Compton Junior College in 1942 and entered the job market, working for Bank of America for a number of years as personal secretary to the branch manager, before marrying and starting a family.
She met her future husband, Jim, on a blind date, while double dating with mutual friends. The couple married on June 22, 1947. They made their home in southern California near Los Angeles. They were blessed with six children. In 1965 the family moved to Salem, Oregon, where Connie was employed by the State of Oregon with the Public Utility Commission (PUC) as a secretary for 20 years. Upon retirement, she devoted her time to helping Jim in his latest venture, Feltz Vineyard, established in 1973.
Feltz Vineyard was one of the first vineyards planted in Polk County in those early years of the Oregon wine industry. Each weekend family members would work in the growing vineyard which eventually totaled 17 acres. It was quite common to see Connie working alongside Jim, planting and hoeing vines, weighing grapes at harvest, and even driving a four wheeler toting a shotgun to scare off hungry birds. She always provided welcome picnic lunches for family and friends who came to help out in the vineyard in those beginning years.
Connie was an excellent cook and will be remembered for her many delicious meals and treats. Family favorites were her memorable potato salad, Grandma’s famous chocolate cake, and Sunday pot roasts. Connie continued the family tradition of baking Christmas cookies that were boxed up and sent home with her grown children and their families. All looked forward to these special treats, in particular the family favorite: thumbprints. Besides baking, she also enjoyed sewing, canning, and gardening, and passed on these loves to her daughters. She would have a large vegetable garden each year to provide fresh veggies for the family and cucumbers for her world famous dill pickles.
Besides her family, Connie’s Catholic faith was the most important focus of her life. She was always the family prayer warrior and would add long petitions to grace before meals, praying for those in need and for all who had asked for her prayers. She had special devotion to St. Joseph, our Blessed Mother, and Padre Pio. Her rosary is lovingly worn from all the prayers that went up to heaven on those beads!
Connie will be remembered by all as a warm, caring, and humble woman of faith, who loved all her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, extended family members, and friends beyond measure, and carried them always in her heart and in her prayers. Her wish for them all was to love the Lord and to reach heaven. She was meticulous in remembering birthdays and special occasions for all her loved ones with hand-written notes and cards and special gifts for the young ones. She made many lasting friends through church, work, and the neighborhoods where she lived, and continued to keep in contact with them even after many years. She was greatly loved by all who knew her and will be greatly missed.
Connie was preceded in death by her parents; her sister, Dorothy; husband, Jim; infant son, David; and great-grandson, Jacob. She is survived by her five children: Joan (Larry Seim, dec.) of Renton, WA; Tom Feltz (Sue) of Wailuku, HI; Carol (Jerry Garcia) of Gallup, NM; Patti (John Kemper) of McMinnville, OR; and Mark Feltz (Janice) of Salem, OR; 10 grandchildren (Vince, Rob, Jim, Dan, Geri, Jake, Michael, Marie, Matthew, and Katie);11 great-grandchildren (Preston, Spencer, Elise, David, Daniel, Gabriel, Raphael, Narayan, Priya, Bodhi, and Emilia; with 2 more on the way); and niece, Stephanie.
Special thanks to all of Connie’s friends, family, and caregivers who gave of themselves with cards, flowers, and visits to cheer her, and for those who offered support with personal care and companionship on her journey to eternity. We are forever grateful to Serenity Hospice for their care in her last days and to Msgr. Richard Huneger for bringing words of comfort and the grace of the sacraments to our dear mother.
Connie will be laid to rest on Friday, June 23, 2023, with services at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 721 Chemeketa St. NE, Salem, OR. Rosary at the church at 1:30 pm, followed by a funeral Mass at 2:00 pm. Interment directly after at St. Barbara’s Catholic Cemetery, (entrance at the corner of Liberty Rd. and Missouri Ave. in South Salem, OR), followed by a reception at 3:30 pm across the street at Johnson Funeral Home, 134 Missouri Ave. S., Salem, OR. Parking is available in the Funeral Home parking lot or on the street. Viewing will take place at Johnson Funeral Home from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm the same day, prior to services at the church. Funeral services at the church will be livestreamed at https://youtube.com/live/rlYkGLbzbJA. May she rest in peace. Please pray for the repose of her soul.
Friday June 23, 2023 11-1
Johnson Funeral Home
134 Missouri Ave S Salem, OR 97302
Rosary & Mass
Friday June 23, 2023 1:30pm
St. Joseph Catholic Church
721 Chemeketa St. NE, Salem, OR
St. Barbara Cemetery Immediately following mass
Entrance at Liberty and Missouri
~Reception at Johnson Funeral Home immediately following~