Constance Anne (Brooks) Grabow, 89, of Appleton, passed away Friday, October 2, 2020 at Peabody Manor.
A classically-trained pianist, Connie was a gracious presence who filled the world with beautiful music her entire life, even playing her keyboard from the other side of the window at Peabody Manor during the recent celebration of the 90th birthday of her husband, Jim. She was an inspiration to all through her selfless devotion to her faith, family and students. Her wonderful, giving spirit will live on.
Connie was born February 20, 1931 in Oelwein, Iowa to Donald and Dorothy Brooks. She attended Sacred Heart School in Oelwein and graduated from St. Mary’s High School in Waterloo, Iowa, in 1947. She obtained her bachelor of arts degree from Iowa State Teachers’ College in Cedar Falls in 1950 and her master’s degree from Juilliard School of Music in New York City in 1953. She was a member of the music faculty of Iowa State Teachers’ College in Cedar Fall Iowa, Northwestern University, in Evanson, IL, and Lawrence University Arts Academy of Appleton, retiring in 2005. Connie was a member of Wednesday Musicale of the Fox River Valley and a member of SAI Musical Sorority. She was an organist at Saint Thomas More Catholic Church in Appleton, and was a frequent performer, accompanist and judge for piano competitions around the state.
She married James Grabow on June 16, 1956, at St. Edward’s Catholic Church in Waterloo, Iowa. They had four children, Victoria, of Appleton, Peter (Amy) of La Crosse, Paul (Perlita) of Waupaca, and Andrew, of Kaukauna. There are five grandchildren, Emily (Ryan) Edwards, William, Elizabeth, Hannah and Madelyn Grabow. A great grandson is expected at Christmas time. Survivors also include her beloved sister, Marianne Reynolds, niece, Anne Marie (Matt) Kofta and Daniel (Sara) Reynolds, grand nieces, Olivia Kofta, Emma Reynolds, grand nephew, Mason Kofta, and many cherished cousins in Iowa.
A Mass of Resurrection will be celebrated at 11 am on Tuesday, October 6, at St. Thomas More Catholic Church, 1810 N. McDonald St. Appleton, with Father Jack Mullarkey officiating. Friends and relatives may visit from 4 pm to 6 pm at the Brettschneider Trettin-Nickel Funeral Chapel on Monday, and again directly at the church on Tuesday from 10 am until 10:45 am. In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been established for the Tutti Scholarship Fund at Lawrence University Community Music School.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to everyone at Peabody Manor, especially the staff at Birch Cottage and the Activities Department. They were her nursing home family. We will always be grateful for their compassionate care.
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