Living a very full life with careers in Nursing and Journalism, raising three men to adulthood, and taking on hobbies from bookbinding to photography, Connie was part of a transformational women’s generation that sought lives inside and outside of the home. She was a deeply caring Mother with a passionate view of the world.
Born to Russell L. and Marie A. Figert, Connie was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana – the youngest of six kids. Fresh from Nursing school, Connie married John Barry Leavengood on September 20th, 1960 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. They raised three boys: Joseph A, David J, and Steven E. The family moved often in the early days, living in Atlanta, Philadelphia, Ann Arbor, and finally Tucson where they settled for many years. Connie ended her marriage to John in 1979, completed an undergraduate degree in Journalism in 1982, and would later change her last name to Long in 1985. She did not remarry as she could not find a suitable responsible man!
Connie had a long career in journalism, writing for the Tucson Citizen, Arizona Highways and many other publications. She tried her hand at creative writing and later earned a master’s degree from Western New Mexico University (1997).
Connie was known as tough and stubborn by many of her friends and family – she was determined to make her own path. Fiercely independent, Connie was motivated to be her own woman and did not shy away from any challenge. However, Connie also had a big heart – especially for those less fortunate. Raised a Catholic, she embodied the spirit of giving – even when she could not afford it. Some knew the silly side of Connie – her infectious laugh that would carry on and on…. but she did not show this side to many.
Connie is survived by her three sons and three grandchildren. Connie always longed for a close family and traditional family holidays - Thanksgiving was her favorite time of year. Connie’s brother Sam, and Sisters Dede and Sara are also surviving family members.
Connie should be remembered as a strong hard-working professional and Mother. She took the high road often and fought back when she saw abuse. She cared deeply – sometimes to a fault. She will always be remembered as a pioneer in the women’s movement and caring mother.