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Connie S. Davidson

September 4, 1948 ~ March 12, 2022 (age 73)

Obituary

With heavy hearts, we announce the death of Connie S. Davidson (Escanaba, MI) passed away March 12, 2022, born in L’Anse, MI on September 4, 1948, who passed away at the age of 73 years.

She was loved and cherished by many people including: Her husband of 34 years, James S. Davidson III, her daughters, Tammy Hansen (Todd Burbach) and Tracy Funke, Grandchildren: Nikki Sweete (Chris), Kyle Hansen and Madison Ide, Great Grandchildren: Hailee Sweete, Siblings: Glen Heikkinen (Tina), Dennis Heikkinen (Jenny) and Cindy Wheelier (Jim).  She will also be dearly missed by numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends.

She was predeceased by her parents, Harold and Sarah Heikkinen.

As a single parent with two young daughters, Connie worked hard to earn a Bachelors’ degree in Speech Therapy from Central Michigan University (1979), of which she was extremely proud. In 1981, Connie returned to the Upper Peninsula attaining a Speech and Language Therapist position with the Hannahville Indian School, where she enthusiastically engaged children and their families in a variety of educational services, through outreach, parent education and creative programs.

She was promoted to the position of Special Education Director, while achieving a Masters’ degree from Northern Michigan University (1998). Due to the high quality of her work at Hannahville, Connie was asked to assist other Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) schools to achieve excellence. Over the next three years, Connie offered special education supervision and guidance to eight BIA schools across Indian Reservations in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa, while serving as the Director at Hannahville.

Throughout her career, one of Connie’s key concerns was the lifelong impact of maternal alcohol and drug use on the developing fetus.  To learn more about Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) and effective prevention and treatment, Connie read the research and then contacted Dr. Ann Streissguth, the leading international FAS expert and invited her to the U.P.  Surprisingly, Dr. Streissguth traveled to Escanaba, presented a 2-day seminar at Terrace Bay Inn for educators, parents, and human services staff from across the U.P.  The seminar focused on prevention, identification of FAS and strategies for lifelong teaching of children prenatally impacted by alcohol and drugs.

In 1999, Connie achieved the position of Special Education Director at the Menominee County Intermediate School District. For the next 14 years, Connie advocated for children with disabilities and their families throughout the four Menominee County school districts. She continually reached out to experts to learn about cutting edge programs and services, and created partnerships to provide similar opportunities, where none existed. Across time and place, Connie worked tirelessly to facilitate positive outcomes for children of every age and all abilities.

After retiring, Connie actively participated with the First Presbyterian Church of Escanaba as a Deacon, Elder and Sessions Committee member.  She supported people who were homeless through “Hope at the Inn” and youth education programs, especially those activities that engaged youth across multiple congregations.

At Connie’s request, no services will be held. Memorial Donations may be made in Connie Davison’s name to: Bay Cliff Health Camp, PO Box 310, Big Bay, Michigan 49808. The family wishes to send a special thank you to the staff at Hospice (UPHP) and Gentle Hands (Home Care) for their care and compassion. 

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