Constance Goossen, 1941-2019

Published 1:00 am Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Constance “Connie” Kay Goossen, 78, passed away Monday, Dec. 23 , 2019, at Maplewood Care Center in Maplewood.

Constance Goossen

A memorial service will be at 1 p.m. Saturday at Bruss-Heitner Funeral Home in Wells. Interment will be in Rosehill Cemetery in Wells. Bruss-Heitner Funeral Home in Wells is assisting the family. To leave an online condolence, visit

Constance Kay Nelson was born Aug. 27, 1941, in Albert Lea to George and Jean (Shirk) Nelson of Wells, where Connie and her younger brother were raised. She was baptized and confirmed at Our Savior’s Church in Wells. Connie attended Wells-Easton High School, graduating with the class of 1959.

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After high school Connie moved to the Twin Cities and worked for at the Minneapolis airport for Avis. She met her first husband, Gilbert J. Shepard, in 1962, and they had three children, John, Susan and Patricia.

Connie married Rodney Elvebak on May 19, 1972, in Kiester, where together they raised John, Susan and Patricia. Rodney had two sons from a previous marriage, Ron Elvebak and Dale Elvebak.

While living in Kiester, Connie also volunteered as an EMT for Kiester Ambulance, chairperson for the DFL and a troop leader for the Girl Scouts.

She also participated in the women’s bowling league, and for a couple of years she owned a restaurant on Main Street called Connie’s Place Café.

Years later, Connie moved to the Twin Cities where she met John J. Goossen, and they were married Oct. 13, 1990, in St. Paul. In addition to having many common interests, a love for each other’s company and 20-plus years together, they were especially blessed to share their home and a very special bond with John’s favorite granddaughter, Jessica (Goossen) Gunderson.

After her husband retired, Connie decided to pursue a job as a flight attendant with Mesaba Airlines, a career that she had dreamt of as a young girl. She was in her early 60s when she was hired by Mesaba, and her husband often traveled with her.

Connie was an animal lover and would often visit the local animal shelters. She loved playing bingo and socializing with friends. Her greatest passion and joy, however, was reading books. She had a zest for life and lived it on her terms. She was one of the rare ones, so effortlessly herself. She will be sorely missed by her family and friends.

Constance Kay Goossen is survived by her brother, Fredrick J. (Patricia) Nelson, of Albert Lea; son, John Gilbert Shepard, of St. Cloud; daughters Susan (Mark) Kelly of St. Paul and Patricia (Rick Anderson) Meyer of Waconia; and granddaughter, Jessica (Paul) Gunderson, of Maplewood. Connie is also survived by grandchildren Whitney (Jason) Lorge of Cottage Grove, Brandee (Jon Bathke) Meyer of Wells, Sawyer Shepard and Harrison Shepard of Milaca and Atticus Kelly of St. Paul; great-grandson, Reed Bathke; and nephews John Nelson, Eric Nelson and Michael (Lauren) Nelson of Albert Lea.

Constance was preceded in death by her parents George and Jean Nelson; her husband, John J. Goossen, on Nov. 28, 2008; and her son-in-law, Gordon L. Meyer, on Jan. 21, 2009.