In Memoriam: IDRPP Remembers Connie Pehrson
On September 23, the Institute for Disability lost a family member with the passing of Connie Perhson. She began writing for what was then the Center for Persons with Disabilities in 2008, blogging for us at a time when we were still figuring out what a blog was.
While Connie was not often seen in the Institute’s communications, her voice was heard as she explored the issues facing the disability community in Utah.
It was my pleasure to work with her. We sat next to each other in an office that felt like home. Connie was a big part of that; she was always welcoming, always a friend. I don’t remember her ever saying hello without beaming her wide smile at me.
Connie was a person with a disability and a parent of a child with disabilities, so she walked the same paths as her readers. Even after her retirement in 2012, she continued to share resources and her own experience, both with friends and the public.
“Connie was a special person in every sense of the word,” said Sue Olsen, IDRPP’s Service Division director. “I knew her as an advocate, a leader and as a parent that supported the growth and development of her children, including supporting their son with disabilities. She was capable, creative and extremely resilient. I love and miss you, Connie.”
“Connie was a quality person, parent and friend,” said John Copenhaver, the Institute’s former Technical Assistance Division director. “Her focus was always keeping the main thing the main thing—improving the lives of individuals with disabilities. Connie will be greatly missed and never forgotten!”
“Connie was always supportive and engaged in the projects we shared,” said Judith M. Holt, co-director of URLEND and a former interim executive director of IDRPP. “She was fully committed to improving the options for people with disabilities and their quality of life. Her patience, lived experiences, and perspective were so valuable and, on a personal note, she was a wonderful mentor for me. My thoughts and prayers are with her wonderful family that she loved so much!”
Connie’s complete obituary appears in The Herald Journal.