She was born in Waupaca on September 3, 1925 to Axel and Ethel (Burgoyne) Nelson. She grew up on a farm near King, attended a one-room grade school and graduated from Waupaca High School. Following high school Connie worked for Hobie Edmunds of Edmund’s Boat Dock at the present location of Clear Water Harbor. In 1947 she helped Gordon “Ding” Doerfler develop Ding’s Dock on Limekiln Lake at the present Becker Marine location. From scratch they built Ding’s Dock into a large summer tourism business on the Waupaca Chain O’Lakes, featuring boat and canoe rentals, tour boats on the lakes and Crystal River Canoe trips. She married Ding and spent years operating Ding’s Dock training many young boys in the business of summer boat rentals, and training young girls to work in the small restaurant at Ding’s Dock. In 1973, Ding and Connie sold Ding’s Dock to Joe Leean who had been a long time summer employee. Connie then moved to Ft. Lauderdale, FL, where she spent many enjoyable years with her second husband, Daniel MacDonald. They enjoyed horse racing, travel and eating out with friends, many with Waupaca connections. Daniel died in 1987, and a few years later Connie moved back to Waupaca. She lived many years at her home in King, WI, where she enjoyed her yard and the many birds and squirrels at her feeders as well as her doll collection. The past three years she has lived in the CAP apartment complex in Waupaca.
Connie was preceded in death by her parents, her brother, Bud; sister-in-law, Alice, and two husbands. She is survived by nieces: Karen Woolsey of Waupaca, Jacquelyn Acres of Irving, TX and Rachel Zelsya of Crown Point, IN; four grandnieces and four grandnephews.
The Funeral Service will be on Tuesday, July 5, 2016 at 6:30 p.m. at the Maple Crest Funeral Home of Waupaca. The visitation will be on Tuesday at the funeral home from 5p.m. until the time of the service. Any memorials may be directed to the H.E.L.P. Shelter Dog Rescue, E2011 King Rd. Waupaca.