Connie Leckwold of Glenwood remembered as dedicated hospital valet
On the evening of Feb. 14, Glenwood Springs lost one of its own, Connie Leckwold, after she was tragically hit and killed by an unknown vehicle on Interstate 70 in Glenwood Springs.
Details of exactly what happened to the 64-year-old that night still remain unclear, and a police investigation continues.
However, one coworker who knew Leckwold (also known as Connie Meyers) well, said her dedication to her job as a valet for 13 years at Valley View Hospital illustrates not only her compassion but also her keen ability to make tough situations better.
“Connie totally embraced it,” Sean Jeung, chaplain at the Calaway Young Cancer Center, said. “She totally embraced being something important; an important piece of a person’s experience in a place where people don’t choose to come.”
Doctor of Medicine (MD) or Registered Nurse (RN) may not have accompanied Leckwold’s name, but she was often the first person Valley View patients and their loved ones met upon arriving at the hospital and the last face they saw when leaving.
Although some arrive at Valley View for joyful occasions such as welcoming a new addition to their family, many patients pull up in pain and full of worry.
Leckwold, regardless of the patient’s circumstances, did everything in her power to comfort and make patients and their loved ones feel as at home as possible, her coworkers say.
“We are a hospital and people come here because they are sick or they are injured or they are trying to find out what is happening or they are visiting someone they love who is sick or injured,” Jeung said of the patients and visitors Leckwold greeted daily.
“[Connie] totally embraced being able to make people feel more at ease in a place where sometimes people are not at ease.”
Jeung vividly remembered one occasion involving an older couple. The wife, who Jeung described as “so sweet,” also had a husband who was bit of an “old curmudgeon,” she said.
“He was just such an old cowboy, but he had this soft side to him,” Jeung recalled. “[Connie] found out that it was their wedding anniversary when they were here one day and she put an anniversary card on their windshield. So, when they left there was this card wishing them a happy anniversary.”
It was not merely for a tip, either, as Valley View’s valets do not accept them.
Instead, Jeung said it was just one of Leckwold’s numerous small gestures that spoke volumes of her love, not only for her job, but all of the people she assisted along the way.
In addition to taking care of patients and their families, Leckwold also took pride in greeting and welcoming the hospital’s own employees.
“It was not just patients that Connie made feel better,” Jeung said of Leckwold’s interactions with her coworkers, who by the sound of it, were like family to her. “She always greeted people by name. She would always say, ‘have a great day.’”
Like everyone, Leckwold was not without her flaws, Jeung said. Those flaws, however, did not define Leckwold, she said; rather, it was her compassion and genuineness toward everyone who walked through Valley View’s doors that did.
“I think her Valley View team was sort of like family,” Jeung said of that camaraderie.
She said Leckwold loved caring for animals, too.
“She loved dogs,” Jeung said.
When Leckwold had to move into an apartment that did not allow pets, Jeung adopted Leckwold’s corgi named Harley. Leckwold would still make the trip to visit Harley regularly, though.
“She was amazing,” Jeung described of her friend. “She would take the shirt off of her back and put it on a dog if she thought it was cold.”
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The Garfield County coroner has identified the pedestrian who was killed in a one-vehicle crash on Highway 6 in Rifle Wednesday morning.