Cover photo for Connie Mansfield's Obituary
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Connie Mansfield

July 14, 1929 — March 18, 2024

Connie Mansfield

July 14, 1929 - March 18, 2024
Corinne (Connie) was born in Johnstown PA.  The only child of Marguerite and Alexander Degan.  Connie led a life of no regrets and wasn’t afraid of taking chances.   She was always proud of her Jewish heritage and was a leader in her Jewish communities throughout her life.
 
Connie met her first husband, William (Bill) Zitsman, at The Ohio State University and they were married in 1951.  By the time 1968 rolled around, Connie and Bill, had five children.  It was at this time Connie made two decisions that would change dramatically change her future.   She decided to end her marriage and to return to college.  At the age of 39, she attended Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work.  While completing that degree she was already thinking about what’s next.  She was interested in becoming a hospital administrator.  She applied to and was accepted into The Ohio State University’s new Master’s in Hospital Administration program.  Upon graduation, she was hired as an Associate Administrator at Ohio State University Hospital where she was responsible for Dodd Hall (acute inpatient physical medicine and rehabilitation) and Upham Hall (acute inpatient psychiatric program).  While working in this role, she became active in the Columbus Administrator’s group attending their meetings on a regular basis.  It was through this administrator group that she met the gentleman who would become her second (and last) husband; Edgar Mansfield, CEO of Riverside Methodist Hospital.  Ed was a widow at the time.  Connie and Ed’s relationship grew from collegial to much more; they were married in 1975.  They remained married until his death in 2007.

Ed and Connie moved to Naples, Florida in 1984 where Connie became an active member of the Reform congregation, Temple Shalom.  She became a Board member and President in the early 1990’s, developed and led a leadership development program during that time, and was asked to be President again from 2000 - 2002.
During her years of synagogue leadership at Temple Shalom, she also became active at both the Regional and National levels of Union for Reform Judaism.  In addition, she was an active member of her local Hadassah chapters first in Naples and then in Tampa.

Following Edgar’s death in 2007, Connie continued to live her life!  In the summer of 2008, she went by herself on a group tour of China!  She really enjoyed herself and everyone on the tour could easily recognize her by a cap she would wear with a plastic, red propeller on top (she wasn’t afraid of drawing attention).  

In 2009, Connie ventured on to J-date, an online Jewish dating site.  She crafted her profile and started her search for a true soulmate.  It wasn’t long before she discovered Les Scharf, a widow, retired lawyer, and a former leader of his Reform synagogue in Tampa; Congregation Schaarai Zedek.  Connie, once again not afraid to take chances, contacted Les.  They seemed to hit it off immediately.  Their long phone conversations turned into Les making trips to Naples.  In 2011, Tampa became Connie’s last permanent residence.  She purchased a condominium on Bayshore Blvd with a beautiful direct view of the bay.  Les and her enjoyed a wonderful life of travel, cruises, theater, fine dining, and of course and family.  They were regular attendees of Friday night services at the synagogue where they had “their seats”.  

Connie enjoyed all that life had to offer and lived the Jewish concept of “Tikkun Olam” (improving the world) through her generosity to organizations in her communities and Israel.

She was preceded in death by her first husband William Zitsman (2013) and her youngest son, James Zitesman (2021).  Her survivors include: Robert Zitsman (wife Cheryl), Howard Zitsman (wife Jody), Charles Zitsman (wife Sue), James’s wife Judith, and Karen Zitsman Daves (husband Scott).   

Her grandchildren:  
Sarah Zitsman Stratton
Brent Zitsman 
Ben Zitsman 
Ellie Zitsman Schultze
Alexis Anne Zitsman Fergusson
Joe Zitesman
Jessica Zitesman
Whitney Ahl

Her great grandchildren 
Asher Stratton 
Yael Stratton
Ezra Schultze
Theodore Fergusson

Services will be held at 11:00 am Friday, 3/22/24, at Temple Shalom, Naples, Florida.

Past Services

Funeral Service

Friday, March 22, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

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