PHOENIX -- Connie (Mackie) Riffel lost a brave "battle" with cancer on Dec. 11, in Phoenix. Connie was born to Don and Virginia Mackie in Philadelphia. The family moved to Burlington, Iowa, in the mid-1960s. Connie graduated in 1969 from Burlington High School. She received her bachelor of arts degree from the University of Northern Iowa in 1973 and began teaching English and journalism at Fort Madison High School. She also served as girl's tennis coach and newspaper advisor at FMHS. Connie married Tom Riffel in Burlington in 1978 and later began teaching at Burlington High School, where she was a newspaper and yearbook advisor. Connie received her master's degree in journalism and an educational specialist degree from the University of Iowa. In 1987, Connie, Tom and their children, Matt and Erin, moved to Bettendorf. Connie left full-time teaching for a position in the communications department at Moline Trinity Hospital. In 1992, Connie and her family moved to Phoenix, where she was hired as a vice president with National Health Enhancement Systems Inc. In 1999, Connie accepted a position with EKN Inc., as a president and CEO. She held that position until her death. Connie loved her family, her work and being "out" walking or jogging or playing tennis. She ran the Bix 7-mile race in Davenport several times and enjoyed hiking the Arizona desert or water skiing in the Valley reservoirs. She was a voracious reader. Connie is survived by her husband, Tom, a son, Matthew, and a daughter, Erin, all of Phoenix. She also is survived by her parents, Don Mackie, Burlington, Iowa, and Ginny Cleland, Phoenix; and brothers, Rick, Troy, Mich., Jeff, Burlington, Iowa, and Tom, Norwich, England. Three nieces and two nephews also survived her. She also is survived by several courageous and dedicated friends, especially Barb, Clarita and Sue, who helped her with her "battle." Services are pending at Tempe Mortuary, Tempe, Ariz.