The Life of Constance P. Dent
Constance P. "Connie" Dent, Ph.D., 95, of Rockland Township, died Tuesday, May 29, 2018, in the in-patient hospice unit of Lehigh Valley Hospital, Allentown. She was the spouse of Ann T. Gundry, Ed.D., whom she married April 17, 2016. Born in Brooklyn, NY, she was the daughter of the late Joseph D. and Edith (Hastings - Crane) Dent. Dr. Dent was a member of Unitarian Universalist Church, Reading. Connie received her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Bucknell University, Lewisburg, Union County; her Master's Degree in Psychology from Temple University, Philadelphia; and her Doctorate degree in Psychology from Pennsylvania State University, State College. Professor Dent first worked in the counseling department at University of Maryland, College Park, MD; then in the Psychology Department at Glassboro College, now Rowen University, Glassboro, NJ. She served as Dean of Women at Lebanon Valley College, Annville; and at University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, before beginning her career as a Professor of Psychology, for over 32 years, at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, Kutztown. While at Kutztown, Connie was integral in founding the Women's Awareness Group, which remains today as the FMLA. She also, along with Dr. Richard Law and others, co-founded KU's Women's Studies Program, which thrives today. As Professor Emeritus, Constance remained in touch with students and faculty by visiting the campus regularly. Connie also had a private Psychology practice throughout her educational career that continued until her death.
Constance and Reverend Paul Hoh were the founders of Berks County Prison Society, now Berks Connections/Pretrial Services. Connie continued to serve on their Board of Directors for many years. Fervently concerned with ecology, Connie generously supported Wetlands Institute, Stone Harbor, NJ, Berks Nature, Reading, and Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, Kempton. Constance loved to travel the world and enjoyed bird watching.
Connie is survived by her spouse, Dr. Ann T. Gundry. She was predeceased by a sister Jane C. Dent on April 20, 2016.
A visitation will be held on Friday, June 8, 2018, from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. in Ludwick Funeral Homes, Inc., 333 Greenwich Street, Kutztown. A memorial service celebrating Connie's life will follow beginning at 1:30 p.m. with Reverend Dr. Sandra R. Fees, officiating. Inurnment will be private at the convenience of the family.
The family requests contributions be made in Connie's memory to Unitarian Universalist Church, 416 Franklin Street, Reading, PA 19602; Wetlands Institute, 1075 Stone Harbor Blvd., Stone Harbor, NJ 08247; Berks Nature, 575 Bernadine Street, Reading, PA 19607; or Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, 1700 Hawk Mountain Road, Kempton, PA 19529.
Ludwick Funeral Homes, Inc., Kutztown, is in charge of arrangements. Memories, photographs and condolences may be shared at www.ludwickfh.com
Filter Constance P. Dent's Timeline by the following Memory Categories
The date is approximate, but I had Dr. Dent for her legendary Abnormal Psychology graduate course at Kutztown in 1979, and I cannot think of a more enjoyable course in my entire academic career as a student, and I got to know her very briefly for several years in that respect. I always regarded my associations with her as extremely rewarding. My condolences to Ann and those who loved her.
One night when Ann and Conner were over for dinner, my five-year old daughter was curious about wht Connie kept in her purse. After a few questions from my daughter, Connie graciously agreed to let Sacha see the contents of her purse if she would help her to clean it out. Of course my daughter was thrilled, and got to see every last thing! This is a simple example of how Connie could take a situation ( someone wanting to see what's in her purse) and turn it around and make a small task they could do together rather than feeling imposed upon!
Farewell to a valued friend
Connie was a valued friend and colleague for over 40 years. She was kind, smart, brave, and strong! She took on many roles both at Kutztown University and in the greater community. Connie served as a role-model and mentor to students and colleagues alike. I am grateful for having known such a special person! With my deepest sympathy to her beloved Ann, Lisa Ladd-Kidder
With sincere admiration and respect, we offer our deepest condolences. We are blessed to have met Connie, and forever grateful for her dedication to KU and tireless efforts to make the world a better place.
The Women's Center at Kutztown University
Irreplaceable Colleague and friend
I've often said that I wish Connie was 40 years younger so I could've walked so much longer in my professional life with her. She was very progressive in her beliefs and her practice of psychology up until the end. She was academic but mostly very giving of herself and to a patient's cause. If the patient had writer's block, she'd write with them. If they needed a job, she'd hire them. If they needed the outdoors for tranquility, they sat in her bird sanctuary in her garden. There was no issue too difficult to tackle or too small to give consideration. I was the medical arm of her practice and we regularly bounced ideas back and forth, and yes, I am 45+ years younger than her. She was THAT relevant yet in her field. I completed respected her attention and her approach to the healing process, but I also admired her open mind and willingness to consider all approaches to help a person.
I loved our in-service meetings on a Saturday to discuss cases, recent literature, comissurate, break bread together. She was a friend. A fun, hip, dedicated human being that probably gave back more than she ever got in this world.
My heart goes out to Ann, another good soul and trusted friend.
Rest well, my good lady.
Natalie Kunsman, MD
An Unforgettable Professor
When I look back on my years at K.U. studying for a Master's in Counseling Pyschology, there is one professor who stands out in my memory: Dr. Constance Dent. I coudn't tell you now, 20-some years later, what exactly motivated me to take every course she offered. Was it her teaching style? Her unbounded energy, uncommon in a 50-something-year-old woman? (I found out later she was 75!) The easy A's I was guaranteed (much to the chagrin of my classmates because Dr. Dent graded on a strict cure)?
Reading her obituary, I believe I met her 25 years earlier, at the University of Pennsylvania. I had dropped out during my junior year during the pandemic flu of 1968 and subsequently lost all my scholarships. The Dean of Women called me in to her office to persuade me to re-enroll, promising me financial aid. I should have taken her up on her offer. . ..
Fast forward 30 years, to the day I turned in my last final exam to Dr. Dent. She stopped me to talk personally for a few moments, about our mutual love of Esalen in Big Sur, but more importantly about my future. I was still floundering as to how exactly I would best use the brain God gave me to be of service to others. I was wondering if I had just taken another detour that would take me nowhere. She told me not to worry, that the challenge that would motivate me would one day come. I believe she used Oscar Niemeyer as an example, the Brazilian architect who won great acclaim for designing the civic buildings in the built-from-the-ground-up new capital. "You haven't met your Brasilia yet."
It is people like this who not only teach us, but nurture and encourage us, that remain in our hearts forever.
Friends of Connie and Ann
Connie and Ann were role models for Randy Schaeffer and me. It was for us an inclemental disclosure of their leadership activities at Kutztown University. Their pioneer work with the Women's Center, Women's Studies, and joint teaching of cross-discipline courses together that allowed Randy and I to see what possibilities their were at KU to be ourselves and make a contribution to the life of the University and its students. These two were humble gifted people affected students and faculty life at school, but also in their community with their work on scholarships and the preservation of the environment by their involvement with the Berks County Conservancy and their pledge to contribute their own property to this cause. Randy and I were pleased to be invited to their home for a holiday celebration and later for the four of us to have an intimate dinner at their home one summer's evening. Connie and Ann were a charming and loving couple who enriched Randy's and my life as KU faculty members and as strong friends for life. The memory of Connie will remain in my heart the rest of my life. Ann will remain a special friend as well.
My Championing Therapist
I met Dr. Dent working as a Desk Assistant at Old Main dorm while attending Kutztown University. Often, I worked the 4-8AM shift and I would greet her heading to her office down the hall a couple times a week. I was closeted and unhappy and she must've sensed that; soon I would begin therapy with her. She championed me during a time when I didn't think or feel so highly about myself. I will never forget her advocacy and dedication to me changing the way I perceived myself and the world. I will never forget you and I am lucky to have known you!
TOM AND SANDI
Dear Ann...we send our most heartfelt sympathy to you in your incredible loss of your dear Connie.....we absolutely adored her as well as you and always looked forward to seeing the both of you over the many years we did the Sunday Evening at Stirling Concerts with the fantastic students from the Curtis Institute of Music. She always loved the young musicians and was so gracious in her comments to them and to us. The two of you always attended and played a big part in the enjoyment of the evening. Connie will be forever missed....what an incredible lady ! Do take care of yourself and know that we send our utmost sympathy. Fondest regards, Tom and Sandi M.