GASTONIA - After 86 years of a rich and active life, Carolyn Lucille Stewart Connor passed away peacefully March 8, 2013.
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Lucy is survived by her loving husband Charles William Connor of the home; her devoted younger sister, Doris Stewart Newton (Homer) of Hickory; her cousin Grace Neinast and her special "double cousin" Millie Hewitt.
She is also survived by her adoring children and their spouses, Dr. Charles William "Bill" Connor (Sherry) of Kings Mountain; Carolann Connor Willingham (Ed) of Raleigh and Kenneth Forrest "Ken" Connor (Judy) of San Diego Calif.
Also left to cherish her memory are grandchildren, Shannon Bradley of Charlotte; Lauren Connor of Rock Hill S.C. and her fiancé Evan Menscher; Chip Connor, Rachel Connor, and Daniel Connor, all of San Diego Calif.; Kirk Willingham (Reid) of Decatur Ga.; Ryan Willingham of New York, N.Y.; Evan Willingham of Washington D.C.; and Davis Willingham of Charlotte. Her two great-grandchildren, Connor and Knox Willingham of Decatur, Ga., were a special blessing in her life.
A host of friends, nieces, nephews, and extended family will long remember Lucy's generosity and love.
Lucy was predeceased by her parents Elma and Forrest Stewart of Clover, S.C., and her siblings Lee, Bonnie, Helen, and Cecil and their spouses as well as by her daughter-in-law Rebecca Stutts Connor.
Lucy was born Sept. 16, 1926, in the Bethany community near Clover, S.C., and attended Bethany School and Bethany Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church.
She and Charlie were married April 9, 1950, and over their 62 years of marriage, they lived and worked in Lincolnton, Fayetteville and Alexandria, Va., before moving to Gastonia in 1999.
No matter where she and Charlie lived, Lucy ensured that her family got involved in community, church, and school activities, and she taught her children how to make and keep good friends for life.
Until her health challenges late last year, Lucy derived great joy from recent meetings for lunch and fellowship with her Bethany School friends from the 1930s.
A gracious and talented hostess and a great cook, Lucy will be remembered for many parties, receptions and family "get-togethers" she hosted in her home and on her screened porch. Her compassionate and kind interactions with people from all walks of life were evidence of her unconditional love for others.
She lived her life simply but with great grace and style.
She loved her family and church, the beach, a churn of homemade ice cream, Joy Club bus trips, a lively bridge game with friends, concerts and plays, cashews and Mr. Goodbars, and sharing with much pride anything her children or grandchildren were doing.
Lucy and Charlie were fortunate to have traveled to many wonderful destinations with friends and family but Lucy loved being at home the best.
While always putting the needs of her family first, Lucy worked at Duke Power as a young career woman and managed and worked in the after school care program at The Fayetteville Academy until she was 72-years-old. A beautiful woman inside and out, Lucy leaves a legacy of love for us all and her feisty spirit will continue to inspire those who knew and loved her.
The family would like to express appreciation to all who enriched Lucy's life over the years and to her caregivers at Belaire and The Robin Johnson House for their compassion and care.
A memorial service to celebrate the life and faith of Lucille Stewart Connor will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, March at First Baptist Church of Gastonia.
Family and friends are invited to a reception at the church immediately following the service.
Her ashes will be interred at Bethany ARP Cemetery in a service prior to the memorial service.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial gift to Barium Springs Home for Children, Post Office Box 1, Barium Springs, NC 28010 or the church or
"He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." Micah 6:8
Online condolences may be made at www.mlfordsons.com.
M. L Ford & Son Funeral Home in Clover is serving the family of Mrs. Connor.
Published in Gaston Gazette on Mar. 11, 2013