This is my mom. My hero, my supporter, my encourager. That smile shined an incredible light to her positivity, her happiness, her strength, her determination, her compassion, her kindness, her Love. She had undeniable selflessness ALWAYS. She put her Family First, 100%, giving ALL she had for us with overwhelming joy. She is proceeded in death by her daughter Tracie and survived by daughter Stacie, son in law Steve, grandchildren Mollie Rae, Quintan, Ryan, and great-grandson Wyatt.
Connie Sue Sheets was born in a farmhouse in Missouri on October 7, 1941. She loved the farm! Her fondest childhood memories were on the farm with her Grandad. Her family moved to San Diego when she was 8. She graduated from Helix High School and attended San Diego State University. Connie Sue worked for San Diego Union-Tribune for over 37 years as a Sr. Purchaser for the newspaper. Connie Sue passed on May 26, 2020. Her daughter Stacie was holding her hand when Our Lord and her daughter Tracie came to welcome her to heaven.
Her faith was very important. She was a strong Christian woman and knew Her Savior would protect and guide. She never doubted this and lived her life fully with hands lifted to Him. Though she was taken too soon, too tragically and too unexpectedly from Stevens Johnson Syndrome, she would have said "All in God's Great Plan".
Her strength to approach a cheating husband of seven years to give the ultimatum, either me or her. Her courage to pack up the car, drive across the states with a three-year-old and a six-month-old, when he chose her. She persevered, at a time when divorce was shamed. Her parents and friends turned their backs, and she struggled to find a job and a place to live. She led by example, that while we were homeless, there was always joy and happiness to be found in every situation. Her ability to forgive her parents and friends when they finally understood what she had been through. Her strong work ethic to work 2-3 jobs to provide for my sister and me. To always make sure we had what we needed and never feel we were missing out. Even to have a bike under the Christmas tree. We were the 3 musketeers.
Her diligence for our happiness in things we loved to do. For me, my love was dance. She would clean the dance studio weekly and make costumes, to pay for dance lessons that brought me so much joy. In my teen years, she drove me to dance lessons in LA from San Diego every weekend, so I could have the opportunity to train with top teachers and choreographers. She believed in me and my dream to perform when no one else did. She supported me in every way, performing or choreographing for Disney, never missing a performance. When Orange County Song & Dance came into my life, she loved it for the joy it brought me. She would drive up from San Diego to watch The Revue, 2-3 shows, every year for 30 years. She never missed a competition in Palm Springs for 30 years. She went on OCSD Tour and would drive up to see Christmas shows. She wore her OCSD shirt with pride. She was our OCSD Nana.
As a huge fan of the game of baseball, her excitement for the San Diego Padres was shared with my sister, especially Tony Gwynn. This love of the game would then be shared with her grandson Q and his love of the Boston Red Sox. She would support my sister's love of softball. From pitching lessons to being the team mom, she was always involved. She was our Girl Scout Leader and the room mom at school. She was at every event she could attend, cheering the loudest and the proudest, all while working 2-3 jobs.
Her pride in her grandchildren was beyond measure. She supported Mollie Rae and Quintan, in every endeavor, opportunity, occasion, and celebration. Living 2 hours away did not stop her from being there, ALWAYS, to encourage and love them in every way possible. Beaming with Joy and shining her contagious smile with overwhelming Love. She Adored Mollie Rae and Q beyond words. They were her pride and joy.
Her Love of her family brought her Tremendous Happiness. She loved her son in law, Steve, very much. He was the son she never had. They shared a sense of humor that was their own, and she cherished spending time with him. She was so happy when Ryan joined our family, as Mollie Rae's husband. She loved Ryan for his caring, helpfulness, and kind heart. She never stopped saying how much my sister Tracie would have loved him. She felt he was an answer to prayer for Mollie Rae. When Mollie Rae and Ryan were expecting, she waited all night in the waiting room at the hospital for Wyatt to be born, her first great-grandchild. She would be so tickled to see his sweet, fun personality. She will be his guardian "Gigie" and will always shine down on him.
Her determination as she cashed out her retirement to pay for my sister's cancer treatments and surgeries, hoping to prolong her life and make her as comfortable as possible when there was no more they could do. She stayed by my sister's side until she flew to heaven.
Her power to beat three cancers herself. All the while being grateful because she always would say, someone always has it harder than she did.
Her compassion for giving of her time to feed the homeless and sew sleeping mats for them. She worked with underprivileged children and gave whatever she could to many charities. She fundraised for Muscular Dystrophy. She crocheted hats for the premature babies in the NICU. She was always giving and wanted to do whatever she could to help others.
Her example to be optimistic and kind even when life threw unexplainable hardships in her path. She was known as Miss Mary Sunshine, and you could see that in her smile.
The smile that beamed Love, Pride, Joy, Gratitude.
Thank you, Mom, for your unending love, grace, and selflessness.
Your smile will live in my heart, forever.
Published in San Diego Union-Tribune on Jul. 26, 2020.