Connie Lorine Lambert was born a child of the Tennessee mountains on November 4, 1958, to Wanda Faye and Charles Wade Shadrick. While her parents marriage ended when she was still young, her extended family ensured she never lacked for love. Many relatives supported her mother, brother, sister, and herself during those years, and Connie spoke often of the warmth and joy they brought into her life, whether she was roaming forests or assembling bolts with her cousins, aunts, and uncles. Listening to her stories of snuggling up with her Granny and eating ketchup sandwiches helped us understand that what matters most in life, are the people we share it with.
At the age of twelve, Connie's mother remarried and she soon gained a brother. This new family unit saw her travel across the country and all over Tennessee. Eventually, her parents moved the family to Florida. Connie had planned to attend the University in Tennessee, but her stepfather told her that if she would stay with them in Florida for three months, they would give her some money to help cover her school costs. Once in Florida, she attended a real estate class her mother wanted to go to. It was there she met Dennis Lambert, her lifelong confidant and partner. After dating for several months, Dennis asked her to meet him at Ponce de Leon Park. He had a very important question to ask her. Having thought he was going to ask her to move in together, she was stunned when he asked her to marry him. Suffice it to say, she did not make it back to Tennessee.
Connie and Dennis married in short order and bought a house not far from his parents. They created a home surrounded by trees, reminiscent of the estates from the Jane Austen novels she loved, and which could only be rivaled by the garden of friends they cultivated. Connie had long known she wanted to be a mother, and at that house she gave birth to three children: Sara, Carly, and Mitchell. Motherhood suited her well, and she demonstrated a level of care and compassion that taught her children to prioritize those they love by example. The force of her love never let them question, even for a moment, how she felt about them.
In 2004, Connie was diagnosed with cancer. Throughout the course of her initial treatments, she maintained a strength and courage far beyond what anyone could have expected. Her years of remission were joyous, giving her and her family an intense appreciation for the gift of time they were given. When the cancer returned in 2013 with a less favorable prognosis, Dennis made sure that she could retire to enjoy the rest of her life. Connie stayed positive despite the many setbacks dealt to her, and she was lucky enough to travel the world and experience the birth of her first granddaughter. Her death on December 30, 2017, came as unexpectedly as it could, but her family was comforted to know her passing was swift and gentle.
In lieu of sending flowers, Connie's family would appreciate copies of photographs and your stories about Connie to comfort them when she is missed.
Dear Dennis, Mitchell, Sara & Carly. I have just learned of Connie's passing and am heartbroken for you all. I had not heard that the cancer had come back. Connie was such a sweet person and I have such fond memories of her when the boys were growing up. Your home was the first one we allowed Dustin & Colton to attend their first "play date" alone at when they were about 5-years-old...the first of MANY play dates and eventually sleepovers that they had at your home over the ensuing years. . Your family was such a huge part in their childhood...thank you for making it so fun for them. Please know we are thinking of you all and pray you are coping well. - Christy Smith
Connie found great joy in spending time with her granddaughter.
Gone but never forgotten.
Connie was no doubt the sweetest and most caring coworker. She was a kind person who I know fought her battle with courage and dignity, and most likely without complaints. The last time I saw Connie was in the grocery store and she was so gracious to take the time to stop and chat with me. I will be forever grateful for her sharing her fabulous cheese ball recipe one Christmas which has always been a crowd pleaser. I will always refer to her recipe as "Connie's cheese ball."
Rest In Peace my friend.
I am so very sorry. Connie was such a kind woman. She will be missed.
So sorry to hear this, Connie was the sweetest person I ever met she will be missed dearly.
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