Connie Gilstrap

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August 16, 1945 - May 14, 2018
Born in Richmond Heights, MO
Resided in Lake St. Louis, MO

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Connie Gilstrap of Lake Saint Louis, MO, passed away Monday, May 14, 2018, at the age of 72. Beloved wife of 51 wonderful years to Jim Gilstrap; cherished daughter of the late Harry and Marie Bechtel; devoted mother of Eric (Ronna) Gilstrap and Traci (Kevin) Morkassel; loving grandmother of Kaitlin (Francis) Ballek and Kelsey (Jeffrey) Wright; and treasured great-grandmother of Rebekah Ballek.

Connie loves the Lord our God, loves His church, and loves her family. She was baptized into Christ Jesus in February, 1978 at the Bammel Road Church of Christ in Spring, Texas. Connie worshipped and served the Lord at the Crystal Lake Church of Christ in Illinois and until her passing, the St. Peters Church of Christ in Missouri. For 40 years she taught children Bible classes and opened her home to host parties for the children among her many ways of service. For the past several years, Connie has enjoyed designing and decorating bears for children at hospital emergency rooms and a pediatric urgent care. Each of the 240 bears each year is unique and “dressed” as appropriate for the month and season.

Connie’s family is central to her life. She and Jim were blessed that Connie was able to stay home and raise her children. First were her son Eric and daughter Traci, who have become remarkable adults with strong faith and work ethics. Their spouses, Eric’s wife, Ronna and Traci’s husband, Kevin are Christians also. Then came the joy of being the day care for Traci’s daughters, Kaitlin and Kelsey. Two amazingly talented and lovely young ladies. Both married great young men, Kaitlin’s Francis and Kelsey’s Jeffrey, bringing our grandchildren number to four. All her grandchildren are Christians and active in their congregations as are her children. For the past two years, the excitement has been to experience the wonder that is Connie’s great granddaughter, Kaitlin’s Rebekah.

Connie’s example and faith have impacted the lives of many, including her husband, Jim, their children, and grandchildren. That influence will continue through them for generations to come.

Connie is greatly loved. Her absence leaves a void in many lives that cannot be filled. Yet it is comforting to know that Connie died in Christ and is in Paradise looking forward to the resurrection to life in heaven.

Memorial contributions in Connie’s honor may be made to Potter’s Children’s Home, 2350 Nashville Road, Bowling Green, KY 42101.

Guestbook Entries

  1. Arlene Patton May 16, 2018 at 11:27 am - Reply

    Traci and family, I am so sorry. Your mother was a wonderful Christian lady, and I always looked forward to her visits here. I wish I could be there to hug each of you, and to help however I could. Come back to visit us in Mount Vernon whenever you can. Love to you all, Arlene

  2. Ada Cast May 16, 2018 at 3:23 pm - Reply

    Our prayers, love and sympathy to the family of Connie Gilstrap. May you have peace and comfort during this difficult time.
    The reflection of her life will now live through each of you. God bless you all and His loving arms surround each of you during the difficult days ahead.
    Sam and Ada Cast

  3. Junior & Betty May 17, 2018 at 1:02 am - Reply

    We are sorry for your loss. Praying for you and your family. May you be comforted knowing God’s peace that surpasses all understanding. May God bless and comfort you and your family in the coming days. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. Junior & Betty

  4. Mark Haney May 17, 2018 at 6:52 am - Reply

    As it has been over 30 years since we worshiped with Connie and Jim in Crystal Lake, our daily lives have been enriched by the love, guidance and example of such a wonderful Christian family. Connie will be missed but her spirit and impact will forever live on. Mark and Cynthia Haney and children Marquel and Dustin

  5. Nancy and Don Atchison May 17, 2018 at 9:54 am - Reply

    Jim, Eric and Traci, please accept our sincerest condolences in the passing of your belloved wife and mother. Our hearts are very heavy. Connie is looking down upon you from Paradise today and letting you know just how happy she is with no more pain, sickness, worries or sorrow. She was such a caring and spiritual woman, an example of what Gods wants every woman to be. Her encouragement was such a blessing to so many of us over the years. May Our Heavenly Father hold you close and comfort you in the days ahead. We will miss her beautiful smile.

  6. Bill & Joyce Isenbarger May 17, 2018 at 12:21 pm - Reply

    Our sincerest sympathy to the Gilstrap family. Although it has been many years since we all worshipped together in Crystal Lake, we do have fond memories of Connie and the fun times we had with our children picnicking in the summer and sledding at VA in the winter. I know she will be missed by many. Kindly praying for you at this difficult time.

  7. Tracy Haskett May 17, 2018 at 3:16 pm - Reply

    Dear Gilstrap family,
    I am sitting here with my mother and had the unhappy task of telling her of Mrs. Gilstrap’s passing. She has fond memories of lively ladies’ bible study conversations with her, and fellowships and sleepovers at the Gilstrap’s for myself were bedrock for me to bounce my crazy teen self off of.
    I’m praying for your family, Traci!

    Love, Tracy (Prigge) Haskett

  8. Karen May 17, 2018 at 4:53 pm - Reply

    Jim and family,
    Our sympathy in the loss of Connie.

    A classy lady with a wonderful wit!

    Karen & Mike Schaffner

  9. Butch & Jerri May 17, 2018 at 9:48 pm - Reply

    Jim, Eric, Traci, Our hearts truly go out to you and your family. Connie was a beautiful person inside and out, and her example is an encouragement to all of us. I pray that God give you the strength and comfort that you need. Love, Butch & Jerri Kuehn

  10. Wilma & Phil Ward May 18, 2018 at 2:37 am - Reply

    To the Gilstrap family:
    We wish to express our deepest condolences and empathy in the passing of Sis. Gilstrap. We experienced her thoughtfulness and kindness on a number of occasions. May your healing come soon.

    In Christian Love,

  11. D'Ann Rogers May 18, 2018 at 6:15 am - Reply

    Connie was a beautiful Lady inside and out. She was loved by all who met her. I know she will be missed here on earth. But she has received her Heavenly reward. Prayers for comfort. Love, D’Ann Rogers

  12. Darren & Kathy Wisor May 18, 2018 at 10:55 am - Reply

    candle 2Words cannot express how our hearts ache for all of you. You can see from Connie’s picture what a shining light that she was and always will be in our memories. God bless you all.

  13. Pam volk May 18, 2018 at 4:07 pm - Reply

    So sad to hear of Connie’s passing. I am thinking of all of you. She is in a wonderful place. Pam Volk

  14. Pamela Emch May 18, 2018 at 4:58 pm - Reply

    candle 6To all of the Gilstrap Family. My heart is heavy today as you are saying your final goodbyes to Connie. She was a shinning light and a devoted Christian. She always put a smile on my face. I am lighting a Candle for Connie to help her light her way to your hearts and give you peace and comfort as you are saying Good bye to her until you meet again someday in Heaven. God be with you till you meet again some day.

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