Connie Ruth Gunn Howle of Hayes, loved people. Well, “most people” she’d say, with a twinkle. For years, she welcomed and waited on customers at ACE Hardware in Hayes. She liked to tease and give nicknames and was so much fun some folks would just pop in to see if she was working.
She loved the color pink. She loved jewelry. She loved shopping. She loved baking cakes and taking them to friends going through rough times. She loved babies and children. She crocheted many a baby blanket and made many a baby quilt. She kept Hallmark in business and didn’t need a calendar to remind her of whose birthday was when, how old they were, or what their favorite color was. She loved reading Amish romance novels.
She was loved. Her mother, Edith Gunn, went into labor during Hurricane Hazel in October 1954 and gave birth at home. She was named after Connie Mowry, the wife of the doctor who delivered her. She was the happy, joyful baby sister to Faye (“Sissy”) and Lemuel (“Bubba”) and the apple of her father Nelson’s eye.
Connie was a 1973 graduate of Gloucester High School. Her first job was at Lou Smith’s grocery. She said she learned a lot from Mr. Smith—how to work, how to wait on customers, how to build relationships with co-workers. She then went on to Brothers Motors, and came to consider Malvin Newton’s wife, Maxine, her other mother. She was a fabulous, feisty aunt to Jamie and Melissa Gray (“Clyde and Matilda”) and later a doting mother to her own son, Bradley Phillips Howle.
She was also a diabetic and in her later years struggled with the complications and treatments associated with the progression of the disease. Bringing her joy during those years were the three lights of her life: granddaughters, Amber, Ashley, and Emily. She loved them completely, did anything for them, and her greatest hope was that they learned from her the lessons of love, friendship, humility, charity, endurance, and very good humor.
Connie Gunn Howle died Friday, June 22, 2018, during surgery at Walter Reed Hospital. She came in to this world during a hurricane, lit us all up for 63 years, and then went out of it with the summer skies glorious in rolling thunder clouds. To say that she will be missed is a tremendous understatement.
She is survived by her son, granddaughters, husband Charles “Buddy” Howle, sister and brother, niece and nephew, and so many more friends and family.
Funeral service was held Tuesday, June 26, 2018, at Providence Baptist Church. Interment followed in the church cemetery.
Arrangements under the direction of Hogg Funeral Home and Crematory, Gloucester Point.