Connie Slay Knight of Crystal Springs has taken her place in that great heavenly choir. With her daughters Patti and Kay tending her, The Lord called her home this past Sunday morning, November 17, just two short weeks past her 85th birthday.
Connie was born in Hazlehurst Ms on November 1, 1934 to T.J. And Alma Williams Slay. Even at an early age, she was precocious, funny, and a little bit sassy. She grew into, and honed those characteristics to perfection, as everyone who knew her would attest. Her quick wit and laugh were her trademarks!
She had a beautiful voice, coming from generations of Singing Slays, and on Sundays her strong alto could be heard above the entire congregation, wafting to the ceiling of Harmony Baptist Church. Her daughter’s friend recently recalled her singing The Birthday of The King one Christmas when they were young, and the memory of that performance still echoes in her mind all these many years later. Other recollections of her beautiful harmonizing skills thru the years are too numerous to count, but suffice it to say, she could bring you to tears…
For over 30 years, Connie worked in the Copiah County Tax Assessor/Collectors office, first as a deputy for Carl Donahue, and then for Christine Barlow. Her vast experience, knowledge, and willingness to help, made her a favorite among those who needed assistance with a problem, information about property or persons, or who just wanted to visit for a few minutes! She was capable, ready, willing and able!
Following her retirement in 2007 to tend to her ailing husband, she began anew, as the designated driver for herself and her lady friends who had a doctor’s appointments in Jackson – those trips always included shopping and lunch, and she never missed a chance to go! Misses Liz, Dot, Lou, Betty, and Doreen had to find another driver after 10 years of too much fun, when Connie found herself unable to continue running her taxi service!
Mama Connie was often referred to by Patti and Kay as their “rubber ball” because she would keep bouncing back from the most unlikely medical conditions over the past four or five years, She love it, because it showed them just exactly what a strong will, determination and desire could achieve, and they have learned this lesson well! She enjoyed every minute of life she was able to squeeze out with her girls and their children and grandchildren.
In 1951, she met her very own Knight in Shining Armor – Spud Knight, to be exact- and she married this jovial man and began a family in 1953. They reared three girls and one son in a home, while not perfect, it was filled with joy and happiness, and love and laughter, with a few necessary switches to the britches along the way!
They were a family who made church the center of their lives, and they were all taught about the love of Christ from an early age! Honesty, integrity, and hard work were this home’s “tent poles!”
In 1986, their daughter Sondra Hutchinson passed away, in 2008, husband Spud went to be with the Lord, and so now their joyous reunion, along with her parents Alma and TJ is being enjoyed!
Family members who are left to cherish her memory are daughter Patti Lamar, husband Ray and family Jarrod and Sara Hood, Adam and Carley, and Brandon and Sara Kate Lamar; Daughter Kay Parks and son Josh Towe and his sons JC and Hunter (who called her WooHoo), and son Kenneth, and his family, Patty, Rachel, Jessica, Andrew, Savannah and Hayes.
Kay, Patti and Ray would like to take this means to express a very heartfelt word of gratitude to their cousin Gail Knight Cook. Without her loving kindness and generous spirit, they would not have been able to keep Mama Connie at home for the last two years, and they will be forever grateful.
Funeral arrangements are being handled by Stringers in Crystal Springs.
Visitation is Tuesday, Nov. 19, from 5 to 8 pm at Stringers Funeral Home.
The service celebrating this life well-lived will be held Wednesday morning at 10:00 at Gallman Baptist Church, with burial to follow at Harmony Cemetery where she will be laid to rest between her beloved husband and daughter.
Donations may be made to the GBC Capital Improvement fund, for upkeep on their beautiful new sanctuary, which Mama Connie so loved, if you prefer.