Connè Mae Lord, the beloved wife of Ronald Willard Lord, began the next grand adventure on December 5, 2018. She experienced a fatal heart attack after several years of suffering with the effects of high blood pressure and other serious heart problems. Despite valiant efforts to revive her, she passed quietly in the early morning surrounded by the warmth of loving family. She was 74 years old.
Connè was born shortly after midnight on March 23, 1944 in Montebello, CA. Despite, a “blue” beginning, she enjoyed robust good health nearly all of her life. She was a precocious child and the subject of many of her photographer mother’s works. She grew to be a beautiful young woman who turned heads everywhere she went. There are many stories about the red, 1956 Chevrolet she loved to race down to the Oceanside pier to flirt with the Marines stationed at Camp Pendleton. Interestingly, she met Ronald, the one love of her life, during the time when his identical twin brother was employed by her mom. Connè laughed when she described the puzzling instances when “Russell” was nice to her. It was some time before she learned that there were actually two of the handsome young men.
Connè married Ronald in August of 1963 in Escondido, CA. They were sealed for time and all eternity a year later in the Salt Lake City temple. During the first years of her marriage, she dedicated herself to raising goats, chickens, horses, and eight children to whom she was deeply committed. In 1975, with then seven children, she moved from southern CA to Kanab, UT where the family lived in army surplus tents while Ronald built their house. To sustain her multi-tent household, Connè hauled water in 50 gallon drums, butchered chickens, and milked goats. She landscaped her yard with flat rock and desert plants. Cactus was deliberately omitted. She hated gnats and loved the red rock and sun that shines through rain. She pressed forward despite seemingly insurmountable obstacles until the fall of 1977 when the tragedy of fire altered her dreams.
After the fire, Connè worked outside the home. She and her mother and sister incorporated to purchase a beauty salon that her husband renovated. Connè owned and operated Archway Beauty Center and Beauty Supply for over 20 years. She served the community by dedicating long hours to committees for events, holiday parades, and her favorite Christmas Festival for which she created several magnificently decorated Christmas Trees. During this time she also worked as a permanent cosmetics artist and served on the national board for the Society of Permanent Cosmetics Professionals, the SPCP. Within her professional community, she was a well-known trainer and has published two manuals to ensure the ethical and quality performance of the art. Connè’s talents weren’t limited to the working world. She painted murals on our bedroom walls and for our weddings. She was capable of repurposing literally anything and making it beautiful. Martha Stewart move over. During the 1990’s Connè began a wedding decorating business to fund her eldest son’s LDS mission. This business was known as Company 10 after the CB handle created to represent our family of eight children and two parents.
Connè was a devoutly faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. She considered her experiences while teaching the Gospel Doctrine class to be some of the best in her life. During 2006 and 2007, Connè and Ronald fulfilled a lifelong dream of serving a full time LDS mission in Washington State. Connè continued to work in the permanent cosmetics and cosmetology field until late summer of 2013 when she fell and suffered a severe injury to her right elbow. Despite the grim prognosis of never using her arm again accompanied by severe pain, she taught herself to write and perform normal life tasks. She hid the effects of the injury well. Most people were unaware of the ongoing pain and discomfort she suffered.
Connè loved to travel and to attend seminars. She considered herself to be a lifelong learner. She traveled to Australia, Hawaii, Alaska, and all across the United States. During recent years, Connè lived quietly. In 2011, Connè dedicated herself to caring for her ailing mother until her passing in November of 2016. Connè has for many years stayed connected to a vast network of family and friends through genealogy work. She has made a significant contribution to the collection of family stories that will serve to satisfy our mutual hunger to know who we are and from whence we came.
Connè is survived by her husband of 55 golden years Ronald Lord, sister Carol (LaMar) Sullivan, children Ronnè (McKay) Chamberlain, Lea (Jesse) Poll, Gayea Esplin, David (Deana) Lord, Sandra (Michael) Thomas, Judy (Rick) Holliday, John (Marrian) Lord, and Kenneth (Heidi) Lord, 42 grandchildren, and 19 great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her mother, Ann (Fred) Westfall, and father, Stefano Cogo. We lost our mom, but only her physical self. She will forever live on in each of us. We, all 78 of us, bid her a fond farewell. . .for now.
Funeral services will be held Wednesday, December 19, 2018 at 11:00 AM in the Kanab Utah South Chapel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Viewings will be held Tuesday evening from 6:00-8:00 PM at the Chapel and Wednesday morning from 10:00-10:45 AM at the Chapel. Burial will be in the Kanab Cemetery. Arrangements were made with Mosdell Mortuary.