In Memory

Connie Marie ‘Con' Van Zandt

Connie Marie ‘Con' Van Zandt

Connie Marie 'Con' Van Zandt

3 Jan 1952 in Wichita, Kansas - 17 Jun 2023 in Memphis, Tennessee 


Connie Marie Van Zandt, of Memphis, Tennessee, passed from this life on June 17, 2023, at the age of 71. Connie was born in Wichita, Kansas on January 3, 1952, to her mother, Wretha James Van Zandt, and father, Billie (Bill) Van Zandt, later to be joined by her sister, Vicky. Connie was preceded in death by both parents. She is survived by her sister, Vicky A. Atkinson (Philip), and by her three nieces, Susanna Atkinson, Valerie Shannon (Mickey), and Micaela Atkinson, whom she loved dearly. 

Connie graduated from Wichita State University in 1992 with a BA in Communications and Photojournalism. She was a proud member of The National Federation of Press Women, Kansas Professional Communicators, and Wichita Professional Communicators. Connie was a contributing journalist and photographer for the magazine, "Active Aging," and her photographs were published in a dozen other publications. Additionally, she was an official photographer for the Kansas State Fair for many years.

Connie's heart for children in need prompted her to sponsor two boys through Compassion International. She became an Advocate for Compassion and loved encouraging others to, likewise, become sponsors. Connie was passionate about investing into the lives of her two boys, and was constantly looking for ways to bless and encourage them. It especially blessed her that she was able to travel with Compassion to see each of her boys in person.

Connie never met a stranger. As a result, she had friends all over the world, including in South Africa, where she was able to travel and take some of her most cherished photographs. Her love for people inspired her to volunteer with Compassion, become a greeter at her church, and a tour guide at FedEx, where she worked for 17 years, up until her retirement. Connie was always on the hunt for gifts of encouragement she could pass on to others. She loved Jesus, her Compassion boys, her many friends, and, of course, her photography.

Connie's latter years took her down the path of Alzheimer's. Throughput this journey, Connie's cheerful disposition, and love for people remained, causing her to become a Memory Care favorite. God's tender love for her was evident throughout her decline. Just weeks before her passing, in a moment of cognitive clarity, she stated that she knew that God and Jesus both loved her, and that she wanted to go be with them...a longing which has now been fulfilled. In addition to her cheerful smile, Connie maintained an attitude of gratitude to the end, with her last words to a close friend being, "Thank you, Momma." Connie will be buried at Weakley Cemetery, in Fredonia, Kansas, next to her real momma, whom she loved and admired.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to Compassion International in Connie's honor. ( on "Ways to Donate")

A Memorial Service will be held for Connie on July 22, at 2:00, at Renewal Church, 5016 Summer Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee.

Published by Legacy Remembers on Jul. 2, 2023.