August 7, 1944 - May 15, 2023
Consuella Paulette Gasper, born August 8th, 1944 passed away on May 15th, 2023.
She is survived by her three children, Nathaniel and his wife, Melissa, Jennifer and her husband Jeremy, and Nicholas. Six grandchildren, M.C., Mason, Alton II, Anderson, Josephine, and Theodore. Along the way she “adopted” many, including our brother, Maurice, and his beautiful wife and children. Beloved wife to Alton Gasper, who passed before her in 2005. Sister to Malcolm, Raymond, Kenneth, James Jr, and Pamela. She will be greatly missed.
She had many nicknames; Nonnie, Mom, Connie, Paulette, and Little Red… each one for a different part of her life.
She was born in the seventh ward to a large Catholic family. Aunts and uncles-in-law. A New Orleans creole of color in a neighborhood of color, everyone had a nickname and hers was Little Red. She was a small girl, who grew to be a small woman, but she packed a lot of personality in charm in every inch. She’d tell us stories of growing up in the New Orleans 50s and 60s… about her love of Edgar Allan Poe, scary movies, watching the Twilight Zone, and seeing Elvis on the Ed Sullivan Show. She met her husband, Alton, in Elementary school.
Her mother, also named Consuella, called her by her middle name, Paulette, after her father, Paul. Paul left his young family, making my grandmother a single mother. The tangled mess of what followed; her briefly moving to Boston, being adopted by my grandmother’s boss, and being best friends with her new grandmother, taught her that family isn’t just who you were born to, it’s who you love.
My mom was Connie to our Dad and her friends. Connie was a firecracker; a society woman. She partied a little too much in college so her aunt had her transfer to Dillard to keep an eye on her. She graduated with a degree in elementary education. Back then you had to learn the guitar when you taught kindergarten. She hated it. Our father deeply loved my mother. He proposed to her three times. She refused him twice because she wanted to graduate college first. He didn’t want children, she wanted six. They “compromised” at three. She was a working mother, who followed her passion, teaching, and still provided a loving home.
Mom. That’s the name we knew her as. Mom was a force of nature. She had a temper but could never hold a grudge. She was fiercely protective of us, but also caring. She had rules but gave us space to learn and grow. She never hid the shape of the world from us, only obscuring the details from time to time.
Nonnie. That’s what her grandchildren called her. When her oldest grandchild, M.C. was born, mom felt like she was too young to be a “grandmother” so she insisted that her nickname be Nonnie. We loved watching her with our children. She glowed when she was with them and she always met them where they were. Her grandchildren allowed her light to shine.
And shine she did, even under the shadow of cancer. She survived her first cancer for 25 years when most people died within five. She survived two breast cancers. She survived, giving us the most precious gift she could, the gift of time. Time to prepare. Time to tell us how much she loved us. Time enough to say goodbye.
Goodbye Mom, we will love you forever. Despite this stone in our hearts, we will live on, honor you, and cherish every moment that we had together.
Tuesday, May 30, 2023
Morris Nilsen Funeral Chapel
6527 Portland Avenue South
Richfield, Minnesota 55423
Mass of Christian Burial
Wednesday, May 31, 2023
Visitation 1 hour prior.
St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church
4537 3rd Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55419
The whole family is very touched by the loss of Connie, she was a great person
We think very much of you in this hard time We love you
Isabelle from France
My heart goes out to the immediate family. I only met Connie once with my father George Stewart in the 70’s she was eight years my senior. It’s a shame the family’s never got to spend time together but so is life. As far as I know Connie was a great mother to her children and a great grandmother.
May the Lord Jesus Christ grant the family peace in their time of sorrow but know she is with the Lord.
Loved teaching and working with Connie. She was a great example of a great teacher.
Connie and I were classmates at J.S. Clark Senior High School, class of 1964 in New Orleans. May her soul rest in peace. BD4L!
Grateful to have worked with Connie at Lincoln school northside minneaplois public schools!
I met Connie through Joe when she was pregnant with Nathanial, 50+ years, She was smart and capable and so aware. I loved the stories she told about teaching grade schoolers. Her sense of humor gave her perspective and I’m sure contributed to her effectiveness. We enjoyed family events and parties, and we shared our sorrows. .She somehow managed to abide her illness with such patience and fortitude while generously loving her family and friends. Connie has been a friend close to my heart these many years and I will forever cherish her.
Praying for the repose of the soul of my Cousin and Soror Connie! May you rest in eternal peace
Dear cousins, we are keeping you all in our thoughts. May you find peace and comfort. Love you
I feel very sorry for the entire Gasper/Stewart family. Connie was a loving, caring, fun and fantastic woman and mother. She sort of became “my mother”, when I was an Exchange Student in MPLS back in 1986. Alton and Connie both were amazing people and I will forever keep them in my heart.
What a lovely tribute to Connie! It was my good fortune to work closely with Connie at Lincoln school…closely because we had adjoining rooms and the door between was usually open. I respected Connie for the excellent teacher she was and enjoyed her for her humor and wisdom. We shared family stories daily, and I felt I knew many of you from her daily accounts of your activities. She spoke of you with so much love and pride! I came to know Connie well and enjoyed seeing her every day. She was an exceptional person. I know she will be missed by many.
My condolences to her loving family.
Rest in love and grace just like you lived. My privilege to have known you.
How very special Connie was to us and the entire neighborhood around Pearl Park. Joe and Connie were active at the pub lic schools, DFL politics, St. Joan’s, youth sports, and fellowship. Connie and Jim joked about their Acacian roots in Louisiana –distant cousins?
Thinking of you –Nate, Jenny, and Nick –and missing your Mom and Dad.