Connie Carol Fearington Brosi, 72, of Berea, Kentucky, passed away June 27, 2015, peacefully in her home surrounded by family, following a long battle with cancer.
She was preceded in death by her parents, William and Sylvia Fearington.
She is survived by her husband, George Brosi; seven children, Brook Brosi, Berry Brosi, Blossom Brosi, Sunshine Brosi, Sky Marietta, Glade Brosi and Eagle Brosi; their partners and 13 grandchildren; Caeman Feller, Daisy Brosi, Summer Shaper, Fox Spears, Lily Brosi, Iris Spears, Harlan Marietta, Clay Brosi, Aviva Brosi, Wendell Brosi, Zuria Brosi, Prairie Brosi, and Perry Marietta; and sisters, Judy Flesnner, Jean Fearington and Karen Fearington.
Connie grew up in rural southeastern Illinois where she helped her father and grandfather farm with horses and lived without electricity and indoor plumbing until she was in her teens. She played piano at church, was active in 4-H, and in high school was the recipient of the Betty Crocker Future Homemaker of the Year award. Years later, her children played a trick on her by saying someone from Future Homemakers would be arriving shortly to do a follow-up story. They stuck with the joke, even though it led to a frantic house cleaning session that lasted for hours.
She attended Eastern Illinois University, where, due to a teaching shortage, scholarships were offered to top students who would become teachers. After graduating in 1965, she received her first teaching job in Harlan County, Kentucky at Pine Mountain Settlement School. In 1968, she moved to Nashville and taught first grade in a segregated school, Wharton Elementary. She took night classes and earned a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education from Peabody College.
Connie and George were married in 1971. They lived on a subsistence farm in Tennessee, near where she is now buried, before settling in Berea in 1980. Connie was George’s partner in his professional endeavors, including his work for social justice organizations, his Appalachian Mountain Books business, and later his work as editor of Appalachian Heritage magazine at Berea College.
She was a hardworking homemaker and mom whose days were filled with cooking from scratch and raising her children. She eschewed materialism, questioned conformity and embraced simple living. She lived her life with little money, and her specialty was making do. She heated her home with wood, dried her laundry in the sun and raised much of her own food. Connie’s home featured kids and dogs playing in the yard, roosters crowing and a supper table laden with garden food, homemade rolls and, if you were lucky, her legendary blackberry pie.
As her children grew, her role shifted from mama to mamaw. Connie made dolls for her granddaughters and aprons for her grandsons. She loved to visit with them on facetime. All young people were important to Connie. Through them, her values live on.
On Sunday, June 28, she was buried at the Forever Wild Cemetery near Whitwell with a family ceremony. A memorial service will be held Sunday, July 19 at Pine Mountain Settlement School.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Connie Brosi Memorial Fund at Pine Mountain Settlement School.
Ewton Funeral Home of Dunlap was in charge of arrangements.