A Life Lived: Connie Ferrell devoted her life to family, helping neighbors

Published 11:46 am Monday, June 17, 2024

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The Scriptures tell us that even giving a cup of cold water to someone will bring blessings. Connie Smith Ferrell, who died May 31, was known for sharing a cup of cold water to those who passed her home on Tiger Creek.
Her mother, Darlene Smith, shared that Connie had spring winter, which fed into a well on her property. “The water was very cold and refreshing on a hot summer day, and she had a sink-type fixture built next to the well with cups for folks walking up the road, who would stop for a drink of water,” said Mrs. Smith.

Connie was the mother of an autistic son, Mark Ferrell, who for the past four years has lived in a group home in Memphis. “Mark was Connie’s life. Mark’s autism was severe, and he demanded a lot of care, and she was devoted to his care,” said Darlene. “It was not until she was unable to care for him, that she put him in the group home. However, she talked to him often on the phone,” shared Darlene.
For several years, Mark, who had the mind of a two-year-old, looked forward to getting Valentine cards each year. He and his mother started off with a small box, and before he went to the group home, the Ferrell home was plastered with Valentines. Due to Connie’s efforts, Mark received thousands of cards from across the county. “Every day she read the cards to him, and then taped them on the wall. That was the kind of mother she was,” said her mother.

Another favorite time for Connie and Mark was roasting marshmallows on a summer evening over a fire pit that she made just for the occasion. “Whatever she could do to make life meaningful and fun for Mark, she did it,” said Darlene.

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Connie, who was unable to work outside of the home because Mark’s care required her full-time attention, enjoyed gardening. “She did the planting, roto-tilling, and tended it,” her mother shared.

Connie also enjoyed helping her neighbors and attending church. One of her favorite times of the year was when Vacation Bible School was held. “She loved the children and working in Vacation Bible School,” said Darlene.

Connie was a member of Sunrise Free Will Baptist Church, but attended Hopson Chapel Free Will Baptist Church. “She seldom missed a service. She went Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday, and often when there were special services,” her mother shared.

Darlene said Connie was also a caregiver for her father, who was on dialysis. “She was my right hand.”

After Mark went to the group home, Connie helped her neighbors and church friends. “She stayed with one neighbor for two weeks. She cared for her and did the cooking and house cleaning,” said her mother.

Connie also enjoyed sewing and making things, and she had a special love for dogs and cats. She was known to take stray animals in and provide them with a home.

For the most part, Connie kept to herself, however, she did enjoy sharing a meal with a neighbor, and among her favorite dishes to prepare and serve were barbecue, green beans, corn and fresh cucumbers.

Connie Ferrell didn’t have a lot to call her own on this side of life, but she certainly laid up treasures in heaven through her kindness, love, and caregiving.

A graveside service for Connie was held June 2 at the Hall Cemetery. It was requested that in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Bible school program at Hopson Chapel Free Will. That was Connie…still giving after her death.