Constance “Connie” (Jacks) Lorenson

Resided in Escanaba, MI
Died March 6, 2024
Constance “Connie” Cecilia (Jacks) Lorenson passed away peacefully on Wednesday March 6, 2024, at the Bishop Noa home facility in Escanaba, Michigan. The following is Connie’s self-written obituary…….in typical Connie fashion she has the last word. Love you mom!

Born on Feb. 2, 1932, to Ralph Jacks and Alice (Kunz) Jacks, Connie was raised in Detroit, MI.  Connie graduated from Pershing High School in August 1949.  As a graduation present from her parents, she took a trip to the Upper Peninsula to visit her Uncle Roy and Aunt Helia’s farm.  It was on this visit that she was introduced to a young sailor- a hero just discharged from the Navy in WWII, so poor he was still in his navy uniform bell-bottom pants until he could afford a pair of his own. His name was Delbert Lorenson, and it was love at first sight.

Connie now had a very good reason to stay in the U.P.  She took her first job in Escanaba with the Sisters of St. Francis to train for a Nurse’s Aid License. The Sisters saw a good Catholic girl in Connie, and assumed she’d eventually become a nun.  So, the Sisters paid her $10 a week, including room and board.  Delbert also worked in Escanaba at this time and would pick her up often for dates.  Sometimes Connie was late, and would try to sneak in after curfew, but was caught more than once. The Sister’s hopes of her becoming a nun were dashed!  Delbert & Connie were married on February 11, 1950, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Stonington.  They were the very first wedding in the new Church building. Over 59 years of marriage, they raised children and saw grandchildren and great grandchildren.  They lived in 4 cities, but ultimately settled in Rapid River, MI.  What Delbert and Connie were known for was their dancing.  They floated across the floor in perfect time to polka music.  They even won a few dance contests. “He made me look good,” Connie laughed.  They danced through life together, until Delbert’s death in 2009.

Connie’s work history involved working the lunch counter at Kresge’s Dime Store, a seamstress at a Glove Factory, a Nurse’s Aid for 3 years at the Bishop Noa Home, then a Purchasing Agent at Bishop Noa Home for the following 14 years.  She loved this role.  She served as a waitress at iconic places of Escanaba such as the Terrace, the Log Cabin, and the House of Ludington.

Connie was a magnificent cook and even started a catering business with her friend, Gen O’Leary.  Her grandchildren remember dinners at her home filled with multiple courses of delectable foods and fancy table settings.  Her meals would have themes.  From the napkin holders to the entrée, you feasted in China, Germany, or the seacoast.  In 1963, when she was pregnant with her 3rd child, Connie and her girlfriends were picking apples from the trees on their property.  As a joke, the ladies decided to see how many apple pies they could make in one day.  That blessed day became a new tradition every Labor Day Weekend for the next 50 years.  Family members would peel, core, and cut bushels of apples, while Connie stood for hours making her crust from scratch, and baking pie after pie.  She could make 50 pies in one day, with a record of 62!

From her early high school days, she found a love of writing and took journalism as well as writing for her school newspaper.  Later, she went on to take writing courses at the college level at Bay College. While there, her daughter, Pam, and granddaughter, Bethany, were also earning their associate degrees; three generations enrolled at Bay College at the same time.  She articulated herself so well in her writing, that she took to the podium and began giving speeches for various clubs and organizations such as P.T.A. for Gladstone Schools and E.L.C.A. Women’s Aid.  She had stories published in a book of the U.P. called “Saunas and Iron Mines.”  Her writing was a special entertainment to her family, as they heard many of her humorous stories and poems at family gatherings.  In some poems, she waxed sentimental of days gone by.  In others, she gave wise advice for the children in the family.  Some stories brought laughter, while others hit us hard with the reality of war and life’s suffering.  It was this gift of writing that opened doorways between older and younger generations, helping us never to forget who our ancestors are, where we come from, and who we can strive to be.  Connie always saw the lessons learned through tragedy but didn’t want the years to steal those lessons away from her future lineage.  Her writings will forever remain a treasured inheritance for many generations to come.

Connie had a life changing experience in her 40’s when she received the Lord Jesus Christ as her savior while attending a Christian Women’s club meeting. Becoming a believer motivated her to pray for her family members every day, as well as for her late sister, Phyllis’s family.  She wanted them to know that to fear the LORD is wisdom, and prayed for all to be healthy, wealthy, and wise.  Connie leaves behind a legacy of family togetherness, the importance of tradition and a splash of humor. Connie is survived by her son Rick Lorenson (Pam Choly Lorenson) of Rapid River, MI, her daughter Pam Chouinard (Ray Chouinard) of Rapid River, MI, her son Tom Lorenson (Shelly Young) of Wautoma, WI and her special friend, Bill Hanson of Stonington, MI as well as her 7 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. A Celebration of Connie’s Life will be held on Saturday, May 25 at the Stonington Community Hall, service will begin at 2:00 p.m. EST, luncheon to follow. Connie’s family would like to extend a special thank you to the staff at the Bishop Noa Home and Sister Gloria.

5 Tributes for “Constance “Connie” (Jacks) Lorenson

    Oh my Dear Aunt, never at a loss for words! So many beautiful memories and so many times I can remember how you told us how much you loved us . . Your actions were your words and your words were your actions, always true to yourself. Rest in peace lovely lady, sending you my love. . love and hugs to my cousins Rick, Pam, Tom, family is everything!

    So sorry to hear of your mon’s passing, my heartfelt sympathies to her family. I had the pleasure to work with Connie at the Log Cabin Supper Club. Connie had a way to make you feel special, and as a waitress at the cabin she not only greeted her customers by name, she made them feel at home. She was a great story teller and in just a few minutes she would have you laughing over something crazy she did. The love she had for the Lord was evident in all she said and did. I was so blessed to have had the privilege, not only to work with her but to have known her as a friend.
    Rest in peace sweet Connie, job well done.

    So deeply sorry to hear of your Mom & Grandma passing, Pam & Bethany. I remember her from First Lutheran when I was a kid. Then later at Trinity. She was so kind & smiling when I saw her

    Tom,and family: so sorry to hear of your moms passing!! My den mother for cub scouts back in the day!! A very wise,entertaining,and beautiful person!! Cudos to her for putting up with a bunch of little brats in scouts, while making it a great time!! Amazing woman!! Matt Marmalick

    What a beautiful obituary for your mom. I’m so sorry that she passed away, and I send my love and sympathy to you and your family. May the Lord be with you and comfort you during this sad time.

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