After living for several years with many complications from a serious chronic illness, Connie died peacefully, at home, on May 16, 2022, with close friends by her side. She was preceded in death by her son, Christopher, her parents, and her sister, Theodora (Teddi) Fox Garratt.
Constance (Connie) Fox Rose was born to Frederick Fox and Helen Brust Fox, on May 19, 1938, in Toledo, Ohio. She grew up in Ottawa Hills, a suburb of Toledo. In high school, she was very active in several clubs and organizations, she acted in several school play productions, and she wrote for the school newspaper. After graduating from Ottawa Hills High School in 1956, she attended Northwestern University, where she was also active in several clubs and organizations, including taking a leadership role in her sorority, Alpha Phi. Connie graduated from Northwestern with a Bachelor of Science in Education degree, in 1960. After graduation, she taught junior high and high school English and speech.
While living in Chicago, following graduation from Northwestern, Connie met Michael (Mike) Connelly Rose, and they married in May 1966, and moved to Kansas City in July 1966. They had one beloved son, Christopher (Chris) Michael Rose, who was born in 1968. Connie absolutely adored Chris, and she loved nothing more than being his mother. Although Connie and Mike ended their marriage in 1977, they remained close friends and co-parents to Chris.
During the late 1970s, Connie spent time volunteering for the Red Cross, where she served as an advocate and companion to residents of long-term care facilities in the Kansas City area. In the late 1970s, Connie learned about Hospice and knew that she had to get involved. She proudly told the Hospice workers from Kansas City Hospice, who took care of her in her final days, that she served as a Hospice volunteer, where she went through one of the very first Hospice volunteer training classes in Kansas City.
In 1977, Connie established Connie Rose Weight Management, Inc., where she had a rewarding, 25-year career doing what she loved most – teaching, counseling, and motivating, while helping hundreds of Kansas Citians to achieve successful weight loss, improved health, and self-esteem. She used behavior modification techniques with her clients, and taught behavior modification classes at Johnson County Community College. Connie was extremely proud of the fact that she built a business, operated it successfully, and achieved financial independence, on her own, as a single woman. Many times, when she was interviewed for local media, while reflecting on the success of her business, she said, “Living is growing to me, and the only way to grow is to be open and to do new and challenging things.”
During her working years, and throughout her retirement, Connie kept extremely busy with volunteering, mentoring, and participating in many clubs and activities, including her Watering Hole group and Al-Anon. Connie volunteered with many organizations in Toledo, Chicago, and Kansas City, including Junior League, Hospice, and The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Through Junior League, she helped to start a mental health awareness and education program. She devoted most of her adult life to mental health awareness and education.
From her childhood, until 2014, Connie spent her summers at her family home at Limekiln Lake, in the Adirondack mountains, which fostered her love of nature and swimming. She loved her summers at Limekiln and all of her dear friends there. Connie was an avid reader and writer, and she loved history, English, and public speaking. She loved teaching, and she always enjoyed learning new things. She often spent hours on the internet reading and studying topics like mental and physical health and history. Connie always looked forward to visits with Chris, traveling, and spending holidays with her dear friend, Helen, and Helen’s daughters and their families. She loved long conversations and keeping in touch with friends and family via phone and email. She often signed her emails “Bossie”, which spoke to her fierce independence and strong-willed nature. She had an incredible sense of humor; simply put, she was hilarious. Connie was a good listener, and she often told her friends, “I listen deeply”.
After living on Lowell Street in Overland Park for 40 years, in 2017 Connie moved to Lakeview Village retirement center in Lenexa, where she started a new chapter reconnecting with old friends and making new friends. She loved her time at Lakeview, including her friends, the countless activities, and “her” table in the Southridge dining room.
Connie is survived by her former husband, Mike Rose, and his wife, Jean, of Overland Park, KS, their daughter Katie, Katie’s husband, Emmanuel Nicolaidis and their son, Mina, of Baltimore, MD. She is also survived by her nephews, Stephen (Steve) Garratt in Monrovia, CA and Thomas (Tom) Garratt, in Battle Creek, MI, a cousin, Dorothy (Dottie) Cronk, and her husband, Ernest in San Jose, and many, many dear friends all over the country – from childhood and from her college years at Northwestern, from Al-Anon, from the Watering Hole, from her short story class, and her very dear friends at Lakeview Village.
Connie’s Celebration of Life will be held on Wednesday, June 1, at 10:30, in the Treetop Room in the Southridge building at Lakeview Village, 14001 West 92nd Street, Lenexa, KS 66215. This Celebration will be Livestreamed. Please select the link below to view live or recorded.
Connie was cremated, and a burial will take place at a later date.
Connie was a planner, and she was extremely organized, which is why that it is no surprise that before her death, she asked that, in lieu of flowers, those who want to honor her memory can make memorial contributions to: The Christopher Michael Rose Scholarship Fund at the Truman Heartland Community Foundation. Contributions can be made online at:
Or by mailing a check made payable to Truman Heartland Community Foundation , to:
Truman Heartland Community Foundation, c/o Joanne Smith, 4200 Little Blue Parkway, Suite 340, Independence, MO 64057
When mailing a check, please include a separate note, or a note on the memo line of the check as follows: The Christopher Michael Rose Scholarship Fund .