October 31, 2021, 72, Goldsboro –
On October 31st, 2021, Connie Marie Sasser was called home to rest with her Lord and Savior after a courageous battle with cancer. Connie Marie Sasser (née Williamson) was born on September 13th, 1949 to Harry Williamson and Maize (née Hayes) Williamson. Born in Smithfield, she grew up in Goldsboro, North Carolina, with her sisters, Cynthia, Deborah, and Marsha. She is preceded in death by both of her parents. Connie is survived by her husband of 54 years, James Glenn Sasser Sr, their two sons, James Glenn Sasser Jr and wife Kristin Sasser (née Arnebold), Ryan McPhail Sasser and partner Lynn Allgood, as well as two granddaughters, Morgan Blythe Nebistinsky (née Sasser) and her husband Michael Nebistinsky, and Elizabeth Lee Sasser. She is also survived by her sisters Cynthia (née Williamson) and her husband Glen Cook, Deborah (née Williamson) and her husband Eddie Clarkson, Marsha (née Williamson) and her husband Carl Parker and their families.
There will be a visitation at Seymour Funeral Home on Tuesday, November 2nd, from 6-8 pm. The funeral will be held on Wednesday, November 3rd, at Freedom Baptist Church, in Goldsboro, beginning at 11 am with Rev. Jonathan Smith officiating. Interment will be in Evergreen Memorial Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her honor to the American Cancer Society, Freedom Baptist Church, or Yellowstone Forever.
Growing up in Goldsboro, Connie went to Goldsboro High School where, in what can only be described as a classic ‘meet-cute’, she met James Glenn Sasser Sr, in 1965. James, known as Jim, was on his way out of the school with the intention of skipping class when he knocked Connie down in the stairwell. Jim has always said it was love at first sight. After that, he’d carry her books for her, go with her to her classes, and the two quickly became a couple. So, no one was surprised when the two were married on October 22nd, 1967, the year Connie graduated from high school. Over their 54 years of marriage, they experienced highs and lows, but it was always apparent to everyone who knew them that they loved each other very deeply.
When they were younger, Connie and Jim loved to go dancing, often to beach music, one of their favorite genres. She loved music and dancing and enjoyed sharing that with her family. Much to her dismay, the musical gene seemed to have skipped a generation. So, over the years, Connie would take the time to try and teach both granddaughters how to Shag to some of her favorite beach music classics, especially Carolina Girls. She always wanted to share the newest music she’d found with her friends and family. From Celtic love songs, classics from her youth, or Gospel singers, she loved it all. Her love of music and dancing is something her family will always remember fondly.
Shortly after high school, Connie went to cosmetology school and worked as a cosmetologist for a few years. In 1971 Connie gave birth to James Glenn Sasser Jr, known as Jamie, and in 1976 she gave birth to her second son, Ryan McPhail Sasser. She enjoyed working as a cosmetologist, but when she became a mother, she dedicated herself to being a stay-at-home mom. Connie was an excellent mother who was loving, kind, and exceedingly patient. She would need that patience for all the mischief that Jim and her two sons, Jamie and Ryan, would get into over the years. Stories of the early years in Patetown, and later of the boys growing up, became favorites over the years. Connie and Jim loved to tell them together as the family sat around the dinner table or spent time together, wherever that may be. It was clear from those stories that Connie enjoyed every moment of raising her sons.
The family spent a few years living in Mobile and Birmingham, Alabama when both boys were younger. While there they made lifelong friends and memories. They enjoyed their time there but moved back to Goldsboro and would eventually retire there. When both of her sons moved out as they got older, Connie started taking care of other people’s children. She was a nanny for two young girls who were around the same age as her oldest granddaughter. Connie would frequently host tea parties for her granddaughter and the girls to enjoy in her garden or dining room. They were just one of many fond memories all the girls have always looked back on. Over the years, the girls became like Connie’s granddaughters as well, and the Sasser family still has a relationship with both women.
Connie acted as a nanny for a few other families over the years, and all of them became close friends of the family as well. That is because Connie treated them like family. She took care of people, and she did it well. One of the ways she chose to take care of people was through cooking. Connie was an amazing cook and the family loved to come together on a Saturday or Sunday and enjoy one of her delicious meals. Her pound cake and cheesecake were especially relished by family and friends, and were always quickly devoured! She always made everyone feel like family any time they came over to visit or stay. That was just the kind of person she was.
Throughout her life, Connie loved to travel and garden. She was known for her amazing green thumb and you could always find her tending to her beautiful garden in her spare time, or reading a new book. She created secret passages behind arching rose bushes, enchanted fairy gardens, and other magical spaces with her lovingly cared for plants. She shared this love of plants and nature with her eldest son Jamie and his wife Kristin, and often ignored him when he asked her to only plant native plants in her gardens. She always said it was her garden and she’d plant what she wanted. Connie loved unique plants with big beautiful blooms, unconventionally colored leaves, or anything that felt like it’d be found in The Secret Garden.
Connie loved traveling and would often watch travel shows and documentaries, finding new places she wanted to go every time. Connie and Jim traveled throughout the southeast and Mid-Atlantic on numerous occasions, but they particularly loved the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina. They would try to go every fall to celebrate their anniversary. Many of these trips they would also enjoy with their youngest son Ryan, and his partner Lynn. The mountains were one of Connie’s favorite places to be. In 2005 she went with family to Costa Rica, a trip she would frequently look back on and remember fondly. Her favorite story to tell from the trip was how while on a night hike she almost stepped on a Fer-de-lance, one of the most venomous snakes in Central and South America. She found that story very exciting. When she retired, Connie took a cross-country road trip with family to Yellowstone National Park. It was the first time she had gotten to see many of the states she had only previously seen on the travel shows and documentaries she loved. After the trip, she loved to look at the photo book Jim made for her to remember that particular adventure.
Connie was beloved by her friends and family and will be deeply missed. She was the family matriarch and the heart of so many memories and simple moments that those who knew her will now cherish. If you are unable to attend the funeral, you can remember Connie by taking a walk outside, curling up with a good book, or enjoying time with your loved ones. It was those kinds of simple moments that she often enjoyed best.