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Mena Arkansas News covering Polk County and the surrounding area

Connie Lea Gilchrist

Connie Lea Gilchrist, age 52, of Ink, died Saturday, September 25, 2021, at CHI St. Vincent Hospital in Hot Springs, Arkansas. She was born on Thursday, July 17, 1969, to Charles Russell Bates and Opal Fern Murphy Bates in Mena, Arkansas.

Connie always took life one day at a time and let God and Family guide her. She attended the Little Hope Baptist Church and helped with Church Camps and in the kitchen. Connie worked at Walmart for seventeen years and brought smiles to all she worked with and saw every day. She liked to listen to Gospel, Bluegrass, and Country Western music and had many hobbies. Connie enjoyed sewing and crafts, as well as growing flowers and taking care of baby animals. She got the most joy from spending time with her grandchildren, whom she had never-ending love. Connie also loved to watch animals and take in the simple beauty of different flowers. She was a member of the Acorn Oaks 4-H Club. Connie was a loving wife, stepmother, grandmother, aunt, and friend and she will be missed by all who knew her.

She is preceded in death by her father, Charles Bates; and one brother, Tracy “Mudflap” Bates.

Connie is survived by her loving husband Jay Gilchrist of Ink; her mother and stepfather, Fern and Loyd Knight of Cherry Hill; two stepdaughters and son-in-law, April Gilchrist of Odessa, Texas, and Brittney and Brandon Spoon of Odessa, Texas; five grandchildren, Timothy Spoon, Levi Spoon, Jonathan Spoon, Jason Spoon, and Noah Spoon all of Odessa, Texas; nephews, Justin Bates of Perryville, Arkansas and Austin Smith; her dog, Thumbilina; her cat, Tuxedo; several nephews and nieces, and a host of other relatives and friends.

A funeral service will be held on Friday, October 1, 2021, at 10 a.m. at the Bowser Family Funeral Home Chapel in Mena with Brother Andy Kennedy and Brother Rusty Lewis officiating. Interment will follow at the Concord Cemetery in Ink under the direction of Bowser Family Funeral Home. Visitation will be held on Thursday, September 30, 2021, from 6-8 p.m. at the Bowser Family Funeral Home Chapel

Pallbearers will be Jim Boyd, Neal Thomas, Colton Hendricks, Duane Powell, Dennis Powell, and Stanley Wagner.

Honorary Pallbearers are Jerry Hemsbrough, Danny Hemsbrough, James Gentry, and Dewight Powell. 

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