Floral 11
Official Obituary of

Connie Jo Otutu

March 7, 1952 ~ February 26, 2024 (age 71) 71 Years Old
Read more about the life story of Connie and share your memory.    

Connie Otutu Obituary

It is with a mix of sadness and gratitude that we announce the transition of Connie Jo Otutu, who, after nearly 72 years of giving the Grim Reaper a great run for his money, finally let him win a round. She transitioned from life on earth on February 26, 2024, surrounded by family and care providers who supported, cared for, and encouraged her not just in her final moments but over the years. We are grateful that with God on her side and her steadfast faith as a centerpiece of her life, she won so many rounds against the Reaper. One of her favorite mantras that kept her going was: “I’m a fighter!” Backing her was a scripture you saw on a plaque upon entering her home. Isaiah 54:17: “No weapon formed against me shall prosper!”


Connie Jo Otutu (Armstrong) was born to Eligah and Roxie Mae Armstrong on March 7, 1952 in Wills Point, TX (inside a county sometimes referred to as the Free State of Van Zandt). Perhaps, her free-spiritedness, evident throughout her life, was inherited from the spirit of her birthplace. She just had a different way of seeing and interacting with the world that some people found odd or eccentric, but those who took time to listen and to get to know her discovered that her ways of seeing and thinking were absolutely fascinating. Let’s not even mention that brilliant mind that held an elephant memory, empowered her penchant for details, and gifted her incredible knack for telling interesting stories. She knew exactly how to deliver a story in a way that kept you hanging on for each and every word even if you had already heard the story once or twice before. In a different life, she might have stood toe-to-toe with the greatest historians
and comedians of all time.


During Connie Jo’s early childhood in the 1950s, the family moved to various counties and farming communities east of Dallas (e.g, Van Zandt, Kaufman, Henderson(Big Rock)) to pursue sharecropping and other economic opportunities during a period marked by very tight economic times. Eventually, the family relinquished the sharecropping life to explore opportunities in the Big City, settling first in South Dallas.


As for home life, Connie Jo would have limited time with her Dad, Eligah, who served in the Army and was on deployment during parts of her early years. However, she often reminisced of how special he always made her feel whenever he did come home. Of course, when Eligah was absent, Connie Jo remained at the hip of Mama Roxie (her Mom) and Mama Dotsie (Eligah’s Mom) who taught her how to get around in the kitchen–laying the foundation for what would eventually be some of Connie’s amazing cooking, grilling, and delicious dishes she would share with family, friends, neighbors, care providers at doctor and dentist offices, and even strangers throughout her life.


Unfortunately, just a few years into the move to South Dallas, at the tender age of seven, Connie lost her Dad (Eligah). Now, all of a sudden, surviving the Big City would become even more challenging. Although there was more opportunity in the Big City compared to the rural areas from whence they had come, times were still very difficult for a lot of folk who made this migration. For example, some of Connie’s extended families in the area also struggled financially in transitioning from country to City living. Connie’s family would eventually experience bouts of homelessness at times (often having to cram into already overcrowded living situations). Despite these setbacks, Connie did well in school, attending elementary (HS Thompson), junior high, and high school (Lincoln High) all in South Dallas until a devastating house fire in 1969. Afterwards, the family moved to one of Dallas’ Oak Cliff neighborhood where Connie transferred to Roosevelt High for her senior year.


Throughout her high school years, Connie Jo took on several jobs as a clerk at retail stores and restaurant counters at some of Downtown Dallas’ largest department stores to help support her own and the family's needs. She occasionally bragged to anyone who would listen how she had held two jobs (starting at age 16) and maintained decent grades for most of high school. In her 20s, 30s, and 40s, she would work as a warehouse inventory clerk (Coors), mortgage loan processing clerk (Lomas and Nettleton), and an early childhood educator (Southport Daycare and Private School). Even before effort picking up any official duties at the day care centers or home day care settings she worked, Connie Jo absolutely loved helping lay a solid early education foundation for all children (whether her own children, her grandchildren, nieces, or nephews).


She eventually discovered her passions in life: cooking, educating children, talking, storytelling, traveling, enjoying good company and an unapologetic love for the slots. In fact, in some ways, Connie Jo lived her life like she played the slots - with a hopeful heart, a bucket full of quarters (or nickels), and the steadfast belief that the next pull would be the jackpot. Her laughter was contagious, her cooking could bring about world peace or at least family peace (on some occasions), and her stories... Well, let’s just say we’re still trying to figure out which ones were true. She believed that the best stories were the ones that got more elaborate with each telling.

 Connie Jo was married in September 1981 but divorced after about 10 years. She was predeceased by her Father (Eligah Armstrong), Sister (Virginia Mae Tennyson), and Brother
(Alvin Ray Armstrong). However, our Connie Jo is survived by a band of merry relatives, some of whom may have inherited her love for life, love for family, love for children, joyful dance, knack for storytelling, elephant memory, or her winning charm, but all probably missed out on her signature recipes (which are likely still locked in that memory vault).


Left to cherish her memory and the good times: Mama (Roxie Mae Armstrong); Five Siblings: Gloria James (Victor), Alphonso Armstrong, Delmetra Washington (Michael), LaRome Armstrong, and Conro Armstrong. Five Children: Corwin Armstrong (Tonya), Timothy Armstrong (Vesta), Rocquell Armstrong (Segun), Tommie Lanae Armstrong (AD), and Connie Faye Williams (Kris). Grandchildren: Darwin, Brandon, Deontrae, Jasmine, Jeffrey, Deldrick, DJ, Hannah, Kris (Jr.), Tim(Jr.), Tyric, Jackson, Anthony, Gabby, and Dexter. Great Grandchildren: Te’nhyla, Deldrick, Kynlea, Ethan, Ronan, Da’karion, Kori, Marcell, Tray, Calvin Jahsir, and Aria. A host of incredible and amazing nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts, uncles, friends, neighbors, and former co-workers who were loved by her and her by them and who will be forever grateful for their limited time with her on this earth.


A Celebration of Life Ceremony will be held Saturday, March 16th at 1pm at Salem Institutional Baptist Church which is located at 3918 Crozier Street, Dallas, Texas 75215. The church is a little over a mile from where Mama Connie Jo spent her formative years and just a few miles from her residence of the past 10 years. Services will be led by Rev. Todd Atkins (Salem
Institutional Baptist Church) and Rev. Terrence Autry (Christ Community Church). We will share stories (the taller, the better), eat some of her favorite foods (with extra dessert), maybe dance or shout,, and play a communal game of slots, because that’s what she would have wanted. Ceremony attire is flexible (whether casual and comfortable, Sunday’s best, or Western (Connie Jo loved her Western outfits and boots), we just want everyone to be comfortable and enjoy the celebration of a life well lived! Repast to follow service at church fellowship hall and after Gathering will likely be at White Rock Lake (a few miles away). Additional remembrances will be held at The Gathering (the family’s annual Memorial Day Weekend celebration and fellowship)
on May 25, 2024.


The family asks that you honor Connie Jo’s memory by trying to live a day in her shoes: cook something extravagant or delicious and share it with someone in need; help a child learn to write, read, or recite something interesting; send a child to an enrichment camp; share a testimony that helps a person realize the power of God at work; or give the slots a whirl. And if you win big, just remember, Connie Jo always demonstrated how we should share our blessings (one with another) whether it be our time, resources, talents, or!
To Connie Jo Otutu, who taught us to live life with a full heart, to love without regret, to forgive even when it’s impossible to forget, to dance and shout (in both the good times and the bad) even if others are watching, and to always bet on the underdog. May her stories and her life examples live on, as we know her spirit will, perhaps causing a little mischief and spreading joy all at the same time!

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Connie Jo Otutu, please visit our floral store.

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Connie Otutu

March 7, 1952-February 26, 2024




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Online Memory & Photo Sharing Event
Ongoing
Online Event

profile

In Loving Memory Of

Connie Otutu

March 7, 1952-February 26, 2024




Look inside to read what others have shared


Family and friends are coming together online to create a special keepsake. Every memory left on the online obituary will be automatically included in the book.   


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