Connie Kaye Pilarski, 66, of Grand Lake, died in Troy Saturday, October 21, 2017. The daughter of Newton W. Sr. and Helen “Jean” (Fitzpatrick) Chapman, Connie was born January 17, 1951 in Rogers City. She married Gerald F. Pilarski July 21, 2001 at their home on Grand Lake.
Raised in Onaway, Connie was a 1969 graduate of Onaway High School. She furthered her education earning a degree in radiology technology as well as obtaining a series three degree in commodities. And though she worked for a time in commodities, her priority was her job as a wife, mother and caregiver. Connie’s great sense of adventure and gypsy soul took her many places in her 66 years. She lived in San Francisco, New Smyrna Beach, Florida, Ishpeming, Auburn Hills, Grand Lake and Onaway.
A free spirit who was content with life’s simple pleasures, Connie’s favorite place was the beach, sitting with her toes in the sand or hanging her legs off the end of the dock. She reveled in the beauty of God’s creation, loving brilliant sunsets reflecting on tranquil waters or the thunderous crashing of waves on the beach during a windy day. She taught others to appreciate the wondrous beauty that surrounds us everywhere. She enjoyed fishing, hunting for morel mushrooms, and sitting around a fire sharing stories and laughter with family and friends. She loved wildflowers, white sundresses and good music. Her hobby was her family. A wonderful hostess who thrived on the chaos of a large family, Connie loved having everyone at her home on Grand Lake to enjoy warm summer days filled with swimming, boat rides and barbecue. She loved playing with her grandchildren. She loved Trout Camp with her family, “Poverty Peak,” and was proud of her hometown of Onaway. A wonderful wife and an amazing mother, Connie was loving and nurturing. She loved not only her husband, children and grandchildren, but everyone she knew. She was passionate about people and embraced life with every inch of her soul. Connie loved unconditionally and didn’t judge. She was a good listener, caring and kind. A favorite aunt, her nieces and nephews confided in her and looked to her for advice. A fantastic friend, Connie enjoyed many good times with her gal pals and loved to reminisce of old times. Her zest for life and the depth and beauty of her smile, hugs and laughter will be carried in the hearts of all who knew and loved her.
Surviving Connie is her husband, Gerry Pilarski, of Grand Lake; daughters, Mayle (Nishan) Andonian of Bloomfield Hills and Kristie (Jason) Drogosch of Lake Orion; sons, Andy (Andi) Foeller of Beaverton, Oregon, and Joshua Foeller (Amber Rissman) and Matthew Pilarski, both of Auburn Hills; three grandchildren who Connie adored, Cassidy Rose Foeller Luke, Sequoia Kai Foeller Luke and Kayla Marie Drogosch; as well as the father of Mayle, Andy and Josh, Connie’s former husband and good friend, Andy Foeller Sr. of Harbor Springs. Connie also leaves her twin sister, Cathie (John) Foeller of Rochester and sister, Eva (Terry) Taffe of Onaway; brothers, Chad Chapman of Millersburg, and Nute (Patricia), Clark (Ruth Ann Eisbrenner), Cal (Denise) and Mark (Cathy) Chapman, all of Onaway; half-sisters, Arlene Crawford, Joann Wright and Cari Cairnduff; sister-in-law, Cheryl Chapman of Millersburg; as well as numerous niece, nephews, cousins and friends. Connie was preceded in death by her parents; brothers, Charles Chapman and Michael “Mick” Chapman; and sister, Cheryl Sullivan. Visitation was at the Chagnon Funeral Home Tuesday, October 24. The funeral service was at the Chagnon Funeral Home Wednesday with Darrin Materna officiating. Connie’s final resting place will be at North Allis Township Cemetery. Those planning an expression of sympathy please consider a donation in memory of Connie to the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital Foundation, 100 Michigan Street NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503. Condolences may be shared with Connie’s family at www.chagnonfh.com.