Connie Floyd, a church and community leader in Evanston for 41 years, died Sept. 7 after a long illness. She was director of children’s ministries at First Presbyterian Church of Evanston from 1984 until her retirement in 2010.
She was born Corinne Stowe in Bryn Mawr, Penn., on March 26, 1946. She attended The Shipley School in Bryn Mawr and graduated from Wellesley College with a degree in astronomy and mathematics. She was active in student government activities, where she served with Hillary Rodham Clinton. She also spent summers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as an assistant to her astronomy professor. On a summer 1968 trip to Europe, she visited L’Abri, a Christian community in Huemoz, Switzerland, established by Dr. Francis Schaeffer and his wife, Edith.
After graduation, Ms. Floyd enrolled in the Air Pollution Control Institute at the University of Southern California. She met William Floyd, and after a visit to L’Abri that strengthened their Christian faith and changed their lives, they became engaged. The two were married in 1969, and they honeymooned at Connie’s grandmother’s beach house on Martha’s Vineyard.
The couple lived in Hollywood, Cal., while Ms. Floyd completed a master’s degree in public administration at University of Southern California and Mr. Floyd received a degree from Art Center College of Design, preparing him for his career as a commercial photographer in Chicago.
After they moved to Evanston in 1972, Ms. Floyd joined the Environmental Protection Agency in Chicago, supervising the training of air pollution control officers in the five-state Midwest Region. She was appointed to the Evanston Environmental Control Board and became active in the League of Women Voters, accessing the benefits of the Deep Tunnel Project. Her descents into the tunnel construction zone earned her the unofficial title of “Sewer Queen”.
Mr. and Mrs. Floyd joined First Presbyterian Church, where she volunteered for several years before her appointment as Director of Children’s Ministries, leading the Sunday School and various mid-week programs. She also brought together children from Second Baptist Church, First Church of God and Good News North of Howard, as well as First Presbyterian, for an annual church camp near Mukwonago, Wis. She introduced innovative programs such as Rainbows to All God’s Children for children in homes undergoing transition.
During her childhood and youth, she loved horseback riding in the Philadelphia area and spending summers at the family’s home on Upper Ausable Lake in the Adirondacks. She was a member of Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church and was active in youth activities, choir and volunteer projects in downtown Philadelphia.
Following a three-year battle with frontotemporal degeneration (FTD), Ms. Floyd spent the last four months of her life in the loving care of McGaw Health Center and the Foster Pavilion, the memory care facility of the Presbyterian Home in Evanston.
She is survived by her husband Bill, daughter Karen (Matt) McLeod of Evanston and son Daniel, Chicago; three grandchildren, Noah, Hannah and Peter McLeod; three sisters, Pamela (Tim) Fisher of Graysonville, Md.; Katherine (Robert) Ehret of Evergreen, Col.; and Polly (Robert) Currie of Stratford, Conn.; one brother, Benjamin Stowe of New York, N.Y., and her stepmother, Julie Stowe, of Villanova, Penn. She was preceded in death by her father and mother, Putnam and Tammy Stowe, and one brother, Tucker Stowe.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Sept. 29 at First Presbyterian Church of Evanston. The family prefers memorials to the First Presbyterian Church, designated for church camp scholarships.