Connie Joyce Lundstrom, age 73 of Savage, Minn., co-founder of Lowell Lundstrom Ministries and Celebration Church, went home to heaven on Dec. 13 after a brief, courageous battle with cancer.
Connie was born in a sod home on June 7, 1938. She grew up in the hills west of Sisseton, S.D., and was raised without electricity or running water. She cherished her early years on the farm and learned to appreciate hard work; she enjoyed life that was free of both money and possessions. She moved with her family in the mid-40s to Walnut Grove, Calif. and then shortly after to the state of Washington seeking a better way of life. Fortunately for one young boy from Peever, the family moved back to Sisseton.
When Connie was a sophomore in high school, she met Lowell at a talent contest. They began to date and were married in 1957. Lowell often says, "My wife, Connie, was the queen of my life for over 54 years. We first met when I was a country rock entertainer. The first time I heard her sing I loved her alto voice and asked her to join my band. Connie invited me to church, and as a result of her influence, I committed my life to Jesus Christ." She and Lowell attended four years of Bible College together at what is now Trinity Bible College in Ellendale, N.D. Both were good students. Connie was elected valedictorian and Lowell salutatorian of their class.
The couple began their evangelistic music ministry, traveling in a little Nash Rambler station wagon to churches in the Midwest. Over the years, their ministry grew. Connie and Lowell—along with their family and team members—traveled in three buses, and at times a twin engine Cessna 414, over 300 nights of the year throughout the United States and Canada holding city-wide interdenominational outreaches, seminars and rallies in arenas, convention centers, gymnasiums, and their 2,000-seat big-top tent.
Over the years, their ministry included nationally aired television specials, weekly television programs, and Christmas television specials. Their ministry also included two national radio programs—Message for America heard on 125 stations across North America and Lowell Live. Her most recent outreach project was the Good News Radio Show, a 15-minute weekly internet podcast which began in April. In the fall of 1996, Lowell and Connie launched Celebration Church in the Minneapolis suburb of Burnsville, Minn. They continued their soul-winning outreaches and marriage seminars across the United States and Canada as well as being pastors at Celebration Church.
Connie and the Lundstrom family produced over 66 record albums. In 1986 Connie recorded a music album titled simply, "Connie." Along with her husband and family, she invested 55 years in evangelistic ministry and reached approximately 1 million people for Christ. All of her children traveled with the Lundstrom Ministry team, participating in crusades and rallies while they were growing up. Connie has written about the many challenges and blessings of this itinerant lifestyle in her book, My Home The Highway.
Connie was an author, speaker and avid photographer, but her greatest joy came from loving others, especially Lowell. Connie made life beautiful for the people she met and enjoyed gardening, antique shops, and helping others through her Wishing Well ministry for those in need. Connie is survived by her husband and best friend of 57 years, Lowell Lundstrom. Their marriage was blessed with four children: Londa Ramsey, Lisa Lundstrom, Lowell Lundstrom Jr., and Lance Lundstrom. Connie was blessed with five beloved grandchildren and two step-grandchildren: Chase, Conor, Grace, Reagan, Lowell “Zeke,” Haley, and Zach. She is also survived by her brother, Jerry Brown of Deer Lodge, Montana, and also by other loving family and many dear friends.
Visitation hours are from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 20, at Celebration Church, 16655 Kenyon Ave, Lakeville, Minn. 55044 with prayer and remembrance at 7 p.m. Homegoing Service is at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2011 at Celebration Church. An additional service will take place on Thursday, Dec. 22, at the Sisseton Fine Arts Center, 516 8th Avenue West, Sisseton, SD 57262 at 11 a.m.. Interment: Peever Cemetery, Peever, South Dakota. In lieu of flowers, memorials will be forwarded by the family to some of Connie's favorite causes.