Today is Saturday, August 19, 2017

Woman of Wilson: Connie Cooksey Minick

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Connie Cooksey Minick's tale is one of both tragedy and triumph.

Minick unexpectedly lost her brother, Butch Cooksey, at a young age; however, she's found peace in her "calling" as a devoted wife, mother, and most recently, author.

Lebanon is her hometown. "I would never want to live anywhere else," she said.

Minick was born at the old Martha Gaston Hospital on South College Street - which is long gone these days. She attended Tuckers Crossroads Elementary, Lebanon High School and Volunteer State Community College.

She is the wife of Thomas Minick, Sr. The couple are parents to sons, Allen and Troy Minick; and daughter, Kate Minick Fudge.

"I have always been a homemaker and a stay-at-home mom. I consider this the highest calling and feel very fortunate that I was able to choose," she said. "However, after my children entered school I did some part-time work for a short time. I was employed at the former UMC Hospital when it first opened for patients. It was quite small at that time and some of us did everything from operating the switchboard, admitting patients to running to the ER to meet the ambulances."

Minick explained her time at the hospital was very interesting work.

Minick is also a published author. She released a book "A Tooth for a Tooth," the story of the 40-year-old cold case murder of her then 19-year-old brother in 1969.

"It is my personal reflections of the case being re-opened and with the work of some wonderful people ultimately bringing the perpetrator to justice," she said.

The case was reopened by former Wilson County Sheriff Terry Ashe after it was suspected Butch's presumed hit-and-run death was, in fact, a homicide.

These days, the Minicks are enjoying Thomas' retirement - and their grandchildren.

Minick said Kate and her husband, Garrett Fudge, gave them precious grandchildren, Jagger, 5, and Molly, 16 months.

When she isn't busy being a grandmother, Minick is an avid reader. She enjoys cooking and hosting large holiday meals. She also likes to travel - having gone to Europe for a milestone birthday, to New York to shop and to Mexico with her sisters.

She is a 20-year member of Rome Church of Christ.

Minick named her mother, Julie Cooksey, as a lady she admires. "She is the kindest person to both people and animals, cooked and carried meals almost daily to my dad's store for those in need of a meal," she said.

"My grandmother, Geneva Cooksey, widowed after my grandfather was killed in a tornado, never re-married, but raised five boys and one girl alone during the depression. She watched three sons and a son-in-law march off to war at the same time. All returned safely."

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