Elizabeth "Beth" Jean Conner


Elizabeth (Beth) Jean Conner passed away on May 6, 2023, at the age of 74. She was born on October 19, 1948, in Rochester, New York, to her beloved parents, Harry and Jean Conner. Beth’s passing came as a result of a brain injury, leaving behind cherished memories and a legacy of kindness.

Beth’s journey in life was marked by remarkable achievements, kindness, soft voice and independent spirit. She loved to share stories about her family and living in New York. Her parents and pets (taking in whatever stray appeared) were especially important to her. In 1970, she graduated from Michigan State University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree and then went on to receive her master’s degree in Tennessee. An intelligent and independent woman, Beth pursued her passions with unwavering dedication.

Beth’s mother was getting older and realized she didn’t feel safe in New York so in 2003 she made the big move from New York to live with Beth. They found a home in Fargo, ND where they lived together until Jean’s death. Beth was a wonderful caregiver and cherished the years with her mother.

One of Beth’s greatest joys in life was her love for cats (Boswell, Jill, Jethro, Shorty….), who she considered as family. Their presence brought comfort and companionship, and she cherished the moments spent with her feline friends. Beth’s nurturing and caring nature extended beyond her pets, making her a loyal and dependable friend. She maintained a small social circle, ensuring that she could provide her undivided attention and support to those she held dear.

Professionally, Beth’s career in higher education left an indelible impact on the lives of countless individuals. She served as the Director of Residential Life at Southwest University and later Minnesota State University Moorhead. Her tenure in these roles showcased her exceptional leadership skills and her unwavering commitment to creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for students. Beth’s colleagues and the students she mentored held her in high regard, valuing her guidance, and dedication. After years of dedicated service and being awarded the 1993 SMSU Honorary Lifetime Membership Award, Beth retired from Minnesota State University Moorhead in 2009, leaving behind a legacy of compassion and excellence.

During Beth’s retirement years, she continued her love for education and knowledge, which was reflected in her massive book collection. She was an environmentalist who always looked for ways to “save the planet” and encouraged others to do the same.

Beth was preceded in death by her loving parents, Harry and Jean Conner, who undoubtedly greeted her with open arms in the afterlife. She is survived by her brother, Michael, his wife, and three daughters. Beth’s memory will forever be cherished by her family, friends, colleagues, and all whose lives she touched with her kindness, wisdom, and compassionate spirit.

Beth was a special friend and will be forever missed.

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