Monday, July 15, 2024

Gabriele Johanna Conn-Lewis, 65, of Newport News

Gabriele Johanna Conn-Lewis (Weymouth Funeral Home & Crematory)

In Loving Memory of Gabriele Johanna Elfriede Conn-Lewis (born Haugg), 65, who passed away suddenly and unexpectedly following a stroke on June 15, 2024.

Gabriele was the devoted wife to Joe Lewis and loving mother of son, David G. Conn and daughter, Bianca M. Conn-Winkelspecht and her husband, Edward Winkelspecht.

Gabriele was born in Gunzburg, Germany to her wonderful parents, Dr. Georg and Frieda Haugg, who preceded her in death.

Gabriele is survived by her husband; son; daughter; grandson, Joshua M. Conn; granddaughter, Nevaeh L. Winkelspecht; sister, Marianne Baronin von Grotthuss; aunt; cousins; nieces; nephews and other loved ones in the United States and Germany.

After moving to the United States in 1986 with the father of her children and first husband, Jack L. Conn Jr., Gabriele settled her roots in Newport News and Hampton, VA. Here, she raised her children and grew her expansive network of friends and co-workers. Gabriele worked energetically and passionately as the administrator for Peninsula Physical Therapy & Associates in Hampton, for over 29 years. She was also the owner of Conn Fence LLC, where she built a successful fence business with her son David. She proudly became a U.S. citizen in 2008. Gabriele loved spending time with her husband Joe, with whom she spent the last 20 years. Joe and Gabriele married in 2018, surrounded by close friends and family. She also spent over 30 years cherishing her local circle of German girlfriends and their families and held them close to her heart.

Gabriele was devoted, loving, and steadfast in her actions and heart, spending as much time with her children and grandchildren as she could. Her unconditional love and loyalty were felt every single day as she poured into her family to lift them up and support them. She had a lifelong passion for horses, beginning in Germany where she rode as a child. This love continued into adulthood where she spent time riding and volunteering at local barns. Her favorite pastime was being with family and watching the wild horses on the beaches of Corolla, NC. For many years, she was a frequent supporter of the Corolla Wild Horse Fund.

Gabriele was a woman of unwavering faith and loved her church family deeply. She spent the last ten years heavily involved as a member and volunteer with Living Stones Fellowship in Newport News. Gabriele truly embodied servant’s heart and despite never having breast cancer herself, she was passionately engaged at the local, state, and national levels during her tenure as a Virginia Breast Cancer Foundation Board member (2016-2021) and in various leadership roles, including chapter president, with the VBCF Peninsula chapter (2009-2021).

Our mother was a kind, caring and selfless woman until the day of her death, even donating her lungs, kidneys, liver, and many other gifts to others in need, on her final day on earth. We graciously thank the staff of the Riverside Regional Medical Center SICU and LifeNet coordinators, for showing our mother compassion, dignity, and respect during her last days with us.

Gabriele’s wishes for a Celebration of Life will include a cheerful event honoring her life. Information will be forthcoming from her daughter, Bianca.

In lieu of flowers, Gabriele specifically requested that donations be made to the Corolla Wild Horse Fund.

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