JEA remembers Connie Fulkerson, 1954-2021

JEA remembers Connie Fulkerson, 1954-2021

Long-time Journalism Education Association staff member Connie Fulkerson, CJE, passed away Friday, Aug. 20.

For her retirement, JEA presented her with a book documenting her years of service with quotes from members of the JEA family. The book was produced by C:JET editor Bradley Wilson, Ph.D., MJE.

Fulkerson was given a terminal diagnosis in early August after doctors discovered cancer throughout her body. She spent her final days surrounded by family at a hospice house here in Manhattan, Kansas.

During her 32 years with the organization, Fulkerson has served in numerous ways including administrative assistant, bookstore manager, copy editor for multiple publications, awards coordinator and convention program designer and scheduler.

She received the Carl Towley Award, JEA’s highest tribute to a member, last fall.

She retired from JEA in September 2020.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, there will be no memorial service.

Memorial donations may go to JEA or to Good Shepherd Homecare and Hospice.

Connie Fulkerson obituary

(As submitted by the family to The Manhattan Mercury)

Connie Fulkerson, 66, of Manhattan, died August 20, 2021, at Good Shepherd Homecare and Hospice in Manhattan, Kan.

Constance Eileen Nelson was born Sept. 12, 1954, in San Diego, Calif., to Paul R. and Barbara J. (Haskin) Nelson, while her father was in the Navy.

Because of her father’s work with Southwestern Bell Telephone Co., she and her family lived in numerous towns: Topeka, Wichita, Pratt, Abilene, Salina, Hutchinson, Kansas City, Kan., and Webster Groves, Mo. Connie was an active member of the Girl Scouts for 10 years.

She graduated from Buhler (Kan.) High School in 1972, earned an A.A. degree from Hutchinson Community College in 1974 and a B.A. in English and journalism from Fort Hays State University in 1977. She was yearbook editor and photographer at all three schools.

After graduation, she worked about two years as co-editor of the weekly Bucklin Banner and Protection Post newspapers in western Kansas. She then moved to Hastings, Neb., where she worked for the Cornhusker Press, a professional printing company.

In 1982, she started working as production coordinator for Student Publications, Inc. (now the Collegian Media Group) at Kansas State University. 

On Aug. 2, 1986, she married the love of her life, John Walter Fulkerson, at the First Christian Church in Manhattan, Kan. He preceded her in death June 14, 2001. They had one son, Alex, born June 7, 1989.

When the Journalism Education Association moved its national headquarters to K-State in 1988, she was asked to be its administrative assistant and bookstore manager. During her years with the organization, she also helped plan the biannual national conventions and was copy editor for the organization’s Communication: Journalism Education Today magazine. She retired after 32 years at JEA in 2020, and was recipient of the organization’s highest honor, the Carl Towley Award, in recognition of her outstanding contributions to scholastic journalism and exemplary work to improve journalism education.

Genealogy was her favorite hobby for more than 40 years, and she enjoyed sharing her research with family members and connecting with distant relatives through genealogy websites.

Survivors include son Alex (Courtney) Fulkerson and their two children, Centerville, Ga.; parents: Paul (Barbara) Nelson,; brothers: Daniel (Sandra) Nelson, Columbia, Mo.; John (Sonia) Nelson, Costa Rica; and Andrew (Jennifer Lindsey) Nelson, Eugene, Ore.; sister: Jeanne Kennedy, Tecumseh, Kan.; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, there will be no memorial service. Burial will be at Valley View Memorial Gardens, Manhattan.

Memorial donations may go to Good Shepherd Homecare and Hospice in Manhattan, Kansas, or to JEA.

Founded in 1924, JEA supports free and responsible scholastic journalism by providing resources and educational opportunities, promoting professionalism, encouraging and rewarding student excellence and teacher achievement, and an atmosphere which encompasses diversity yet builds unity. It is headquartered at Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas.

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