North Carolina mass shooting victim will have funeral in Dayton

Nicole Conners was a Dayton native and Wright State graduate

A funeral service will be held in Dayton next week for a woman who was killed during a mass shooting in Raleigh, N.C.

Nicole Denise Connors, 52, died on Oct. 13 when a 15-year-old gunman allegedly killed five people and injured two others in the Hedingham community.

Connors was a Dayton native who received a bachelor’s degree in communication from Wright State University, her obituary says, and then a master’s degree in human resources.

“Nicole had a vibrant personality, and her beautiful smile would light up the room. She was always helpful and would go out of her way for those in need. She had a warm heart and loved her family fiercely, including her fur baby, Sami,” her obituary says.

A walk-through visitation will take place at House of Wheat Funeral Home at 2107 N. Gettysburg Ave. in Dayton on Oct. 27 beginning at 9 a.m. Funeral services will begin at noon. Masks are required.

Connors was the matriarch of her extended family, the one who “got things done,” her husband Tracey Howard told the Associated Press.

When her father died, she was the one who went to Veterans Affairs to straighten things out — using “choice words” — to ensure he was buried in a veterans cemetery, Howard said. She also left her job in human resources to care for her mother after she had a stroke.

Connors and her husband liked to get out of the house and explore Raleigh’s restaurant scene. They had tickets for the next Black Panther film, coming out in November, and planned to go to the North Carolina State Fair.

Howard is left to wonder what motivated the shooting.

“It is just a senseless killing,” he said. “People outside enjoying the weather, talking. Next thing you know they’re gone. It’s just stupid. It’s senseless.”

Connors’ neighbors said she was always friendly while walking her Jack Russell terrier, Sami.

Marvin Judd said Connors was a “sweet person” with a “good heart.”

“And she was always kind and gentle to everybody she met,” Judd said. “She didn’t meet strangers. Everybody was a friend to her.”

She leaves behind her husband, sister, brother, stepchildren and other family members, her obituary says.

This story contains information from the Associated Press.

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