In Memory Of Former Evine Host Connie Kunkle

We’re running on empty, exhausted after arriving in NJ at 6:30 a.m. Sunday on a red-eye flight from Phoenix. We didn’t sleep much on the plane, sandwiched in a middle seat, and we didn’t take a nap today, since we were running around trying to catch up on Christmas stuff.

But we felt compelled to blog about the shocking death of ex-Evine host Connie Kunkle. We were on vacation when we read abut her demise, at the young age of 58, on Facebook. We didn’t have a laptop to write about it when it happened, but it truly disturbed it and caused us sorrow, in a haunting way.

We were even more stunned to read that Kunkle had died of a special kind of dementia. How could that be? She was so young.

Her friend Andy Taylor posted the news last week.

Friends of Connie: It is with deep sorrow that I share that our friend Connie Kunkle has passed away at age 58. Little more than a year ago, Connie was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia, at which time she moved to Texas to be with her sister, Judy. In the last few months, Connie transitioned to a memory care facility where she received loving care.

I hope it brings some comfort that Connie never ceased to be her wonderful self, with the sparkling green eyes, and delighted her caregivers despite her advancing condition. She passed peacefully in her sleep last night.

My 36 yr. friendship with Connie began with Disney Entertainment in Florida, after which she starred on Broadway and touring companies, sang around the world and in recent years was a very popular and dynamic on-air host for ShopNBC (now Evine).

Arrangements will be forthcoming. I know we all share in this shock and grief and are heartbroken. Please share this news with anyone who would want to know. Most of all, please know that Connie is no longer bound to a broken body and mind, and is now with her heavenly father, probably belting out a show tune – that’s our Connie!

The tributes poured in about the vivacious and gorgeous blonde host. We enjoyed her her on ShopNBC/Evine, and blogged about her “early retirement” exit from the network in March.

https://homeshoppingista.wordpress.com/2016/03/16/veteran-evine-live-host-connie-kunkle-exits/

At the time, Evine announced that Kunkle was leaving and gave no hint about her dementia diagnosis.

EVINE Live Host Connie Kunkle wanted to share the following message with all of her fans:

β€œIt is with a sad heart that I inform my EVINE Live customers, coworkers and friends, that I am leaving my position as an On-Air Host and taking early retirement. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with the company and my interactions with its loyal and loving customers. I will miss the encouragement and friendship from this community. I appreciate your support, and I will miss each of you. A special thank you!”

We want to sincerely thank Connie for all the smiles and laughter she has brought to us and her viewers over the past 11 years. We wish her all the best as she starts this new phase in her life and will miss her dearly. Take a trip down memory lane and enjoy a few fun clips of Connie over the years plus share your favorite Connie memory in the comments below.

We had her bio from Evinelive.com, but had no idea how deep her background was as a performer and singer.

We’d venture to guess that most Americans have friends or family who have suffered from dementia, and we so wish that scientists would come up with a cure. It is complicated: We used to blog about TBI and dementia for our former college boyfriend.

There are many kinds of dementia, with different causes, and dementia does not equal Alzheimer’s. But it does translate to heartache for those who get it — whatever kind — and their caregivers.

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17 Responses to “In Memory Of Former Evine Host Connie Kunkle”

  1. Andrea Says:

    Her dementia must have been very invasive and fast moving to take her life this quickly. It seems as though she left EVINE in March…That’s barely 9 months! How sad that she deteriorated so quickly.
    I enjoyed her on EVINE and have missed her. Now she is singing with a choir of angels.

  2. Trina Dade Says:

    I have missed Connie immensely on Evine, and I just found it very odd that she would take early retirement, because she was always so energetic and upbeat. She always looked like she was having immense fun on air. She looked much younger than she was. I never would have guessed that she was 58. I thought she would show up somewhere else, either in entertainment, or at another shopping network, or come back to Evine. It is beyond shocking that she could have such a debilitating disease!!! I never noticed anything that would foreshadow such a tragic end. Usually, dementia does exhibit itself in small ways in the beginning, and Connie’s job was so demanding of her memory and cognition. These lapses often become apparent to observers. I never noticed any mistakes. She was the very definition of vivacious. I am so sorry, Linda, for your loss of a friend. Thanks for letting us know. Connie provided many, many hours of pleasure and entertainment for me on Evine. I am so sorry to hear that her bright light is gone from us for now. But I agree with you, she is smiling bigger than ever with her Heavenly Father.

  3. Carrie W Says:

    I am sadden by Connie’s passing too. I do have to say that whenever I did see her on air recently (probably last January/February) she did seem befuddled a bit. I guess now we know why. What a terrible disease and to have this problem at such a young age. So sad….

  4. Twat Waffles Says:

    RIP!!!

  5. Modo Says:

    OMG, this is so sad. She was my favorite on Evine. So full of life and fun and talented. A startling reminder to count our blessings every day.

    • Eileen Says:

      I so agree Modo.
      She was the best host on EVINE, IMO. I was surprised she left, but I figured she’d turn up doing something else, or going further with her singing. Now I know why we heard nothing more after she left EVINE.
      It is a very awakening reminder to count our blessings, hold our loved ones closer, and enjoy each day.

  6. Queenie Says:

    I’m absolutely shocked and beyond sad. She was one of the very best. Always describing things so appropriately, rather than rambling on about stuff not even related to the product–always a professional. I would NEVER have guessed she was ill. It did occur to me, a while back that I hadn’t seen her recently, but I don’t watch as much as I used to. What a terrible year 2016 has been. I can’t wait for it to end. RIP Connie, you were very much loved, by your viewers.

    • Tammi Says:

      Yes, Queenie!!!! OUT DAMN 2016! It even ended badly for my family. We will be alright but that year kept hurting people and taking lives till the very end. 😒
      For those of you who understand Asian astrology, on January 28 this year, the year of the rooster is ushered in….and not a moment too soon. This last monkey year was the pits. People born in monkey years are great. But their year usually sucks. 2016 was no exception. So onward, good rooster!
      As for Connie Kunkle, RIP, dear soul. Gone way too soon; you will be missed. Blessings to your loved ones who are grieving now. And shine on in their hearts, dear Connie.

  7. MaryAnn Says:

    Shocking!! I loved her as a host!! Entertaining, vibrant and beautiful! Glad she was able to travel the world before she passed. Someone who truly lived her life to the fullest!!

  8. Queen Celeste Says:

    Such terribly sad news. She was just too young, and that makes it all the worse. I enjoyed her on air with her vivacious personality, bursting into song, that gorgeous hair, and her joie de vivre. My thoughts go out to her family, her Evine family, and all who knew her.

  9. John Sinclair Says:

    I met Connie when she was in 7th grade at Indiana Junior High School in Indiana, PA. She said to me, “Mr. Sinclair, I am going to be on Broadway, and she was. I had the privilege of working with her for two years in school before she went on to senior high and then off to college. She was a joy to know and she was so talented. I will miss her smile and enthusiasm for what she did. She was incredible. She added so much to whatever she was involved in. My prayers go out to her family.

  10. Fe Says:

    I missed her giggles and laughter….rest in peace dear Connie, we will see you again when our time comes. We love you dearly!!!!!

  11. lillian jean Says:

    Lillian says:
    you were the best and it is very sad that we lost you, may you rest in peace and may your family find comfort and celebrate your life because you were full of it, God be with you.

  12. Mayra Says:

    Very sad to hear about her death. She was a beautiful lady and so energetic. A pleasure to watch on TV. Life is so fragile! I thank Jesus that has given us the gift of salvation and eternal life for those who trust, believe and accept Him in our hearts as our Lord and Savior. He is willing to forgive our sins if we call on Him on faith.

  13. Sharon McCormack Says:

    IN MY OWN WAY I COULD TELL SOMETHING WAS WRONG. ONE NIGHT SHE WAS PROMOTING A PRODUCT AND SAID SOMETHING THAT SET OFF A WOMAN AND I SAID TO Myself wow she will probably lose her job,now”right now. you will I found out why I never saw her again. she loved life. it was very apparent RIP CONNIE. you will be missed.

  14. Margaret L Coleman Says:

    I always looked forward to watching her host. She was such a fun host. She is resting in power.

  15. Tracy Mccormack Says:

    I’m so sad and so sorry about Connie such a sweet beautiful woman. πŸ™πŸ™ to her family.

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