Lori Botta Conner, age 55 of Auburn, Ala., and Pensacola, Fla., passed away on Christmas Eve 2021, after a long and brave struggle against ovarian cancer.
Born August 17, 1966, to Dr. and Mrs. Nicholas E. and Joyce M. Botta of Auburn, she would remain a vital part of the Auburn Community throughout her life. Lori grew up a member of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, where she also attended the Day School. She attended Lee Academy and ultimately graduated from Auburn High School in 1984, after being crowned Lee County’s Junior Miss by dazzling the judges with her dancing talent. Lori went to Tuscaloosa to attend the University of Alabama, where she was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority and the Crimson Cabaret. Upon her graduation from Alabama, Lori returned to Auburn where she worked as a dental assistant in her father’s practice before starting a successful interior decorating business. She was a shop owner of Ampersand in Downtown Auburn. In 1995, Lori and her husband welcomed their daughter, Katherine McNeal Conner (Nealy), whom she calls her greatest achievement. Despite an extended and arduous illness, Lori was always positive, quick-witted, ready with a warm smile and ever-concerned about others.
Lori was predeceased by her mother Joyce on Christmas Eve 1994.
Lori is survived by her daughter Nealy, her longtime partner and fiancé Wes Lawler, her father Nick Botta, her sister Lisa Botta Wilson, her stepmother Penny Brown Botta. She was especially thankful for her “Network” — the legions of friends who adored her, prayed for her and sustained her – led by her constant and loyal friend, Margaret Whittelsey, who carried her the very last mile.
Visitation will be at 1 pm on Tuesday, December 28, 2021, at Jeffcoat Trant Funeral Home, followed by a memorial service at 2 pm. Lori requested that attendees wear something teal (her favorite color), if possible. Friends are invited to a reception at the home of her father after the service.
If anyone would like to make a memorial contribution, Lori suggested the Laura Crandall Brown Foundation (thinkoflaura.org) or an organization of your choice.