Carleen "Connie" Bingaman (80) of Valley Park, MO, formerly of Brownstown


Published on September 18 2023 6:48 pm

Carleen “Connie” F. Bingaman, nee Washburn, age 80, of St. Louis, MO and Brownstown, IL, died peacefully on Monday, September 18, 2023, with her beloved husband of nearly 60 years, Fred Bingaman, at her side.

Her ever-present smile, positivity, and joyous spirit will remain in our hearts forever. Nothing made Connie happier than time with family and friends. She was a proud and loving wife, mom, and grandma who rarely hesitated to share the latest details and photos of her five grandchildren. She loved big family vacations, beaches, trips to Disney, Hawaii, Nashville, and the Grand Ole Opry, but most of all, she loved having her family together at home. A visit to her home always promised delicious home cooking and baking everyone’s favorite rolls, pies, and cinnamon rolls. Connie spent her youth working at the family’s Four Mile General Store and helping corral her five younger siblings. Connie graduated from Brownstown High School where she excelled in Home Economics, winning the prized “Betty Crocker” award for her baking skills in 1961. In her junior year of high school, she set her sites on Fred, the cute boy with the wavy dark hair, and the high school sweethearts were married on December 15, 1963. Following high school, Connie obtained her beautician’s license and opened her beauty shop in Brownstown, IL. Once married, Fred and Connie moved to St. Louis, where they raised their two sons, Tim and Scott. When Tim was born, Connie focused on being a homemaker and mother, becoming an active member in the boy’s school organizations and a busy sports mom. Connie continued to embrace her entrepreneurial spirit (and renowned baking skills), to build a “little” baking business, baking around the clock for holidays, and churning out hundreds of cinnamon rolls and pies for her devoted customers. For those of you who had the pleasure of enjoying her baked creations, you know nothing quite compares. We’re pretty sure it has to be the love she poured into all of them. In 1991, Connie and Fred’s adventures began anew when Fred took advantage of an early retirement offer from Southwestern Bell. They embraced their love of travel and nostalgia to crisscross the country selling retro merchandise at a variety of trade shows and events, making friends, and building relationships everywhere they went. This led to founding Deer Park Distributors with Fred in which they became distributors for Crosley Radio. Eventually, they sold their home in St. Louis and returned to Brownstown, IL in 1998 to build a house on a beautiful lake property. Their home became a welcome respite to a multitude of family and friends. Inspired by a commitment to her hometown community and her belief in the value of literacy and education, Connie spearheaded efforts to open a public library in Brownstown. She and Fred donated a building on Main Street which became the new home of the Brownstown Library and assisted for many years with fundraising and public support. The Brownstown Library continues to provide valuable free resources to the community.

Connie is survived by her husband, Fred L. Bingaman of Brownstown, IL, son Tim and his wife Sue Bingaman of Tampa, FL., their children Joe Bingaman of St. Louis, Claire Bingaman of St. Louis, and Liz Bingaman of St. Louis, son Scott and his wife DeAnn Bingaman of St. Louis, and their children Nathan Bingaman of Honolulu, HI, and Erin Bingaman of Durham, NC, sister Judy Hoover of Brownstown, brother Joe Washburn of Brownstown, brother Jon and his wife Leah Washburn of Brownstown, and sister Becky Washburn of Pilot Point, TX.

She is preceded in death by her parents Carl and Mary Washburn (McCammack), brother Larry Carl Washburn in infancy, sister Sherleen Logsdon, sister-in-law Peg Washburn, and brother-in-law Steve Hoover.

Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, September 22, 2023 at Brownstown Christian Church. Burial will follow at Griffith Cemetery, Brownstown. A visitation will be held from 5-7 p.m. Thursday, September 21, 2023 and from 10-10:30 a.m. both the church on Friday. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations please be made to Four Mile Christian Church or Brownstown Public Library. Gieseking Funeral Home, Brownstown is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be expressed by clicking here