Cover photo for Clarence William "Bill" Conner's Obituary
Clarence William "Bill" Conner Profile Photo

Clarence William "Bill" Conner

d. July 17, 2019

Obituary of Clarence William Conner

Isle LaMotte - Clarence William (Bill) Conner, 91, died peacefully Wednesday evening July 17, 2019 at the home of his loving daughter Jeanette O'Conor. He was a family man of strength and integrity, and always prioritized his wife and daughters above all else. Bill was dearly loved and will be missed.

Bill was the beloved son of Elbert Sayles and Dorothy (Williams) Conner. Born on October 14, 1927 in Ferguson, Missouri. When he was a newborn, he and his family traveled across country from St. Louis Missouri to Long Beach California. Bill recalled fond memories of the short time his family lived in the historic Breakers Hotel where his father was employed to be the Assistant Manager in charge of Convention business. Their hotel residence was damaged in the earthquake of 1933 and eventually the Conner's moved from Long Beach, to Santa Barbara California, where he spent his formative years.

Bill attended Santa Barbara High School in the early 1940's, and during this time he completed the Junior Infantry Division of the Reserve Officer's Training Corps from 1942-1945, where he achieved certificate and qualification to perform the rank of Sergeant.

Bill attended the University of California, Santa Barbara, for a short time and then joined the United States Marine Corps to serve at the conclusion of World War II. In the Marines, he received the following medals of Honor: Good Conduct Medal, Honorable Service Button, and World War II Victory Medal. Post military career, Bill worked at Vandenberg Air Force Base supporting rocket launch projects, and then for over thirty years at Lockheed Martin, as a project manager in defense contracting. During his tenure at Lockheed Martin he traveled to many parts of the world on business.

On the beach in Santa Barbara, he met the love of his life and wife Trenien Joanne Galloway. Bill was waterskiing and Tren was so impressed that she asked to join them on the boat to ski. They fell in love, eloped to Las Vegas, and married on November 26, 1956. They had a lasting and loving marriage celebrating their 62nd wedding anniversary.

Bill enjoyed recreational activities and one of his greatest joys was free diving along the Santa Barbara coast line. He described the excitement, yet peace, of free diving in deep water in search of Abalone. He was also taught to shoot and hunt by his Dad, and loved to fish for trout.

He enjoyed desert motocross racing, and owned an early model 1969 Sachs 125 racing motorcycle, which remains in mint condition today. Bill was co-founder of a dirt bike club based in Redlands, California, where riders would meet in the Mojave Desert to ride and compete.

Bill was an accomplished marksman. During his service in the Marine Corps he was certified as a Rifle Sharpshooter and attained the Distinguished Marksman medal. During his retirement, he enjoyed skeet shooting and participated in the National Senior Games, in Arizona, shooting and placing in the Skeet competition. He even went so far as to make his own shells for events.

Bill absolutely loved Ireland, and exploring his Irish heritage. He travelled to Ireland on multiple family trips exploring the emerald isle. He most enjoyed his time at the Guinness Brewery in Dublin, and exploring the Galway coast and the Aran Islands. During his visit he discovered Tullamore Dew, which from that day forward became the only whisky he felt was worthy of drinking.

Some of our fondest memories include family trips to the Virginia Lakes in the Sierra Nevada, of Mono County California, where Bill taught his three daughters to fish, clean, and cook Rainbow Trout. He also was a superb homemade ice cream maker and prided himself on his fabulous grilled hamburgers and making and sharing his family barbeque sauce.

Bill is survived by his daughters Jeanette O'Conor, Isle LaMotte, Vermont; Sharon (Conner) Gadzik and her husband Charlie of Newcastle, Washington. Bill was preceded in death by his wife Trenien Joanne (Galloway) Conner on December 28, 2018; his brother Albert Conner of Ventura California; his sister Jacqueline (Conner) Harrington, of Los Gatos, California; and his eldest daughter Stacy Lee Conner-Daily of Brinnon, Washington. He is the grandfather of Christian Surber and his wife Jamie (Holm) Surber of Bonney Lake, Washington; Daniel Surber of Lynnwood, Washington; Kaitlyn Surber of Seattle, Washington; Jamison Wells of Newcastle, Washington; Kelly Marie Pitcher of Newcastle, Washington; and Kilian Bronson of Lyme, New Hampshire. He is the great grandfather of Liam Conner and Lucy Ellen Margaret Wells, of Newcastle Washington; and Lillian Margarite and Amelia Rose Surber, of Bonney Lake

Bill'sfamily would like to extend their gratitude to the hospice team of UVM Home Health & Hospice, and the Respite House for their loving care and support.Washington.

A Memorial Service will be held at a later date.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Clarence William "Bill" Conner, please visit our flower store.


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