James O. Conner, 1926 – 2016

conner-jimA service of remembrance was held Tuesday, Nov. 29, at First Presbyterian Church in Jefferson for James “Jim” Oliver Conner, 90, of Jefferson.

Words of comfort were offered by the Rev Gordon Moen, pastor of the church. Mark Conner gave the eulogy. Soloist was Gary, with accompanist Keri Brooker.

Pall bearers were Matthew Pittman, Christopher Conner, Douglas Whipple, Nicholas Rowley, Sean Stevenson and Matt Goetzman. Interment was at the Jefferson Municipal Cemetery with military rites by the Army honor guard, Jefferson VFW Post 9599, and Floyd Brown American Legion Post 11 of Jefferson. Wayne Lautner played “Taps.”

James “Jim” Oliver Conner, age 90, died peacefully in his sleep on Nov. 25, 2016 at Greene County Medical Center in Jefferson.  He was born on Oct. 19, 1926 to Carney H. and Margaret (Greene) Conner in Glidden, IA.  He attended Glidden High School.

After graduating Jim entered the military service on March 15, 1945.  He then served overseas from Nov. 10, 1945 until Oct. 17, 1946 with the Army Air Corp., first in the Philippine Islands and then on Okinawa.  He was honorably discharged Dec. 4, 1946.

Jim then attended Iowa State University, graduating with a degree in agronomy.  Jim married Norma Joan Kline on June 4, 1948.  Three children were born; Steve, Nancy and Jeff.

Jim began farming in the Glidden area in 1948.  He then relocated his farming in 1959 to north of Jefferson.  After Joan Conner’s passing, Jim married Lorene (Kruse) Simpson on July 27, 1974.  He then became Dad to Lorene’s children Jean, Jill, Joel, JoAn, Jeri, Jaye, and Judy in addition to foreign exchange student Anna Tegler of Sweden.

Jim was a member of the American Legion for the past 69 years.  Jim also held many positions with Morningstar Lodge #159 of Jefferson.  He served on many boards within community organizations.

Jim was a very passionate farmer. His farming first began with chickens, hogs and milk cows.  Later he enjoyed building a Limousine cattle herd.

Jim was also a private pilot.  He built an airplane hangar and grass runway on his farm for his Cessna 172.  He enjoyed flying very much, especially while giving family and friends rides.  Jim later enjoyed restoring many old tractors for his collection and a few tractors for others as well.

Preceding him in death were his parents, wife Norma Joan, brother Doyle, sister Betty.

Survivors include wife Lorene of Jefferson; children Steve Conner of Concordia, KS, Nancy O’Rourke of Carroll, Jeff Conner and wife Robin of Panora, Jean Thompson and husband Tom of Postville, Jill Lockey and husband Dick of Janesville, Joel Simpson of Edwardsville, IL, JoAn Stevenson and husband Robert of Decorah, Jeri Griffiths of Des Moines, Jaye Conner of Jefferson, and Judy Obermeier and husband Mark of Edwardsville, IL.  Jim also has 29 grandchildren and 41 great-grandchildren. His surviving siblings are Shirley Clark of Independence, Floyd Conner and wife Bev of Mediapolis, Lilian Draves and her husband Russell of Carroll, and Duane Conner and his wife Joyce of Glidden.

Services were arranged by Slininger-Schroeder Funeral Home of Jefferson.

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