Robert (Bob) Wesley Conner, Jr. passed away peacefully in his home on July, 18th, 2023 after a courageous battle with cancer. Bob was born on July 8th, 1948 to Robert Wesley and Harriet Louise Conner in Detroit Michigan. He spent his youth in Michigan and Ohio before more permanently settling in Downers Grove, IL with his family. While he lived in the city, city life never really fit Bob’s interest. He was always heading out into the fields with his brother Jack, and sister Joan. It was there he learned his passion for the outdoors which included hunting and fishing. His teen years also brought him his lifetime friends, Sky Dive, Mark Henry and Bob Tuttle. Bob was studious and brilliant but at the same time not so much interested in formal school per se. In 1966, Bob entered the U.S. Navy serving on a destroyer tender off the coast of Malta called the USS Cascade which provided maintenance on update operations for other ships in the Pacific Fleet. It was the only ship of its kind that could “dock” submarines. He served in the U.S. Navy for four years working on submarine instrument panels. After military service, Bob was employed at the Fermilab, a particle physics and accelerator laboratory, conducting maintenance operations for the scientists.
In 1973, Bob took a camping trip to Northern Wisconsin to go hunting, and upon return to the Chicago area decided not to remain in the city. He simply packed up and moved to Wisconsin in the Saint Germain area living on Little Arbor Vitae Lake and established his life time friendship with Chuck Winkler which remained for 50 years. He married Lynda in 1973 and they welcomed their daughter Amy Conner (McGuire) while taking up permanent residence in Sayner WI in 1979. Bob started a career with the USDA Forest Service in 1979, was involved in a number of roles and ultimately became an information systems analyst for the USDA Forest Service. While at the Forest Service Bob met is second wife Judith England of Rhinelander, WI and they were married in 2003. Bob retired from the USDA Forest Service in 2005.
Upon retirement, Bob found immense joy in his family and his outdoor passions. He cherished being Jack’s younger brother and they were in continuous contact with each other. The enjoyed golf trips to exotic courses, traveled from south to north or north to south to spend time with each other and checked in with each other on the daily Wordle game. He spent numerous hours with his friends and family fishing and hunting in Northern Wisconsin, Canada, North Dakota and Minnesota. It was noted that he could not take a hunting video without colorful language in the background. He also branched out into woodworking, scuba diving, boating and most of all enjoyed his membership in the Boulder Junction Shooting Range where he also served as treasurer and president. He was a member of multiple hunting camps. His annual “duck camp”, “grouse camp” and “deer camps” were the highlights of each and every fall and “turkey camp” in the spring. He cherished his time helping Dick Teske fix up and modify the group deer camp. He really enjoyed a good glass of whiskey and was a feared cribbage player. His sense of humor was infectious and he was a master story teller remembering every fish caught, deer chased and turkey that gobbled. The stories were quite hilarious and typically much exaggerated. He was an accomplished wild game cook, enjoyed trips with his wife Judi and holidays with friends and family. In 2023 Bob was a participant in the Never Forgotten Honor Flight traveling to Washington D.C. of which he was extremely proud to participate in.
Bob was proceeded in death by his father, (Robert Westley Conner), mother (Harriet Louise Conner), sister (Joan Conner George) and his former spouse (Lynda Joanne Kropp Conner). Bob is survived by the love of his life Judith Conner, daughter Amy (Conner) McGuire, brother Jack Conner, nieces, nephews, cousins and many other loving family and friends. He is also survived by his grandchildren Molly, Liam, Nora, Killian, Kerrigan and Flynn McGuire along with his extended family including Melissa (Patrick) Hoffman, Mark England, Kyle Hoffman, Hailey Hoffman, Will England, Kristina (Neal) Broske and Kaitlin (Jon) Edwardson.
Thank you to the Marshfield Clinic Cancer Team, the Compassus Hospice Team as well as the friends and family that stood by his side during his fight with cancer.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to:
Never Forgotten Honor Flight, Inc.
225780 Rib Mountain Drive #234, Wausau, WI 54401
Boulder Junction Shooting Range, Inc.
PO Box 171, Boulder Junction, WI 54512