Leo Buffington Conner

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Conner, Leo Buffington
Pull up a chair, God, Leo Buffington Conner is on his way. If his time on earth is any clue, he's got lots of questions, answers, and brilliant solutions to discuss. Make Yourself comfortable, for he is going to want to learn everything there is to know and share everything he has to offer. And, God, just as we did, You will find both his desire to learn and his commitment to share are insatiable. When Leo gets there, he'll tell you how on December 3rd, his loving wife, children, and grandchildren sent him to You singing his favorite songs. He'll tell you that his 87 years went quickly, but that it was a really good life. And his family's song which lifted him to You shows he was much loved. Leo was born on July 12, 1926, in El Paso, Texas to Miriam Morony Conner and Colonel Leo Buffington Conner, Sr. During his junior year of high school, he was drafted by the Army and served in both World War II and in Korea. He loved to tell stories about pulling tanks out of rice paddies, running into burning buildings, and most important to him, introducing ways to improve conditions for his troops and the orphans of the war. As early as second grade, Leo knew he wanted to be an engineer. So, while in Army Reserve status, he completed his degree in engineering and physics at the University of Kansas. It was at St. Mary College in Leavenworth, KS, where he met his wife of 62 years, Naola Criswell Conner. In 1953, he left the Army as a First Lieutenant and pursued his calling. In 1958, Leo and Naola made their way to Arizona, where he worked at Motorola for 30 years as a senior engineer. At work and at home, Leo was a masterful problem solver and inventor, with thirteen patents to his name. He loved a challenge, and finding solutions to complex problems was his passion. With unquenchable enthusiasm, Leo also loved volleyball, his workshop and tools, music, movies, his closest friends, "the Dirty Dozen," and above all his wife and family. His brilliant mind, inquisitive nature, and genuine love of life and family will be missed dearly by his wife Naola, sister Eileen Conner Greene, six children: Anne (Bob), Jeanne (Gary), Mick (Shelley), MaryEllen (Chuck), Eileen (John), and Jim; his sixteen grandkids, three great-grandkids, and countless close friends.
God, he is with You now. If you would please just give him something to fix, a spreadsheet, and a few quality tools so he knows for certain he is in Heaven, he will be OK and so will we. Visitation will be at 9:00 AM on Saturday, December 7th at St. Agnes Catholic Church, 1954 N. 24th Street, Phoenix, AZ; funeral Mass at 10:00 AM; reception to follow in Donohoe Hall. Private burial at Fort Huachuca, Arizona. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to .


Published in The Arizona Republic from Dec. 6 to Dec. 7, 2013
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