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Michael Wayne Conner

Death Notice
  • "Michael loved his Packard and was eager to share..."
    - Daryl Crotts
  • "To Kathy, Daughters Marisa and Mia, I am deeply saddened..."
    - Arden Murillo
  • "So sorry to hear of Mike's passing. My thoughts and prayers..."
    - Kevin Meyer
  • "To Patric, Joan, Tim, Karla, and to the rest of the family..."

Conner, Michael Wayne, 63, died on July 14, 2013 at home at sunrise, surrounded by his loving family. He was born July 29, 1949 in Wichita, KS, to his loving parents, Wilda Frances and Dewey Wayne Conner (deceased). At the age of 7 he moved with his family to the Philippines and later lived in Kenya, Zimbabwe, Malawi, South Africa, and briefly in Nigeria. He received undergraduate degrees in Psychology, Religion, and Fine Art from Wichita State University. Later, he received a Masters and PhD in Art History from Indiana University. Michael lived in wonder of life. He was a philosopher who shared his love of knowledge freely. Although he was a professor and museum curator during his career, he was most proud of his early years as a stay at home dad and most recently as an art consultant and art appraiser. He was considered an expert in the art of southeast Africa. His understanding of history, world religion, and art bridged cultural differences and resulted in friendships that spanned the globe. Along his academic journey he met his soul mate, his wife Kathy Anderson-Conner. They married in Kansas and moved to Bloomington, IN, where they raised two children, Marisa Erin Chisomo, and Mia Justine Thandiwe, whom he adored. During his proud years as a stay at home dad he shared his passion for obscure movies, creativity and quest for knowledge. His daughters loved his stories from his years abroad and enjoyed the analytical, thoughtful conversations. He never wanted to be defined by cancer. Those he shared his illness with were humbled by his grace, optimism and humor. Besides his wife and daughters he is survived by his son-in-law, Chris Wallner of Dallas, TX; Jake Thompson of Minneapolis, MN; brothers Steve (Laurie) of Wichita, KS; Patric (Joan) of Kingman, KS; Kip (Patti) of Mt. Airy, MD; Timothy (Karla) of Newton, KS; and Candace Fries (Bren) of Terrace Park, OH; a supportive family of in-laws, and many fine nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his beloved 1949 Packard, a garage full of kites, and his two 35-year-old African Grey parrots, Kobo and Ibo. A celebration of Michael's life will take place at the family farm at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Condolences may be offered at

Published in The Wichita Eagle on July 21, 2013
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