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George D. Conn

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George D. Conn Obituary
George D. Conn George D. Conn, 74, attorney, real estate deal man and great character, died early Sunday, Dec. 30, at his home in Austin (Lakeway) after battling Alzheimer's disease for over 10 years. A native of Beaumont, George had worked in Houston, Las Vegas and Austin. He is survived by his devoted wife, Renate, and his twin brother and sister-in-law Jerry and Becky Conn of Austin. Survivors also include a son Kirby of Austin; a son Carroll and his wife Shannon and their children Kayla, Emma and Clayton of Houston; a daughter Kristy Lancaster and her husband Trey and sons Ford and Gage of Houston. He is also survived by a daughter Dana Conn of Newport Beach, CA. George would also want to acknowledge his faithful companion Siegfried (Ziggy), his lively Schnauzer. He was preceded in death by his beloved parents, Carroll and Mattie Lou Conn of Beaumont, and by an older brother, Carroll Wayne Conn, who died of Alzheimer's complications in 2004. George graduated from Beaumont High School where he was on the Debate Team, a Class Favorite, and an outstanding athlete. He was an all-district halfback and captain in football playing offense and defense (with flimsy helmets). He played catcher on the Royal Purple baseball team. Early on, George developed his firm belief that he could heighten interest in any endeavor by betting on the outcome. He especially enjoyed "getting some action" with his buddies and twin brother on the Royal Purple's football games, mainly against key rivals such as the South Park Greenies. The same would prove true later as a golfer when bets would heighten his interest in what he believed was otherwise a pretty dull game. George grew up a secular Methodist, in a Beaumont filled with ironies, after World War II. That was a time when the prosperity of a booming economy was enhanced by great musical delights (rhythm & blues, rock & roll, Dixieland, country, Cajun, pop) and a nice assortment of appealingly organized crime. At the University of Texas in Plan II, George, aka "Hog," was a member of Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity. He became an outstanding student in UT Law School and was president of his senior class and a member of Professor Charles Alan Wright's Legal Eagles football team. On certain occasions, George unleashed his musical side, singing and playing Johnny Cash songs on his guitar and some ribald ditties such as "The Hamburg Zoo" and "Yo-Ho, Columbo." After law school he served as a transportation officer in the US Army at Fort Eustis, VA. In 1963 he was attached to the 2d Armored Division, his twin brother's unit, for Operation Big Lift from Fort Hood to Germany. A seemingly fabricated story about each brother being surprised by the other's presence on the exercise appeared on the front page of Stars & Stripes, the military newspaper in Europe. For a time, George played football for the Fort Eustis "Wheels" -- describing himself as "the leading Caucasian halfback" (second string). In 1975, the love of George's life, Renate, a native of Germany, was in Houston putting together gambling junkets to Las Vegas for MGM Grand. It proved to be a perfectly grand way to meet George. They were married there in Vegas at the Silver Bells Wedding Chapel in 1977 with their cab driver serving as best man. George has been described as a Southwest version of a "Guys & Dolls" character. But for George it was not a theatrical role. It was his reality. The family will gather to commemorate George with a social to share stories about his life and antics.

Published in Austin American-Statesman from Jan. 3 to Jan. 5, 2013
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