John Cedric Conover ("Ced"), Lt. Col, Ret USAF, passed away on Saturday, April 26. He was born on Aug. 24, 1929, in Lincoln, Neb. He attended the Naval Academy and, upon graduation, joined the Air Force. During his 26-year military career, he was a jet fighter pilot, stationed in Okinawa and Seoul, Korea, worked at the Pentagon, and served on the Inspector General's Team. He attended the War College and earned a master's degree in electronics at the Air Force Institute of Technology.
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Ced married his first wife, Rose Marie Miles, in 1955, and raised three children in Alexandria, Va. They were later divorced. Then, in 1987, he married the love of his life, Carol Calcaterra, and they lived together in Bozeman, Mont. and Sierra Vista, Ariz., with a two-year stint traveling the country in an RV. He taught gliding and had a business towing gliders, called Drag N Fly. He was very active in Big Brothers and Sisters and tutored for the CAP program.
Ced loved life and learning was very much a part of the richness of life for him. His passions were an ever-increasing variety of intellectual and physical pursuits, from geology and astronomy, to windsurfing and paragliding. Ced was a master sailor and his love for travel took him all over the United States and to many countries. Although he had exceptional accomplishments in his life, he was a very humble man who much preferred to listen to others than talk about himself. He had a gentle, loving way with everyone he met. Ced especially enjoyed children and had a magical way with them. He was a genuinely "good person" with a strong moral compass and lived his life as a man of high integrity. Folks who knew Ced say it was an honor to know him. He had an infectious smile and no one was ever a stranger.
Ced was preceded in death by his son, Tim Conover. He is survived by his wife, Carol Conover; brothers, Robert and Richard Conover; son, Michael Conover; daughter, Shari Rosenberg; and step-sons, Steve, Richard, Ted, and Tony. He is also grandpa to his four granddaughters, Hannah, Isobel, Sydney, and Ave Calcaterra.
Memorial services will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 17 at Vineyard Christian Fellowship Church, 321 High K St. in Belgrade, with a buffet to follow at the church.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the National Parkinson's Research Foundation, Gift Processing Center, PO Box 5018, Hagerstown, MD 21741. Please reference: "In memory of John C. Conover."
Ced was an awesome husband, brother, dad, and grandfather. He will be deeply missed.
Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service, www.dokkennelson.com.
Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service
113 South Willson Avenue
Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on May 4, 2014