COL. JUDSON J. CONNER, U.S. ARMY (RET.) - ASHBURN, Va. - Col. "Jud" Conner passed away on April 12, 2013. He was born in Burlington in 1925, to Sergeant and Mrs. Raymond T. Conner, who was stationed with the UVM ROTC department for over 20 years. Jud attended Burlington High School, where he lettered in football, basketball, and track. He was president of his class in his junior and senior year, and winner of the Elliot Rice Award for student achievement. He graduated in 1943, and enlisted in the Marine Corps where he served for two years prior to entering West Point. He graduated from the Military Academy in 1949, and was commissioned 2nd lieutenant of Armored Cavalry. Over the next 30 years, he commanded an armored unit of every size from platoon through brigade, served on five continents, earned airborne jump wings, graduated from the National War College, and earned master degree's from the University of Florida (M.S. in journalism) and George Washington University (M.S. in international affairs). In 1955, he met and married Catherine Hellmig, a pretty nurse from Fair Lawn, N.J. They raised three robust sons as they traveled around the world together. Jud retired from the Army as a full colonel in 1979, then taught part time at the National Defense University, and was an adjunct professor with the University of Southern California teaching Systems Management in its off-campus graduate program. When he retired the second time, he and Catherine divided their time between West Virginia and St. Simons Island, Ga., as Jud took up writing as a hobby. He published five books. One of them, "Vermont from A to Z," published by the New England Press, exhibited his keen sense of humor and deep love for his home state. He is survived by his wife, Catherine; their three sons; and seven grandchildren, with a great-grandchild currently undergoing pre-launch construction. His three sons live in Indianapolis (Raymond); Sherman, Texas, (Jeffrey); and Gainesville, Va. (Daniel). The rest are scattered about the country. Jud will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Washington.
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Published in The Burlington Free Press on May 2, 2013