Joseph Conley 1933-2022
Joseph Mercer Conley was welcomed into this world by his parents, James Lewis and Bess Mercer Conley, on Dec. 21, 1933. He was an only child. He passed away on Wednesday, June 29, 2022, at the St. Marys Manor in St. Marys. He was 88.
He was a lifelong member of the Rossville United Methodist Church, serving on the board many years, Delia Masonic Lodge and Dover Masonic Lodge. He was also a member of the Topeka Arab Shrine and The Scottish Rite.
He attended Rossville Grade School and James School in Sandy Hook and graduated from Rossville High School in 1951. The next fall, he attended Kansas State University for three semesters until Uncle Sam drafted him into the Army, where he was at Fort Riley in the Big Red One for his first six weeks before going to Fort Hood in San Antonio, Texas. From there, he went to Stuttgart, Germany, where he served in the Medical Corp for two years.
While in Germany, he visited all the free countries except Ireland. Upon returning, Joe took up farming with his father in Jackson County near Delia. His son William J. Conley later joined him in the farming business. They also made truck tarpaulins, had a seed business and did welding for some of the neighbors.
He was also very concerned about leaving the land better than he received it, so in turn, he was involved on many boards such as Kaw Valley Rural Electric Cooperative, Kansas Electric Coop, St. Marys Elevator Coop, Farm Credit Services, Jackson County Planning Commission and the Delia Fire District. He also served on the planning committee during the Kaw Valley School Consolidation.
He and Pauline enjoyed going to the National Rural Electric Conventions throughout the years he was on the Kaw Valley Rural Electric Coop board. On their 53rd wedding anniversary, Joe and Pauline took a 10-day tour of Ireland. They enjoyed several cruises, one to Alaska for their 50th wedding anniversary, and a church mission trip to Sitka, Alaska, for 10 days.
On March 12, 1958, he married Pauline Timmons of Rossville at Manhattan Bible College in Manhattan. To that union were born three children. Patricia Marie Peterson (Dennis) of Belvue, James Carroll Conley (Vicki) of Austin, Colo., and William Joseph Conley (Tricia) of Delia.
He is also survived by nine grandchildren and spouses, Schuyler Martinek, Dillon, Colo., Paula Rose Gavuglio (Roberto), San Diego, Calif., Stephanie Lamm (Brandon) and Jacqueline Kelling (Dylan), all of Overland Park, Carley Beck (Kolton), Goodland, Thaddeus Conley, Delta, Colo., Abigail Conley, Austin, Colo., and Katherina Conley and Casey Conley, Delia; and a great-granddaughter, Zoey Starr Conley, Austin, Colo.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
Funeral services were held July 6 at Rossville United Methodist Church. Interment followed in Rossville Cemetery. Piper Funeral Home of St. Marys is in charge of arrangements.