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David E. Conner
November 26, 1927 ~ September 7, 2023 (age 95) 95 Years Old
9 Trees, Flowers, or Condolences have been shared with support of David's family - View on Tribute Wall
David E. Conner, 95, of Lewistown, passed away at 10:00 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023, at Geisinger-Lewistown Hospital.
Born Nov. 26, 1927, in Lewistown, he was a son of the late William F. Conner Sr. and Katharine I. (Bowers) Conner.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Gayle E. (Ewing) Conner, whom he married July 9, 1949, on March 14, 2011, and siblings, William F. Conner Jr., Richard C. Conner, Norma K. Goss, and Maxine J. Hockenbrock. He was the last of his immediate family.
David is survived by: daughter, Vicky Lee Henry, of Lewistown; son, Mark David Conner and wife, Cathy, of McVeytown; grandchildren, Joshua Henry and wife, Michelle, and Jonathan Henry and wife, Victoria; and four great-grandchildren, Scarlett, Diana, Meredith, and Jack Henry.
He was a Lewistown High School graduate, Class of 1945. He earned a B.S. Degree in Education from Lock Haven University and his Master’s Degree in Administration from The Pennsylvania State University.
David was a U.S. Navy veteran of both World War II and the Korean Conflict. In WWII, he was assigned to the Fourth Naval District, and served aboard the U.S.S. Device in the Pacific Theater. During the Korean Conflict, he served aboard the U.S.S. Caperton.
In between wars, he farmed and moonlighted as a professional wrestler, going by the ring name of “Smiln’ Dave”.
David began his teaching career as an elementary special education teacher in McClure. During this time, he started and coached the high school wrestling program. After moving to Juniata County, he taught high school special education classes and coached girls’ basketball. Next, he was employed as a special education teacher in Mifflin County where he developed the first School to Work Program. He retired in 1987 as the School District’s Director of Special Education.
David was a member of St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Lewistown; member and Third Degree Master Mason of Middleburg Masonic Lodge No. 619; and member of the American Legion in Belleville. He loved his family and friends and the many students he taught throughout the years, always referring to them as “his kids”. David had a great respect and appreciation for the outdoors and enjoyed hunting, fishing, and riding his motorcycle on numerous trips including California, Nova Scotia, and a solo trip to Alaska.
Private interment with military honors will take place at Fort Indiantown Gap National Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in David’s memory may be made to: Shriners Children’s Hospital, 3551 N. Broad St., Philadelphia, PA 19140; St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105; or Mennonite Central Committee, East Coast Regional Office, 900 E. Howell St., Philadelphia, PA 19149.
Arrangements are under the care of Heller-Hoenstine Funeral Homes, Woodlawn, 200 N. Main Street, Lewistown.