Age 92, Conley passed away May 6, 2015. He was born June 27, 1922, in Bristol, TN, to Conley (Sr.) and Ethel Snow. Conley’s passion for aviation started at a young age, starting with making model airplanes and winning contests in high school to watching radio controlled planes while living in Colorado during retirement. Conley entered the U.S. Army Air Force in 1942 and became the pilot he always dreamed to be. He flew everything from the T-33 trainer to B-17 and B-29 bombers and finally at the rank of Captain Conley flew F-80 jets while in the Reserves in the 1950’s. A young man’s dream fulfilled. After WWII, Conley attended the University of Michigan. He worked for Brooks & Perkins in Detroit as an aeronautical engineer for 30 years, retiring in 1982.
Conley and his wife, Celia, headed to Colorado immediately after his retirement to live in the mountains and downhill ski to their hearts content. They led very active lives in Colorado for 29 years. Conley and Celia enjoyed camping, hiking, skiing and just being in the mountains. Conley and Celia returned to Michigan in 2011, living in Lansing.
Conley cherished Celia, the love of his life, for 71 years. Celia describes Conley as her “sweet man”. Children, grandchildren and then great-grandchildren entered Conley’s life. Conley treasured his family and the fun times they had together. Teaching his grandchildren to ski, camp, work on wood projects, play games and just being Grandpa or Papa was his pleasure. Friends and knowing how to be a friend was also important to Conley, which is evident by the long list of young and old friends who still talk about him. Faith and leading a life based on Christian values structured Conley’s life.
Surviving are: his wife of 71 years, Celia; 3 children, C. Robert (Peggy) Snow, Beverly (Charles) Phillips, and David Snow; 5 grandchildren, Sean (Summer) Snow, Justin (Kristin) Phillips, Kevin (Melissa) Phillips, Jennifer Snow, and Jamie Snow; and 3 great-grandchildren, Colin Phillips, Hallie Phillips, and Miles Phillips.
A memorial service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Mayflower Congregational Church, 2901W. Mt. Hope Ave., Lansing, MI 48911. Arrangements by the Estes-Leadley Greater Lansing Chapel.