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Bill Ray Conner
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Birth: Jun. 20, 1925
Death: Jul. 22, 2006

One beautiful aspect in life is the freedom of each individual to observe others and from their own opinions. My opinion may differ greatly from that of another who observed the same situation but that is the basis on which this country was established and, in my opinion, it has worked pretty well.

Unfortunately, we have limited information on many of our forefathers, but future generations will fare much better. They will have at their disposal, computers, data & archives, which hopefully make genealogy a much easier endeavor. Dates of birth and death are usually readily available. What is missing is the individual, their lives, their loves and their adventures. Things that meant nothing to them then would be of great importance to us now. We always regret not sitting down with our elderly while they were still with us and recording their thoughts and remembrances. The things we wonder about those who have passed on will also be wondered about us by future generations. Write down your thoughts, your likes, your dislikes and events of your daily lives.

I blessed with a good life. No great disasters. I was born on a Saturday evening at 5:20 PM on June 20, 1925 in Modesto California, Stanislaus County. My father, Charles Franklin Conner, was born and raised in and around Stratton Nebraska. He attended college in Lincoln, Nebraska and majored in business and penmanship. He held teaching credentials and taught at a business college in Muskogee, Ok. My mother, Nell Bell Taylor, was a student there. The rest is history. They married about 1917. My brother, Jack, was born in Oklahoma in 1918. My sister, Betty was born in Nebraska in 1921 and I was born in California in 1925.

My mother was born in Muskogee then raised in and around Pryor, Oklahoma on one of the family Indian Land Grants. After their marriage they tried farming in Stratton. All Dad's seven brothers and one sister were farmers in that area. Dad, Roy and Pat, the three youngest boys, received educations and gave up farming for business careers. Dad was able to find a teaching job in Modesto, California and he moved the family there. That's how I became a native Californian. Due to Dad's teaching assignments, we lived in Modesto, Santa Barbara, Santa Ana and Long Beach. I consider Long Beach my hometown.

I attended Lincoln School, Franklin Junior High and Poly high in Long Beach. The folks had ventured into the restaurant business by purchasing a six-seat place at 1901 East Anaheim in 1938. There I learned to wash dishes, fry cook and hop counter as well as peel potatoes and mop floors. They later purchased two other cafes in the same area.

In 1939 my brother, Jack, was diagnosed with lung cancer and died 29 days later in March of 1939. Times were hard. Everyone was still recovering from the depression and money was hard to come by. The folks made small payments for years to pay the expenses incurred.

They purchased a larger café on American Blvd. It was located at 1st and American in the Trailways Bus Depot, open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and one block from the beach. The Bus Depot was full to the brim at all hours of the day and night. There were normally 16 or so employees. People were very migrant during the war and it was hard to keep help long. I felt very important and usually worked the night shift from 6:00 PM to 6:00 AM.

School was not one of my favorite pastimes but I managed to get it down to one hour one day a week at Continuation School. Being 16. I was not allowed to quit. My folks agreed to sign for me and I volunteered for the navy. The Navy decided I could be a good cook and I was sent for 16 weeks of Cook and Baker's School at Destroyer Base, San Diego, California. After graduation, I was sent to New Maiha, Caledonia aboard the troop ship David O. Squire. I was later assigned to the APA18, The President Jackson at Guadalcanal. The Jackson was involved in the battles of Guam and Saipan, as well as many others. Following the invasion of Saipan, the ship took the wounded to Pearl Harbor and then returned to San Pedro for repairs.

I was discharged from the Navy on January 6, 1946. I had been married just shortly before I was discharged. That marriage produced three children, Kathy, Judy and Dan.

Jobs were scarce with all the GI's coming home. I got a job at an auto wrecking yard on Signal Hill for a while and then a construction job in Barstow. I worked at the Navy Ammunition dump in Seal Beach, which finally closed down, so I entered Aviation Mechanic School at Inglewood, Ca. A year or so later, I graduated with an n Aircraft & Engine License and was ready to conquer the world. Had a job at North American Factory for a short time and then with Standard Airlines, Long Beach Aeromotive, Air Oasis, Pacific Aeromotive in Palm Springs, Thunderbird Aviation in Van Nuys, Great Atlantic Aeroplane Company, Wayne Airframe, Charles Funaro and Associates and Inflite Aviation Adjusters, and many others. I spent my entire career on the Aviation Field, retiring about 1990. I was involved in maintenance, Airlines, Salvage, Repairing, Rebuilding, Air Taxi and Accident Investigation. I also did some teaching on the subject for Los Angeles School District.

I enjoyed every minute of it and have no regrets.

Bill Conner 
Family links: 
  Charles Franklin Conner (1889 - 1967)
  Nell Bell Taylor Conner (1896 - 1962)
  Eunice Pearl Johnston Conner (1921 - 2004)*
  Annette Ruth Vincent Vayda (1927 - 2004)*
  Jack Cherokee Conner (1918 - 1938)*
  Betty Marie Conner Mapes (1921 - 2008)*
  Bill Ray Conner (1925 - 2006)
*Calculated relationship
Riverside National Cemetery
Riverside County
California, USA
Plot: BA E 113
Maintained by: Kathy Conner Toomey
Originally Created by: Marvin & Samme Templin
Record added: Dec 27, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 82462219
Bill Ray Conner
Added by: tkarden
Bill Ray Conner
Added by: CRob
Bill Ray Conner
Added by: CRob
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- Bettie♥
 Added: Jan. 10, 2014
Missing you at Christmas.Love, Kathy
- Kathy Conner Toomey
 Added: Dec. 25, 2013
Love you, Daddy.Kathy
- Kathy Conner Toomey
 Added: Jul. 10, 2013
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