John William Conner, age 72 of Beardstown, died at his home surrounded by his family, on Sunday, March 25, 2018.
He was born May 29, 1945 in Beardstown, the son of George James and Virginia Mae Pearson Conner. He met the love of his life in high school geometry class, June Carls, who took his hand in marriage on July 31, 1965 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Beardstown.
He is survived by his wife June Conner of Beardstown; his children Joe Conner of Beardstown and Jennifer Campbell of Arenzville; four grandchildren Kyle (fiancé Kellie Jones), Cameron, Conner, and Chloe Campbell; his great grandson Rhys; one sister Karen (husband Kenny) Davis of Decatur; his uncle Tom (wife Linda) Treat of Marietta, GA; and his sister-in-law Miriam Carls of Springfield. He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Gregory Conner, his in-laws Ernie and Teresa Carls, brother in law E.J. Carls and his son-in-law Scott Campbell.
John graduated from Beardstown High School in the class of 1963 and later from Elkins Radio College in Chicago. His hard-work ethics began at the ripe young age of 9 when he started his first job delivering the Chicago Daily Newspaper. At the age of 15 he started working for WRMS in Beardstown. When John’s age was discovered, he was asked to return after his next birthday. His senior year, he was the first student to be a part of the Diversified Occupation Program which allowed him to continue working at the local radio station for school credit. In 1972 John became the manager of WRMS. Fourteen years later, Conner Family Broadcasting purchased the station until June 2010 when it sold to current owners LB Productions. John was most known for his Sports Broadcasting in which he announced every Beardstown Tiger or Rushville Rocket game that he could which brought him so much joy.
While John was managing the Radio Station, he also purchased his first carnival ride, a train that he would book with other carnivals or set up in the local shopping center parking lot which soon blossomed into Conner Family Amusements. Forty-nine years later, more family, more rides and vendor carts, his family still continues putting smiles on faces every season. He gave a lot of kids their first job and thought everybody deserved a chance, and there wasn’t a person in the industry that didn’t know of him. John could also sell anything to anyone. He used his skills to help establish the Rushville Merchants group, and in 2007 the Beardstown Fall Fun Festival honored John as Parade Marshall. He enjoyed listening to Country Music and cheering on the Chicago Cubs. Most of all he cherished the love of his life and his family.
Funeral services will be held at 2 PM Saturday, March 31, 2018 at Colwell Memorial Home in Beardstown, with burial in St. Alexius Catholic Cemetery. The family will meet with friends from 4-8 PM Friday March 30, 2018 at the memorial home.
Memorials have been suggested to St. John’s Lutheran Church or Cass/Schuyler Area Hospice.