William T. Conner, Jr.INDIANAPOLIS - William T Conner, Jr (“Bill”) passed away surrounded by loved ones at home on November 29th, 2018. He was 80 years old.
Bill was the son the of William T. Conner, Sr and Maudames Conner and was born on March 7th, 1938 in Evansville, Indiana. He graduated from Burris High School in Muncie in 1956 and went on to attend Purdue University. Bill was an active member of Alpha Chi Rho fraternity, obtained an ROTC Scholarship and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering in 1960.
Immediately after graduation from Purdue University Bill joined the US Navy where he applied and was accepted to the US Navy Submarine School as a Lieutenant. Bill spent twenty years in the Navy was among the first graduates of the newly formed “Nuclear Submarine School” under Admiral Rickover in the 1960’s. During this period the US Navy made the transition for from diesel powered to nuclear powered naval vessels. Only the very best and brightest were selected for this school and the it was very difficult to complete the training as it required the candidates to essentially obtain a second nuclear engineering degree from the US Navy. Bill therefore had the unique experience of starting his twenty-year career in a WWII styled Barbel Class diesel powered submarine, and ending his active duty career operating and navigating Polaris missile and nuclear-powered attack submarines as Executive Officer.
Bill was at sea during the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Vietnam War and was highly decorated for his service in the Pacific. Bill was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Commander in 1973 and served with distinction on the USS Bonefish, the USS Daniel Boone, the USS James Madison, and the USS Skipjack. After his active duty period Bill worked with for the Atlantic Command in Norfolk, Virginia and taught naval navigation in Dam Neck, Virginia. There is no doubt to those that knew Bill well that the US Navy defined his life and that he was tremendously proud of his accomplishments and experiences during this period of his life.
After retiring from the Navy Bill went on to graduate from Indiana University where he obtained Masters in Business Administration in 1982. After graduation Bill settled his family in Indianapolis, Indiana and went into the securities industry as an executive. Bill was instrumental in programming and developing the very first electronic trading platform for trading stocks and bonds using computer technology. This technology was later developed into the trading platforms that are used today worldwide in the banking and securities industries. Bill then went on to work for Charles Schwab until his second retirement in the late 1990s.
After full retirement Bill had a multi-faceted life and stayed productively active. Bill was an accomplished carpenter and fine woodworker and he took great pride in the log cabin that he built near Owen County State Forest.
Due to his naval experience navigating by the sun and stars using nothing more than an azimuth in the era before satellites and GPS navigation, Bill became intensely interested in astronomy as a hobby. Over the course of the last twenty-five years of his life Bill became an active member of the Indiana Astronomical Society and an accomplished and published astronomical photographer. Bill thoroughly enjoyed attending “Star Parties” nationwide with his friends and teaching astronomy seminars at Butler and Indiana University.
Bill also had an active personal life and found time to enjoy Ballroom dancing at the Continental Dance Club in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Bill is preceded in death by his parents, and his brother, Jim Conner. Bill is succeeded by his two sons, Bill D. Conner and Wade T. Conner; Wade’s wife, Monika; three sisters, Carroll Conner, Jane Conner-King, Ann Cox; five grandchildren; and his significant other, Joy Quyle. Bill lived a full an active life that was punctuated by duty, discipline, patriotism, fiscal responsibility, a strong work ethic and a love for life.
“Sailor, Rest Your Oar”.
Friends and family may gather on Saturday December 15th from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Flanner Buchanan – Carmel, 325 E Carmel Dr., Carmel, IN 46032, where a funeral service will begin at 5:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Bill’s name to Torchbearers International or Horizon Orphans . Please visit www.flannerbuchanan.com to sign the online guest register and to make online donations.
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