JERRY POWER CONNER March 20, 1927 – July 1, 2022
It is with heavy hearts that the family of Jerry Power Conner announces his passing on July 1, 2022. Our beloved father was born in Sherman, Texas on March 20, 1927. He was the only son of Maude Power Conner and Vester Conner and spent his formative years both on the farm and in Houston. He served in the US Navy in the final years of World War II where he received training in Naval aircraft electronics. After discharge he returned to Houston to marry his sweetheart, Annie Lela Lee, on September 7, 1947, and to pursue his college education.
After obtaining his doctorate in Physics from Rice University, he travelled to New Mexico in 1952 to start working at the National Laboratory in Los Alamos. His extensive career at the laboratory was marked by many discoveries and contributions in his field. Everyone who had the pleasure of knowing Jerry or working with Jerry could attest to his brilliant mind and his ability to solve scientific problems and engineering challenges. His experience and knowledge of his area of expertise was sought out on multiple levels at the laboratory and he remained a consultant after his retirement.
Jerry was a gregarious and fun-loving father who delighted in telling stories and sharing his knowledge of science, nature and practical skills with his family and friends. It was well known that Jerry could fix almost anything that broke or design a solution to any household or automotive problem. If the job required a tool that hadn’t yet been invented, Jerry would make it. His creativity in designing engineering “fixes” for plant watering systems, retaining walls and other commonly encountered challenges were in evidence throughout the home and on paper as he used his engineering skills to draw out the designs in an endearingly meticulous fashion.
The family enjoyed an outdoor life filled with camping trips and visits to national parks and cultural locations. He and his wife Annie travelled extensively for his work and brought a global cultural perspective to their family life. Jerry was known for his humor, kindness, and generosity. Of the many home projects that he undertook, his passion in winemaking, which included establishing a vineyard in his backyard, was legendary in the family history.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 67 years, Annie Lela Conner, who passed away in 2014.
Jerry is survived by his three adult children: Susan, Patrick and Kim; his grandchildren Michael, Jennifer, Corinne and Alexandra; and his three great-grandchildren Madison, Jackson and Sophia.
The family wishes to thank the team of caregivers who assisted in his medical care over the last few years: Heather Mokino, Jana Benad, Dr. David Church, Dr. Rodgers: your care and compassion is greatly appreciated and we are thankful that you were the people at his side throughout his journey. We know that he was grateful to each and every one of you. Thank you.
Jerry Power Conner was a remarkable man, an excellent scientist and a most awesome father. He will be missed more than we can express in words. He will live in our hearts forever.