Cover photo for Dale Eugene Conner's Obituary
Dale Eugene Conner Profile Photo

Dale Eugene Conner

September 1, 1951 — January 2, 2024

Camargo, IL

Dale Eugene Conner

Dale Eugene Conner, 72 of Camargo, IL passed away at 1:44 PM on Tuesday, January 2, 2024 at Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center in Mattoon, IL.

Visitation will be held from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM on Saturday, January 20, 2024 at the Edwards Funeral Home, 221 East Main St., Arcola, IL.  A memorial service will be held at 1:00 PM on Saturday, January 20, 2024 at the funeral home.  Pastor Jerry Conner, of the United Pentecostal Church of Villa Grove will officiate.  The Edwards Funeral Home in Arcola is assisting with arrangements.

Dale was born on September 1, 1951 in Urbana, IL.  He was the son of Homer Dale and Lorine (Lough) Conner.  He married Celeste Marie Baer on January 12, 1974 in Camargo, IL.

He is survived by his wife, Celeste Conner of Camargo, IL, one daughter, Michele Lynn Spencer and her husband William “Jay” Spencer, Jr. of Tuscola, IL, two grandchildren, Conner Jay Spencer and Isabella Mae Spencer, three siblings, Jerry Conner and his wife Judy of Camargo, IL, Sheila Barnes of Tuscola, IL and Linda Stabler of Carrollton, GA.  Also left to mourn are cherished nieces and nephews Ronnie Floyd, Robert Floyd, Brian Barnes, Cindy Schroeder, Bill Miller, Jody Kelley, Jennifer Arbuckle, Joni Horein, Brian Baer, Shannon Baer, Stephanie Brown, Derek Baer, and Jennifer Liggett as well as all of their spouses and children.  Dale had a special relationship with his brothers-in-law Steve Baer and his wife Marsha, Jeff Baer and his wife Jacqueline, and Bob Baer.  Countless other friends and family are sharing their condolences, love, and memories of him.

He was preceded in death by his parents, brother, Michael Conner, brother-in-law, Bernie Stabler, niece, Brandy Miller, and nephew Colin Baer, as well as many other special family and friends with who he is now reunited in Heaven.

Dad grew up and went to school in Arcola.  He had an impressive work ethic, rarely using a sick day throughout the 30 years as plant manager for Fabrionics, Inc. in Camargo.  When Fisher Athletics bought the company, he continued as a manager for them until his retirement in 2017.

January 12th would have been my parent’s 50th wedding anniversary, and my dad was upset knowing he wasn’t going to make it although we all had hope.  But when thinking of a span of 5 decades, what’s a few days?  We know it’s been 50 years and what an accomplishment that is.  Mom and Dad enjoyed razzing each other, but all (well mostly) in good fun.  They truly did love each other and enjoyed being together, and that kind of love never dies.  

Dad was known for his cooking.  He truly enjoyed making everyone breakfast or grilling out.  In fact, when my kids want their eggs cooked a special way, they ask for a “Pappo egg”.  Always loving warm weather (actually no weather was too hot for dad), he loved being outdoors as much as possible in the summertime.  He loved sitting on his deck watching birds, rabbits, and deer while contemplating popping a mischievous squirrel with his BB gun (although he never did).  He loved to spend his summers riding his motorcycle or attending car shows with his beloved ’67 Pontiac GTO.   Spending time with family, especially his grandkids, brought him much joy.  His grandkids affectionately call him Pappo, and they sure had a special bond and relationship.  Dad loved to sit on the floor and let them crawl all over him as toddlers, pulling his hair and rough housing.  Dad loved to sit outside and watch the kids play with the water hose, letting his frugal self slip a little with all the wasted water use.  After buying them a go-kart he really got a kick out of watching his grandson make laps around the yard turning it into an oval raceway.  Simple things like bonfires with s’mores and “roasted weenies” on a stick are some of our most cherished memories.

In his younger years dad enjoyed hunting, fishing, and boating as well as playing cards.  He was known for his accuracy of shooting rubber bands and was even known to kill a fly with one!  To know Dad is to know his stories, his laugh, and his smile. Often the same stories of his adventurous and ornery youth were retold so many times that many of us knew them by heart, but somehow we would all laugh as if we were hearing them for the first time.  He was known to say, “I remember when this was all cornfields!” when out for a drive, and “You can justify anything!” when listening to my mom or me state our case for something we wanted. He really enjoyed listening to music, especially the 60’s.  I’ll never see any Westerns, court shows, or Marvel movies without thinking of Dad.  I’ll miss him sending me recipes on Facebook even though he knew I didn’t like to cook.  He wouldn’t brag about being an animal lover, but we all knew how he loved all of “my” pets growing up and “Mom’s” cats.  The cats seemed to enjoy curling up on his lap, and he was often caught playing hide and seek with their current cat, Sheba.  Dad and I bet a dollar on every Monday Night Football game, and although I got the winning record this year, I still owed him a dollar from that last game when the Ravens beat my 49ers.  I will sure miss his texts to rile me up about the games.  I hope the Saints have a good season next year for you, Dad.  

While we selfishly wanted you to stay, the only solace we have is knowing that you are no longer fighting this horrid pancreatic cancer and dealing with chemotherapy and all of its awful effects.  No longer do you have to endure needle sticks and digging for veins.  No longer do you have to struggle to breathe.  No longer do you have to deal with cold, dark winters.  We know that towards the end, you would never get to return to all those things you loved, and so we are at peace knowing you are at peace.  Dad, I will do my best to take care of Mom for you, and stay close to our family.  I will keep your memory alive for your grandkids and continue to tell your stories.  I hope I live my life in a way that honors you.  You were the best Hubby, Dad, Pappo, Son, Brother, Uncle, and Friend and we were all blessed to have you in our lives.  Be in peace Dad.  I love you always.

Our family would like to thank all of the doctors and nursing staff at Sarah Bush Lincoln Hospital and Cancer Center for their excellent care and compassion for Dad.  You are all our heroes and we appreciate you all from the bottom of our hearts.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, Disabled American Veterans, The Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research, or any charity near and dear to your heart.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dale Eugene Conner, please visit our flower store.

Past Services


Saturday, January 20, 2024

11:00am - 1:00 pm (Central time)

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Memorial Service

Saturday, January 20, 2024

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Central time)

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