Conlan Burke Williams, Jr., was born August 2, 1934, in Hysham. He grew upon the family farm/ranch on Sarpy Creek south of Hysham. He attended elementary school at Sanders and graduated from Hysham High School in 1952.
During the summer months when he wasn't helping his dad with farming/ranching, Conlan spent any extra time he had riding his scooter through the hills collecting agates, many of which he cut and polished and some of which he made into rings. He also spent summers learning foreign languages. During his younger years Conlan was somewhat known for his temper, according to our mother, when he got angry he would eat a whole pan (a dozen) freshly baked cinnamon rolls.
Shortly after graduating from high school Conlan traveled to Butte to enlist in the United States Army. While in the service during the Korean War he was stationed in Japan, serving as a member of the military police.
After returning to the states, Conlan decided he was not cut out to be a country boy and moved to Missoula where he began his college education at the University of Montana. He later moved to Butte where he attended the Montana School of Mines.
Conlan spent time working in California, Saigon during the Vietnam War, and Greenland. After being evacuated from Saigon he spent time traveling in Europe before returning to the states. His next stop was Greenland, and while living there he became ill and was airlifted back to Montana. After his recovery he moved to California and then to San Manuel where he continued with his college education, graduating from the University of Arizona in Phoenix with a degree in English.
You have free articles remaining.
During his career as a civilian employee with the various divisions of the armed services Conlan lived in Arizona, California, Michigan, and finally Alexandria, Virginia, and surrounding areas. Conlan earned numerous awards and certificates for his assistance training other civilian workers and finding ways for the various governmental agencies to save money.
On July 5, 2017, after having sold his home in Alexandria, Virginia, and retiring, Conlan and his sister drove his FJ Cruiser to Billings where he resided for the next year.
In Oct. of 2018 after having spent a little over a year in Billings, Conlan wanted nothing more of retirement and returned to Virginia in his FJ Cruiser. He purchased a home in Buena Vista because his plan was to attend a school in nearby Roanoke where he could renew his security officer license. That plan was never completed, however, and in Jan. 2019 he began discussing and planning for his return to Billings. As with his plan to attend training in Roanoke, his wish to return to Montana did not come to be. He passed away from pneumonia in the Carolian Hospital in Roanoke, Virginia, on Sept. 29, 2019.
Conlan was preceded in death by his parents, Conlan Burke Williams and Ruby Emma (Heuschkel) Williams; sister, Barbara; and brother, Ira ('Ike'). He is survived by sisters, Nancy of Billings; Betty Close (and husband Dave) of Fort Lupton, Colorado; and Linda of Billings. He is also survived by a son and daughter of Virginia.
Conlan was a kind and generous man and will be missed by those of us who knew and cared for him.