Harrell Funeral Home of Austin
4435 Frontier Trail
AUSTIN TX 78745
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John Connor of Sunrise Beach, Texas passed away quietly on December 31, 2022. He was born to Paul and Louise Connor on August 29, 1936, in Lapile, Arkansas.
John was raised on his parents' farm in Monette, Arkansas, and graduated ... Read More
John Connor of Sunrise Beach, Texas passed away quietly on December 31, 2022. He was born to Paul and Louise Connor on August 29, 1936, in Lapile, Arkansas.
John was raised on his parents' farm in Monette, Arkansas, and graduated from Monette High School in 1954. He joined the Air Force in 1955 and went on to become an Airman 1st Class.
While on leave from his station at Little Rock Air Force Base, he met Winona Faye Gateley, of Lonoke, Arkansas, at a dance hall between Little Rock and Lonoke. They were married at the First United Methodist Church in Greenville, Mississippi on June 30, 1956.
John was stationed for a year at Sidi Slimane Air Force Base in Morocco and returned home to begin his career and start a family. Three girls came in quick succession - Paula Sue in 1958, Tammy Jo in 1959, and Cheryl Lynn in 1962. During this time, John earned his Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering and his Master's degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.
The Connor family moved to Houston in the 1970's so that John could work as a NASA contractor, and they made a home in Texas. Each of their girls graduated high school in Houston and went on to start their own families, staying close by John and Winona (except for the few years some of them went overseas, much to their grandparent's chagrin). In 1979 they moved to Friendswood, Texas, which would be their home for the next 38 years.
They were members of the First United Methodist Church of Friendswood for 38 years, volunteering in several capacities throughout the church. His faith was very important to him, and he made many dear friends through the church, which was central to his life. He and Winona believed strongly in volunteering their time to serve their communities, and he began a long-lived partnership with Habitat for Humanity, using his construction knowledge to help build houses for low-income families. He also took his construction skills to Mexico on several village-building projects and accompanied his granddaughter on a mission trip to Ecuador and was part of a crew building a much-needed village community center.
While living in Friendswood, John was able to pursue his interest in new technology, starting several companies that allowed him to create a vibrant career doing what he loved. Control Applications was founded in the 1970's, creating integrated control systems for oil and gas companies. Connor and Associates provided tech, server, and network support to small businesses. John was also an early part of Metrocom, started with seed money from Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, and helped to develop radio frequency-based wireless technology. John retired several times but was frequently drawn back by his interest in changing and developing technology, before finally enjoying his retirement in the early 2000's.
In 2017, John and Winona moved to Sunrise Beach, TX to be closer to family. They enjoyed their lake view and the quiet community and especially loved having their three daughters in the same neighborhood.
John loved to travel, and he and Winona took many trips, including several to Europe to visit grandchildren. He enjoyed fishing, visiting with friends, volunteering, and giving his grandkids rides on his tractor. His steady, warm presence will be deeply missed by friends and family across Arkansas and Texas.
John is preceded in death by his beloved wife, Winona Faye Connor, and his parents, Paul and Louise Connor. He is survived by his sister Sue Connor Johnson and her husband Mark Johnson, his daughters: Paula Jones and husband Kevin Jones of Sunrise Beach, Tammy Guest and husband Lonnie Guest of Sunrise Beach, and Cheryl Stazo and husband Steve Stazo of Sunrise Beach, grandchildren: Katy Jones-Gulsby and husband James Gulsby of Los Alamos, New Mexico, Nathan Jones of Austin, Quinn Guest and wife Haylee Guest of Liberty Hill, Marissa Valente and husband Matheus Valente of Houston, Samantha Stazo of Houston and Madison Stazo of College Station, three great-grandchildren and numerous nieces, nephews and extended family.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in John's name to Bay Area Habitat for Humanity (https://www.bahfh.org/donate), a 501c3 non-profit home builder in the Galveston, Southeast Harris, and Northern Brazoria County area partnering with families to build quality, safe, affordable homes with zero percent interest mortgages.
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