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Ronald Lee Conley, youngest child of Cora Belle Keller Conley was born December 12, 1934, in Knowlton, IA exactly two months after the death of his father, Thomas Hartford Conley. He was welcomed into the home by sisters, Vesta Maxine, Marjorie Geraldine, Retha Marie, and brother, Donald Everett. His mother later remarried, and he had a stepfather, Claude Byerly.
As a young child, Ronald lived in Knowlton where he attended school through the eighth grade and then transferred to the Diagonal Community School where he graduated in 1953. After graduation he worked for area farmers before joining the United States Army on October 27, 1954. He served as Forward Observer with the 48th Field Artillery Battalion, Company C in Korea. He was honorably discharged on August 8, 1956. Upon returning home, he began employment with the Derry Oil Company in Lamoni, IA. He later began employment with Warin Oil Company where he worked for 28 ½ years. Upon the closing of the Maloy station, he then began working for Reasoner’s gas station in Creston and later retired from Franklin Standard in Creston on March 26, 2005.
While working at Derry Oil in Lamoni, Ronald met the love of his life. On Friday, January 3, 1958, Ronald was united in marriage to Betty Lou Dugan Conley in Lamoni, IA. They first set up their home in Maloy before moving to Lamoni for a short time. They returned to Maloy to start a family. During this time, they welcomed and raised their two daughters, Cynthia Anne and Colleen Dianne. Later two sons-in-law, Martin Tonsfeldt (Cindy) and Ed Minnick (Colleen), joined the family becoming the sons he never had. Colleen and Ed gave him the pleasure of having two granddaughters, Kylee and Nici. In later years his granddaughters were joined in marriage to Cory Fleharty (Kylee) and Dreu Thomas (Nici) and gave him five great grandkids. Payton, Preston and Paisley Fleharty along with Sawyer and Huxlee Thomas took over the spotlight in his life. On October 2, 1993, they made their final move to Mount Ayr to be closer to the grandkid’s activities.
Grandpa was his favorite title. He never missed any activities that any of the grandkids participated in. No matter his schedule he always found time to support his grandkids. The Conley home was always open to the grandkids and their friends to have a place to go after school or between practices. You could always find your favorite drinks and snacks stocked in the cupboard.
Ronnie was a poet. He wrote many poems for Betty, his daughters, and granddaughters. Kylee and Nici loved it when he would sing a silly song or yodel. He enjoyed wood working, flowers, gardening, camping at the Iowa State Fair and a variety of sports. Christmas was his favorite holiday where he loved to decorate both inside and outside. He especially liked his Christmas village. His family came first and foremost in his life and was always willing and wanting to do do for them, ahead of himself. He has spent many miles traveling with his family including trips to South Padre, Las Vegas, Nashville, Branson and a cruise to the Virgin Islands.
On January 1, 2022, at the age of 87 Ronald joined his Lord and savior in heaven at the Ringgold County Hospital in Mount Ayr. He was surrounded by his two daughters and two granddaughters. He was welcomed into heaven by his beloved wife, Betty, two days shy of what would have been their 64th wedding anniversary
Left to cherish his memory are his two daughters, Cynthia Anne (Cindy) and her husband, Martin Tonsfeldt, of Ogden, IA and Colleen Dianne and her husband, Edward Minnick, of Mount Ayr; two granddaughters, Kylee Breanne Minnick Fleharty, and husband, Cory, of Clearfield and Nicole Raeanne Minnick Thomas and husband, Dreu, of Mount Ayr; two step granddaughters, Jill Losh, and husband, Tom, of Homewood, IL and Michelle Johnson and husband, Bruce, of Clermont, FL; great grandsons, Payton and Preston Fleharty and Sawyer Thomas; great granddaughters, Paisley Fleharty and Huxlee Thomas; three step great grandsons, Ryan Struble, Tommy Losh and Carter Johnson; one step great granddaughter, Mackenzie Johnson; sister-in-law, Barbara Goodard of Dacono, CO; brothers-in-law, Ed Dugan, and wife, Cindy, of Mount Ayr, Mike Dugan and wife, Joni, of Diagonal; and several nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Services were held at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, January 5, 2022 at the Armstrong Funeral Home in Mount Ayr, IA.
Officiating was Rev Al Rush.
Songs were “Daddy’s Hands”, “Grandpa, Tell Me ‘Bout the Good Old Days” and “Wings of a Snow-White Dove”.
Casketbearers were Dreu Thomas, Cory Fleharty, Payton Fleharty, Preston Fleharty, Paul Glendenning and David Groves.
Honorary pallbearers were Kylee Fleharty, Nici Thomas, Paisley Fleharty, Huxlee Thomas, Sawyer Thomas, Ed Minnick, Mike Dugan, Eddie Dugan and Martin Tonsfeldt.
Burial was at the Rose Hill Cemetery in Mount Ayr, IA.
Military Honors by Ringgold Post #172 and Iowa Army Honor Guard.
Memorials are in Ron’s name for a memorial bench at the Mount Ayr High School Baseball Field.

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