Elmer Ray Conner

September 10, 1937 ~ March 22, 2011

Elmer Ray Conner, 73, went peacefully to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ on Tuesday, March 22, 2011, while being treated in a Houston hospital. He lived a life wrapped in the love of Jesus. He would have us remember one thing: know Jesus, live, walk, trust, and rest in Him. His family cherishes the memories of his faithful love for all, which was rooted in Jesus' faithful love for him.

Born September 10, 1937 in Sweet Lake, Louisiana, to Clopha and Olezema Guillory Conner, Mr. Conner was a graduate of Gillis High School, where he played football, basketball, and ran track. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1956 to 1960. He met and married his beloved wife on July 2, 1960 in Jacksonville, Florida. Mr. Conner worked at United Insurance Company of America in Jacksonville from 1961 to 1967 and continued as the District Manager for thirteen years in Gainesville, Florida. In 1979 he moved back to Lake Charles to go in business with his brother Nolan and formed Nolan and Elmer Conner Construction Company, where he served as a general contractor. Following the death of his brother, the company was renamed Conner / Manceaux Construction Company. After his retirement in 1999 he developed land and rental property. Mr. Conner helped develop and open "Whispering Meadows R.V. Park in Westlake with his brother Bob Conner.

Some of Mr. Conner's hobbies include fishing and hunting with his family, grandchildren, and friends. Having the family together, seeing the love and laughter around the table, talking one on one with his grandchildren, spending time with his friends, sharing stories and making children laugh were some of his favorite things in life.

Mr. Conner was a faithful member of First Baptist Church of Lake Charles, serving on and chairing various church committees. He was a deacon for forty-five years, thirty of those at First Baptist, and was Chairman of the Deacons for two terms. He taught Bible study for forty-eight years, twenty-nine of those years at First Baptist. His goal was to start new men's Bible study classes and he actively pursued that goal throughout his life.

Mr. Conner was a member of the Kiwanis Club of Lake Charles, where he served as president, a member of various committees, and received the Human and Spiritual Award three times. He was also a lifetime member of the Salvation Army Advisory Board, Gideons International, Gum Cove 8 Hunting Club, Dry Creek Baptist Encampment Trustee, and the McNeese Quarter Back Club.

But the dearest thing to his heart was being a daily witness for Jesus Christ. As he and his wife Betty traveled on their vacations or on hunting/fishing trips, his mission was to reach people for Jesus Christ. Wherever he traveled in Europe, South America, New Zealand, or across the States, he witnessed and gave out Gideon Bibles and "Purpose Driven Life" books.

Every doctor and nurse he came in contact with in May 2010 at the Mayo Clinic, Minn., heard about Jesus Christ and also the doctors and nurses at M.D. Anderson Hospital in Houston from December 2010 to March 2011. For two years, he fought a battle with the pain of lymphoma, yet witnessed and counseled with anyone who needed someone to listen.

Survivors include his beloved wife of fifty years, Betty Marie Larisey Conner; sons, Tim Conner and wife Diane Burch Conner and Eric Conner and wife Shannon Buck Conner; and daughter, Paula Conner Foley and husband Kyle Foley; grandchildren, Caleb Conner and Chase Domingue, Laura Domingue Dougherty and husband Danny, Lauren, Grant, Jordan, and Zachary Conner, and Conner and Blake Foley; siblings, Emily Gotheaux of Welsh, LA, Melba Kull of Harrisville OH, Donelda Casteel of Sulphur, LA, and R.B. Conner of Westlake, LA; and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Clopha and Olezema Guillory Conner; siblings, Nolan Conner, Margaret LeBert, Amos Conner, and Alberta Freston; and granddaughter, Brittany Conner.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. on Friday, March 25, 20ll at First Baptist Church of Lake Charles under the direction of Johnson Funeral Home. Dr. John White and Dr. Emil Turner will officiate. Burial will be at Consolata Cemetery. Visitation will be at the funeral home on Thursday from 4 until 9 p.m. and on Friday at the church from 1 p.m. until service time.

The family would like to express a special word of thanks to Dr. Ron Lewis for his dedication and compassion during Elmer's illnesses, and also to the doctors, therapists, and especially the nurses who attended him during his three months at M. D. Anderson

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Gideons International, P.O. Box 5942, Lake Charles, LA 70605 or Dry Creek Baptist Encampment, P.O. Box 580, Dry Creek, LA 70637

Words of comfort to the family may be expressed at

Elmer spent each day studying the Bible and praying. One of his favorite verses was Proverbs 3:5-6, which says, "Trust in the Lord with all thy heart; and lean not unto your own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." (KJV) He believed that at death, the physical body returns to dust, and the soul of the believer is welcomed into heaven. He believed that the Bible says in 2 Peter 3:9 that God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. His prayer was that all of you who read this would take seriously John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life,"" and, if you haven't already, that you would receive that gift of eternal life.

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  1. An untimely passing of Man who forever put the needs of othersahead of his own.I was fortunate to have known Him. Talis Meijers

  2. Conner Family…We could send a message all day. and not say enough for our dear friend (Elmer)I know there aren't any words we can send to make you feel better, just know that we have only good memories of what a loving, good,natured person Elmer was. we hope your memories of him will help you all get thru this. Your neighbors in Christ….love prayers

  3. Dear Betty,I was so sorry to hear about Mr. Elmer. Both Keith and I thought he was the greatest! He came to visit us on a Tuesday night and invited us to church. He was such a godly example to Keith-Keith was one of the many people he gave a copy of The Purpose-Driven Life. Cindy Carlson

  4. How broken our hearts are at Elmer's passing, yet rejoice KNOWING he is with our Lord. He leaves a legacy behind, an example for us all to follow. May we all hear the words that I KNOW Elmer heard upon entering the gates of heaven, WELL DONE THY GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT. Please know you are in our prayers. May God wrap His loving arms around you and hold you tight in these days.Chester, Gail, and Phillip

  5. Just wanted to let you know that you all are in our prayers. Elmer will be sorely missed. He was such a kind Man of God.

  6. Mr. Elmer Conner was a wonderful man and it was an absolute pleasure to have known him. He was a man of faith and I know that our loss is heaven's gain.Dr. Donald R Thigpen, DC

  7. Such a Sweet Man…I remeber when we moved to Contour Street and you, Betty and Kids were our neighbors…we will cherish our friendship throughout the years and may God Bless you and your family…Always, Fifi and Donny Martin

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