Leon Carl Conley

leon conley

December 12, 1937 ~ July 2, 2024

Born in: Coffeyville, Kansas
Resided in: Arlington, Texas

Leon Conley, a beloved husband, father, grandfather, uncle, cousin and friend passed away on Tuesday, July 2, 2024, at the age of 86. He was born on December 12, 1937, in Coffeyville, Kansas to Joe D. and Leta Marie Conley.

Leon, affectionately known as “Bud” by his family was a quiet, strong, private man who loved learning about new things. Leon’s career was always around the aircraft industry. As a teen, he worked at Boeing Aircraft Company in Wichita, Kansas. He moved to Texas and worked for Chance-Vaught Aircraft Company and Bell Helicopter. His dedicated service to Bell Helicopter for 37 years involved working on 16 different models of helicopters, traveling internationally for them and being part of the team that completed the Osprey helicopter, which could fly horizontally. He was a gear expert, loved gears and retired as Manager of Quality Assurance in 1999.

Leon was always fully dedicated to whatever he was focused on and that included his family. He supported his beloved, energetic wife, Celina “Cissy” Conley whom he married August 15,1964.

He adored and was so proud of their children:
1966- Daughter, Dawn Prejean (Allen) granddaughters, Katelyn (Tate) Woody and Sarah Marie, and grandson, Daniel Allen Prejean.
1967- Son, Shawn Conley (Patti)
Twins 1969- Son, Chris Conley (Aimee) grandson, Mason and granddaughter, Carson Conley, and Daughter. Christy Thomas (Trent), grandson, Colton and granddaughter, Claire Thomas.

He was looking forward to having great grandchildren eventually. He was happy he lived long enough to see all his grandchildren graduate from high school and pursue their college educations.

Leon graduated from Labette County Community High School. He played football and obtained a Mechanical Arts Degree from Coffeyville Junior College. He moved to Texas and studied Electrical Engineering at Arlington State College. Leon served in the U.S. Army Reserve and was called up for the Berlin Crisis to serve in the medical helicopter unit. (He would never stand and be recognized as a veteran because he said he had never been to war, and he thought it was disrespectful to those who had given their lives for our country.) He was honorably discharged in August 1962.

Leon grew up on farms caring for crops and animals. He raised a Reserve Grand Champion steer, played the steel guitar and football as a teen. Leon loved the outdoors. He loved golf, repairing anything broken, building, creating, inventing and just thinking. He learned and taught his children, to
fish (lake and deep sea) boat, hunt, camp, cook and love nature. He coached football and baseball and supported his active family’s endeavors. He always tried to attend his children’s events such as games, FFA shows, sports, long dance recitals, plays, cheerleading camps and competitions. He was an active member of their PTA’s and Booster Clubs.

He was President of the Arlington FFA Booster Club, President of the Arlington Men’s Garden Club, Elks Lodge, Lifetime Member of the Texas Woodcarvers Guild. Along with his wife, Cissy, he was co-chairman of the Fourth of July Parade for years up to and including the Bi-Centennial Parade. He supported the Arlington Arts League, Partners of the Life Shelter, Mission Arlington, Theatre Arlington and First United Methodist Church.

He participated in the American Royal Competition in Kansas City, with his hand – built Paw Paw’s Chuckwagon, for over ten years, winning several awards and receiving the KCBS Legacy Award. He was responsible for helping to build, support and expand his wife’s business, Cissy’s Party World, for 30 years.

In his retirement and senior years, he enjoyed RV-ing, woodcarving and gardening. He received many awards for his gardening skills and loved growing plants from seeds. He was always generous in sharing his culinary dinners and garden harvests with family and friends.

Leon was a quiet, private, dependable, dedicated to his family, sort of a man. He will be dearly missed for his quick wit, sense of humor, new projects and many skills. His favorite quotes were “I drive my own boat” and “ME DO SELF”.

He has closed those beautiful clear, blue eyes for the last time, and we pray that our Paw Paw is in
heaven with the Lord and a garden full of beautiful vegetables, laughing with his family and friends who went before him, sitting in the sun, by a lake, listening to Don Williams country music and thinking of a new project.

We pray you have eternal peace “Dad”. You were cherished and you are still loved.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to one of the following organizations in his memory. Arlington High School’s FFA program or Arlington Life Shelter.


Public Visitation: July 18, 2024 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Room: Chapel

Wade Funeral Home and Crematory
4140 West Pioneer Parkway
Arlington, Texas 76013


Private Graveside Service:

Parkdale Cemetery
701 Mary Street
Arlington, TX

(817) 275-2711

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  1. CandleImageMy sincere condolences to you and your entire family. Bud was loved beyond measure and he gave that love in return. My heart aches for you, the grief is so hard to get past but the sweet memories are always there. Much love to you❤️ ZLAM

  2. CandleImageCondolences to family during this time. It was a pleasure to get to know both his wife and him this past month.

  3. CandleImageLeon was an inspiration to many! He was a devoted “family man” and loved his wife and children first & foremost. He was a wonderful role model for all of us. Rest in peace! 🕊️❤️

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