CARBONDALE — David Eugene Conrad passed away peacefully on Feb. 9, 2019, at home with his family and loved ones around him.
He was an amazing man, husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, who led an extraordinary life of honesty, integrity and service.
David was born on Aug. 22, 1928, in Marietta, Oklahoma, to David Eben Conrad and Lurlynne Marion Herrin Conrad.
He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Beverly, a daughter Dr. Cynthia Conrad Gingras of Plantsville, Connecticut, a son Dr. Edward Conrad of Murphysboro, Illinois, a sister Kay Lynne Henderson of Wimberley, Texas, two granddaughters: Eleanor Conrad Claffey of Prosper, Texas, and Emily Conrad Pierce of Murphysboro, Illinois; a great-granddaughter, Victoria Claffey and a great-grandson Peter Claffey, both of Prosper, Texas.
His formative years were spent in Marietta, as well as Midlothian, Texas, and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. David joined the U.S. Army a week after his 18th birthday, and served in occupied Japan in 1946 and 1947. He served again in the Korean War as an officer, at the end of which he, as a staff historian, witnessed the signing of the Korean War Armistice in Panmunjom, Korea. Between the wars, David completed a Bachelor's Degree in Letters, then after Korea a Master's Degree in History, and a Ph.D. in History, all from the University of Oklahoma. With the goal of an academic life, David took a faculty position at Southwest Texas State College in 1957 and remained there until 1967. At that time, he moved to a faculty position at Southern Illinois University, in the Department of History. He retired in 1995 at the position of full professor.
A longtime resident of Southern Illinois, David was very active in his community. He served as Jackson County Board Chair, leadership positions in the Democratic Party, President of the Lake Chautauqua Homeowners Association, and Commander of the Local Veterans of Foreign Wars organization. David served as the President of the Carbondale Lions Club, and was honored with the Melvin Jones award, the highest award from the Lions Clubs International Foundation for dedicated humanitarian services.
Funeral Services for David Eugene Conrad will be Saturday, Feb. 16, at 1 p.m. in First United Methodist Church of Carbondale, with the Rev. Alan Rhein officiating. Interment will follow at the Pleasant Grove Memorial Park. Military rites will be accorded.
Visitation will be from 11 a.m. until the hour of service at the church.
In lieu of flowers, donations be made to the First United Methodist Church and/or Carbondale Lions Club and will be accepted at the services.
Crain Pleasant Grove-Murdale Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
To view the obituary or to leave an online condolence for the family, visit www.crainsonline.com.