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Gordon A. Conrad May 4, 1940 - January 10, 2024

Gordon A. Conrad

May 4, 1940-January 10, 2024

 

Gordon was born in Gering, Nebraska on May 4, 1940, to his mother Elizabeth Bernice Berg Conrad and his father Alexander Conrad. His sister Camilla Kay was born in 1941and his brother Clifford Dean was born in 1941. At age 4, Gordon and his two younger siblings lost their father to prostate cancer, when the father was only twenty-seven.

His mother remarried Julius Louis “Murph” Radisauskas, a man in the US Air Force, and eventually had three more children, Leonard Andrew Radisauskas, Mary Elizabeth Radisauskas, and Barbara Ann Radisauskas.

The “new” family moved from the Alliance Army Air Base in western Nebraska to Rantoul, Illinois, where they lived for 8 years. This move was prompted by Gordon’s stepfather’s transfer to Chanute Air Force Base, south of Chicago. During this time, Gordon served as a strong role model for his siblings, excelled at baseball, and won several bicycles, as he was deemed the most successful newspaper carrier on the base. He loved living on this airbase community and had many friends there.

For grades 1-8, Gordon attended Catholic Schools in Rantoul. The Air Force then transferred the family to Tripoli, Libya, for a 2-year period. During this time, Gordon and his friends excelled in spearfishing and beach bumming, outside of the required hours at Tripoli High School.

Subsequently, the Air Force transferred the family to Dreux Air Force Base in France. Gordon and his sister were enrolled in a boarding high school in southern Paris. In 1958, the family returned to the United States and was stationed at Stead Aire Force Base outside Reno, Nevada.

At the age of nineteen, Gordon enlisted in the US Army and served from 1959 to 1967. During a 40-month break in service, he completed the Police Academy in Nevada, and worked as a Police Officer in Reno. He re-enlisted in the US Army in 1971 and served until 1983.

His military specialties included: engineering equipment maintenance, Hawk Missile crew member, flight simulator specialist, (instructor, operator, maintenance, and repair,) flight operations coordinator, airfields operations, control tower operations, and military police.

After 21 years of active duty, serving at 23 locations and spending a significant amount of time on temporary duty (TDY) in various locations, Gordon retired in June of 1983 with the rank of Sergeant First Class. He then used his GI Benefits to attend college in Nevada. While working full time, he attended Truckee Meadow Community College for one year and the University of Nevada at Reno for 2.5 years, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in social work. Gordon passed the Nevada and Idaho Social Work Licensure exams, and he moved to Nampa, Idaho, for his first social work job. After one year at Nampa Health and Welfare and one year at Boise Health and Welfare, he transferred to a social work position at the Idaho Department of Corrections and worked there for nine years. He also spent two years for Idaho Easter Seals before retiring in August 2003.

Gordon met Sheri in 1990 and they married in 1991. He stepped into the role of helping raise Sheri’s children Christopher and Amy, who were then 13 and 9 years old. That was a challenging situation for him to jump into, especially as he had no prior plan to become a father. But love and commitment strengthened him beyond his original expectations.

Many of Gordon’s hobbies centered around airplanes and flying. He and Sheri built and flew remote-controlled airplanes for a couple of years. Though Gordon had obtained his Private Pilot License while in the US Army, he had to apply for an updated medical. He and Sheri then bought a Piper Cherokee. He taught Sheri to navigate and set radios for him while he flew. He also studied hard and got his instrument ticket, then bought a Beech Sierra for instrument flying in the western US. They sold both planes, and he joined a local flight club so he could fly for a couple more years. He was incredibly sad that after he had open-heart surgery, he could no longer meet medical qualifications to fly.

Another significant hobby for Gordon was trap shooting with clubs in Boise, Baker City and Caldwell. He continued to collect guns and maintained concealed weapon permits for several states and resorted to mostly target shooting.

Gordon and Sheri enjoyed extensive travel over the years, some with family or friends, and some on their own. The most meaningful was the trip they took in 2022, when they visited Israel with a wonderful group from Holy Apostles Church in Meridian. Despite challenges posed by Covid testing requirements, they followed the life of Jesus through Israel, reconnecting with their faith through re-Baptism in the Jordan River and recommitment of their wedding vows in Cana Chapel, Galilee.

Gordon is survived by his spouse, Sheri Lynne Plumb Grenda Conrad; his stepson Christopher Alan Grenda (Luci Mary Homola); his stepdaughter Amy Leigh Grenda Stahman (Jeffrey Dean Stahman); his granddaughter, Hailey Skye Grenda; his grandsons, Cole Hunter Grenda, Parker Robert Stahman, and Paxton Wilder Stahman. Gordon’s sister Camilla Kay Athey, and his sister-in-law “Rae” Irvine Marrs Conrad also survive him. He has two younger sisters who may be alive, but their whereabouts are not known.

Gordon’s mother and father, Elizabeth Bernice Berg and Alexander Conrad, his stepfather Julius Louis Radisauskas, his brothers Clifford Dean Conrad and Leonard Andrew Radisauskas, all preceded him in death.

A Celebration of Life for Gordon will be at 1pm on Sunday, March 10, 2024, at the Riverhouse, 960 South Main Street in Star, Idaho.

If desired, charitable donations on behalf of Gordon Conrad may be made to any local animal rescue/shelter, to the Idaho Foodbank or to any group serving Veterans in Idaho.

Cremation and other services are being provided by Bowman Funeral Parlor in Garden City, Idaho. Gordon’s urn will be placed by the family in the Columbarium Wall of the Idaho Veteran’s Cemetery in Boise.

A Celebration of Life for Gordon will be at 1pm on Sunday, March 10, 2024, at the Riverhouse, 960 South Main Street in Star, Idaho.

Condolence(1)

  1. REPLY
    Mike Young says

    We’re saddened to hear about Gordon. Cindy and I are sorry for your loss. Time goes too fast .
    Mike Young and Cindy Trail

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