Conley Defferding, age 91, passed away peacefully surrounded by family on Sunday, May 15, 2022 in Albuquerque, NM. He was under the loving care of Beehive Assisted Living and Presbyterian Hospice staff.
He was preceded in death by his parents; two sisters: Mildred Klemp and husband Arthur and Hazel Martin and husband Orman; three brothers: Ory Defferding and wife Micky, Robert Defferding and wife Dorothy, and Marvin Defferding and wife Maida.
He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Delores Defferding of Albuquerque, NM; daughter, Julie Lester and husband James of Cuenca, Ecuador; daughter, Amy Coen of Albuquerque, NM; son, Preston Defferding and wife Donna of Plano, TX; five grandchildren: Tyler Lester, Kali Lester, Shelby Coen, Preston Defferding Jr. and Erica Defferding; and many cherished nieces and nephews.
Conley was a devoted and faithful Christian, husband, father, grandfather (Bompa) and friend to many.
He was born April 10, 1931 to Joseph John and Ursela Rose (Deltgen) Defferding on a rural farm in Birnamwood, Wisconsin; he was homeschooled by his mother. The family moved to Appleton, Wisconsin on West Loraine Street where he attended middle, high school and college at Lawrence University where he played on the golf and basketball teams.
He served his country honorably in the US Air Force from 1953-1976 and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel and brought the same commitment to church, family and community. His service in the military included staff weather scientist; Maxwell AFB war college instructor; and Sandia and Kirtland Defense Nuclear Agency.
He and Delores sponsored a POW from the Vietnam War while stationed at Maxwell AFB, Alabama. They also sponsored a Vietnamese refugee family and got them settled here in Albuquerque.
His interests included the art of decoupage, world travels, crossword puzzles, photography, history, and reading. In particular he loved watching UNM sports, especially Women’s Lobo Basketball. He enjoyed telling his Sven and Ole jokes!
He was a long time member of Immanuel Lutheran since 1961 and his involvement included: Church Deacon, congregational president, synod conciliator, pipe organ installation, hosting numerous missionaries, prison ministry and co-chaired Immanuel Lutheran’s 75th Anniversary celebration. In addition to his long time support of the church, he also contributed to other charitable organizations which included but not limited to: various military support organizations, Tunnels to Towers, Wounded Warriors and Project Compassion.
He was an accomplished Junior golfer winning Wisconsin Junior Open in his senior year of high school. He enjoyed traveling for golf playing at famous courses such at Torrey Pine and Pebble Beach. Throughout his golfing career he amassed 2 holes-in-one! Finally he participated in New Mexico Senior Open.
One of his favorite past times was keeping abreast of his children and grandchildren’s sports, music, school endeavors and careers.
He and Delores enjoyed many travels together in later years. Traveling to Norway, Europe, Alaska, Hawaii, the northwestern states and their home state of Wisconsin.
A pre-service audio-visual tribute will begin Saturday, May 21, 2022 at 12:30 PM until 1:00 PM followed by a Funeral Service at 1:00 PM at Immanuel Lutheran Church, 300 Gold Ave SE, Albuquerque, NM. A Private Interment will be held at Santa Fe National Cemetery with Full Military Honors.
His Memorial Service and video tribute can be viewed on Immanuel Lutheran Facebook page: Facebook,com/ImmanuelABQ
Donations may be made in Conley’s memory to Immanuel Lutheran Church – Missions, 300 Gold Ave SE, Albuquerque, NM 87102
Daniels Family Funeral Services
3113 Carlisle Blvd NE
Albuquerque, NM 87110