Master Sgt. Ralph A. Conerly

Published 6:06 am Friday, August 10, 2012

Master Sgt. Ralph A. Conerly, 75, of Lawton, Okla., died Wednesday, July 25, 2012, in Lawton.

Affectionately called “Tank,” he was born Nov. 15, 1936, to Ruben Conerly and Clara Mae Broadway Conerly, in Bogalusa. He attended public schools there and graduated from Bogalusa Central High School in 1956. While there, he played football, basketball and other sports. He attended Los Angeles City College and graduated in 1959. A Vietnam veteran, he was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1966 after college and served his country honorably for 26 years. Duty assignments included Fort Ord, Calif.; Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Md.; Hanau, Germany; Bergstrom Air Force Base, Texas; Republic of Vietnam; Fort Carson, Colo.; Ausburg, Germany; Fort Riley, Kan.; Mainz, Germany; Osan AFB, Korea; Kansas City, Kan.; Camp Casey; and South Korea. His awards and honors include Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal (2-oak leaf cluster), Army Achievement Medal, Good Conduct Medal Ribbon 9th Award; National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, NCO Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal and the Legion of Merit. He retired having attained the rank of master sergeant while assigned to Fort Sill.

He was a member of Grant Chapel A.M.E. Church, Lawton, for 30-plus years. He served as steward, trustee, president of the Lay Organization, Sunday school teacher, member of the Usher Board and Sons of Allen Ministries of the Church. He was a member of Rising Star Lodge No. 18 and a member of the 9th and 10th Cavalry Buffalo Soldiers. He married Gloria Irene Perkins on Jan. 7, 1968, in Compton, Calif. She preceded him in death in 1998.

Survivors include one daughter, Tanya Conerly of Lawton; two grandchildren, Iana Pleasant and Corey Batimon; one sister, Ola Mae Conerly (Harry), of Bogalusa; many nephews and nieces; two-godchildren; in-laws; other relatives; and many friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents; and his wife, Gloria Perkins Conerly.

The funeral was held Friday, Aug. 3 at Grant Chapel A.M.E. Church in Lawton, at 11 a.m. with the Rev. Ruth M. Holmes, pastor, officiating. Burial with military honors followed at Sunset Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Lawton, under direction of Howard-Harris Funeral Services of Lawton.