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David M. Conner
July 28, 1957 ~ September 9, 2023 (age 66) 66 Years Old
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Dr. David McDonald Conner, a dedicated psychiatrist, cherished husband, and loving father, passed away on September 9, 2023, leaving behind an enduring legacy of compassion, intellect, and community service. Born on July 28, 1957, in Cyril, Oklahoma, David was the beloved son of Hugh McDonald Conner, a World War II veteran, surgeon, and psychiatrist, and Mildred Jane Bondurant Conner, an accomplished social worker. From the outset, his parents instilled in him the values of empathy and the desire to make a positive impact on the lives of others. David was also a devoted older brother to Susan, his only sister.
David's educational journey commenced at the University of Oklahoma, where he not only pursued academic excellence but also found his college sweetheart and future wife, Elcee Cagas, an immigrant from the Philippines and aspiring respiratory therapist. David's academic prowess shone brightly as he graduated with the highest honors from medical school in 1983, the same year he married Elcee. His unwavering commitment to the field of psychiatry propelled him to become the chief resident at Washington University in St. Louis, MO. David then went on to operate a private psychiatric practice in the Metro East region for the next 35 years.
In 1987, David and Elcee were blessed with the arrival of their son, Christopher, who later pursued a career as a Licensed Professional Counselor. As the years passed, David and Christopher shared an extraordinary professional journey, working side by side in their private practice, during which they provided invaluable mental health support to countless individuals and families.
Dr. David Conner was an intellectual and a philanthropist, whose life was devoted to the betterment of his community. His outstanding contributions to the field earned him the prestigious distinction of being named a fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. Moreover, he was an honorary member of the Filipino American community, lauded for his exceptional service. David's dedication extended well beyond his medical practice; he served multiple terms as the president of the Association for Filipino Physicians in Southern Illinois and was known as the quiz master for their annual Science Quiz.
In addition to his professional accomplishments, David was a devoted patron of the arts, an avid lover of the St. Louis Symphony, and longtime member of the Missouri Botanical Gardens. His appreciation for culture and the natural world enriched the lives of those around him. David continued to watch and relish Oklahoma Sooners football games, finding joy in supporting his alma mater throughout the years. David, accompanied by his wife and son, embarked on adventures that took them to far corners of the globe, exploring Europe, Latin America, and Asia. Their travels were not just journeys but profound experiences that allowed them to connect with the world and embrace its beauty and uniqueness.
Visitation will be held on Saturday, September 16, 2023, from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Kassly Mortuary, Ltd., Fairview Heights, IL.
A funeral service to celebrate the life of Dr. David McDonald Conner will be held on Sunday, September 17, 2023, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at Kassly Mortuary, Ltd, Fairview Heights, IL.
In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests that donations be made to the Philippine Economic and Cultural Endowment, a cause that held a special place in David's heart.
David leaves behind an enduring legacy in the field of psychiatry and a profound impact on the lives of those he touched. He will be deeply missed and forever remembered as a healer, a mentor, and a beloved member of the community.