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Kenneth Tilson Conner, Jr.


Last updated 6/18/2020 at 6:38pm

Kenneth Tilson Conner, Jr.

Kenneth Tilson Conner, Jr., of Fallbrook, California, passed away peacefully June 6, 2020, at the age of 79 due to complications of a lengthy illness.

He was born Oct. 22, 1940, to Kenneth Tilson Conner Sr. and Emily Grace Holmes Conner in Orange, California, and grew up on an orange ranch in the Red Hill area of Tustin, California. He was the youngest of three children joining sisters Ann and Nancy. In addition to running the ranch, the family enjoyed many trips to the California deserts, camping and rock collecting.

After high school, Kenneth attended Orange Coast College. He managed an avocado ranch in San Marcos, California, where he also had a pottery studio; he traveled through Canada, Europe and Mexico, and then moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in the mid-60s, where he achieved a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and an MFA from Mills College.

Kenneth was a wonderful artist with the focus of his work being painting and pottery. Following his time in San Francisco, he and his family (his former wife, Sarah, and their daughter, Jennifer) moved to the South Victoria area of Australia around 1970 where he was an art teacher and also had numerous shows of his work. He also lived in Tasmania for about five years before returning to California in the mid-80s to help care for his parents.

For the last 35 years, Kenneth lived in San Diego County, including Palomar Mountain and Fallbrook. He married again (current wife, Amy) in 1987 and they had their son, Brendan, in 1993.

Kenneth was a unique, generous and kind person with a lively gift of gab, sense of humor, passion for art and antiques and friendliness toward all. He was a character who enjoyed various jobs he had over the years maintaining a spring water operation, being a park aid at the state park, delivering bread from a bakery, making found object sculptures out of odd or everyday things, as well as the painting and pottery he continued to do. He also enjoyed music, baking, gardening and bird watching. He was extremely handy, having grown up on a ranch.

Kenneth is survived by his wife of 32 years, Amy Conner; their son, Brendan Conner; daughter Jennifer Conner and son-in-law Barry Lazarus; granddaughter Annabelle Miller and grandson Rowan Miller; sister Nancy Tice and many nieces, nephews, in-laws and friends. A private memorial celebration will be held at a later date.


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