In Loving
Memory

Gregory Connor

Sept 10, 1937 – April 11, 2022

Mr. Gregory Connor passed on Monday night April 11, 2022 at St. Francis Medical Center, where he had been battling the effects of radiation treatment for cancer. Prior to the radiation treatments and despite the onset of dementia, he had been living a very active and healthy life at The Cottage at Spring Arbor Salisbury in Midlothian Virginia. Greg had survived Covid in the Spring of 2020 even while being separated from his long time partner and wife Donna, due to her health issues at the beginning of the pandemic.

Greg overcame many challenges and transitions over the last several years of his life and it was his strength, grace, concern for others and his sense of humor that set an example for and put a smile on the face of anyone who came into contact with him.

Gregory was born to Vincent Connor and Olga Connor on September 10, 1937, in Manhattan New York. His father’s career was a government inspector, and his mother was a homemaker and raised Gregory and his sister Gail. It was during his school years that Greg developed an early interest in competitive rifle shooting which ultimately became a passion and a focus that continued throughout his life. He graduated from High school in Queens NY, then enlisted in the United States Marine Corps on April 13, 1956. Greg’s military career spanned four decades and 30 years with assignments that included Vietnam, Hawaii & Virginia. He retired at what was then the highest Chief Warrant Officer rank of CWO4.

In between careers and following his retirement from the USMC in 1986, Greg followed through with a dream to live in Australia where he resided as a civilian before returning to the states to take a job with the NRA. Greg further integrated his passion for shooting into his work life when in 1987 he became National Manager of Silhouette Programs for the NRA’s competitive division. This was a position he held for 30 years until his second career retirement on April 7, 2017.

Greg Connor had many military and shooting awards – he earned his Distinctive Marksman Badge in 1962 and was a versatile and consistent shooter during his USMC career as well as a member of the USMC Distinguished Shooters Association. Successful both as a rifle and pistol coach. He won the 1974 Wimbledon Cup title at the National Matches, the last year that 1,000- yard match was fired on the 5V target. In 1986, shortly after retiring for the Corps, Greg won another prestigious 1,000-yard match at Camp Perry, the Iron Sight Leech Cup.

Other notable military awards presented to Greg include the Meritorious Mast, the Navy Commendation Medal (with combat V) and the Combat Action Ribbon Presidential Unit Citation Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross (with Palm).

Greg Connor was preceded in death by his mother and father, Olga and Vincent; as well as his sister, Gail Wadas who passed in 2018. He is survived by his wife Donna; step-daughter and      son-in-law, Renée and Robert; step-daughter Beverly (Mike); and step-son Philip (Diana); seven grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

During the span of six working decades, Greg Connor touched, influenced, and inspired so many fellow Marines and co-workers’ professional lives. He was infinitely organized, fastidious, thorough, hard-working, regimented and at the same time he was kind, generous, always ready to help and guide with an endearing sense of humor and a quickness to smile and put others at ease.

Greg took pride in his appearance, always sharp dressed with a particular fondness for his silver road runner belt buckle and leather, newsie flat cap, both of which along with his gloves, and NRA patch jacket were favorite clothing items in his later years.

On a more personal level, Gregory taught family and friends most important life lessons… staunch commitment, stay present – prepare for the future but enjoy the moment, the beauty of humbleness, compassion, and support for anyone in need, importance of giving back to society, trust and the ability to smile even in the toughest of times.

Gregory Connor was a consummate gentleman.

He will be very fondly and respectfully missed, and will remain in our hearts, deeply and forever loved.

A burial service with military honors will be held on Wednesday May 4, 2022, at 2:30PM at  Quantico National Cemetery 18424 Joplin Road Triangle, VA. 22172.

Graveside Service

Location

Quantico National Cemetery

Triangle, Virginia

Date

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Time

2:30 PM

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Guestbook

2022-05-02T10:26:16-04:00

22 Comments

  1. Jim Cook May 2, 2022 at 12:41 pm - Reply

    Gunner was my first Officer in Charge of the rifle team at Quantico. A true professional and most respected mentor.

  2. rudy dufour May 2, 2022 at 1:00 pm - Reply

    RIP Gunner, What a great boss we had on the USMC shooting team. We worked together at NRA Competitions Division. I remember helping out at Raton, NM with him and George Harris. Will miss you “Sheckles”. S/F Rudy Dufour

  3. Lou Irvin, MGySgt, Ret. P-‘84 May 2, 2022 at 1:06 pm - Reply

    RIP Gunner

  4. Mark Ouellette May 2, 2022 at 1:23 pm - Reply

    Gunner Connor exemplified what it was to be a Marine. His words and and actions guided us Marines to be better each and every day. This happened without anyone thinking about it. We just performed better because that’s how the Gunner did it. Leadership!

  5. Leslie Cook May 2, 2022 at 1:27 pm - Reply

    Gunner Connor touched my life in so many ways. As a civilian shooter, he gave me opportunities to excel in the sport. As a friend, gave me advice on many aspects of life. He will be missed. Prayers of comfort to his family. 🙏

  6. Daniel Torres May 2, 2022 at 3:07 pm - Reply

    Only new The Gunner for a short while. But had huge respect as he so much earned. I wish I could have had the pleasure and honor of shooting with him during his era. We have lost a great person and professional Marine. My deepest condolences to the family and the Corps. Gunner, go rest now. You have been relieved. God Bless

    • Gloria V Brooks May 4, 2022 at 8:50 am - Reply

      Always will remember his wonderful personality and his smile whenever I would visit Competitions Department I wiil always remember you Mr. Connor may you RIP.

  7. Donald Heuman May 2, 2022 at 3:49 pm - Reply

    It was my honor to have served with and to have Gunner Connor as my OIC. I loved him and everything about him. I’ll miss you Gunner.
    Thanks for everything.

    Heuman

  8. JW May 2, 2022 at 8:54 pm - Reply

    Gunner Connors exemplified the Marine Officer. His leadership went beyond the respect he had from every Marine under his command. His ability to convey guidance was the example of personal connection he had with everyone. He never wavered to help or support, no matter the situation. High energy with the calm of control. Manny times his words carried with me for years, helping through the difficulties I faced. He is healed with high regard and admiration. My respect for him will be carried for the rest of my days .
    JW

  9. Dennis Ghiselli May 2, 2022 at 9:00 pm - Reply

    Gunner Conner was an exemplar Marine, he always lead by example.
    The guidance and leadership he provided us young Marines at WTBN helped us through our careers and beyond. He will be missed but never forgotten. RIP Gunner.

  10. Claire Carlson May 3, 2022 at 8:15 am - Reply

    I worked with Gunner Conner off and on all through my USMC career. He was a top gun and personal friend. RIP …SEMPER FI. Claire

  11. Cheryl T. Rickards May 3, 2022 at 4:00 pm - Reply

    I volunteered in the Competitive Shooting Division for 20 years. I had the pleasure of being around Greg. He always brought smiles and a willingness to help with whatever was needed.

  12. D.R. Ontiveros May 3, 2022 at 8:29 pm - Reply

    My condolences to his family. We should acknowledge the past life of a good Marine and friend. He is at peace now. When he gets to the gates and confronts St. Peter, he will salute like a true Marine and use his favorite expression “adequate”as he marches by. Amen.

    • Marsha Moody and HQ Moody May 4, 2022 at 5:01 pm - Reply

      Worked with Greg many years and have very fond memories. We will miss you, our friend.

  13. Steve Harris May 3, 2022 at 8:46 pm - Reply

    A very sad notification, to say the least. I had the privilege of meeting Greg in the early 1980’s while competing in NRA High Power Silhouette. Jack Hill introduced us and a very nice friendship developed. I was able to spot targets for him at several larger competitions (the mid-80’s CA State Championship at Taft CA is most memorable – 10 turkeys in a row – all hits were center and could be covered with a 50 cent piece). I thoroughly enjoyed visiting and helping him prep for several National Silhouette championships through the 1980’s and later in the 2000’s during Lever Action Nationals at Raton NM. A great and fierce competitor. More importantly, a fantastic individual to know and call friend. He will be sorely missed by many of us. Semper Fi, Marine…Rest easy, we have the watch now.

  14. Marty Sprick May 4, 2022 at 9:48 am - Reply

    Gunner Connor retired from NRA about a year before I got hired, and I am a lesser person for not having experienced his mentorship, I am sure. All the NRA staff I work with held him in high regard, and my boss, John Howard, Director of Education and Training, reached out to me shortly after I was notified by the Marine Corps Distinguished Shooters association. Just one small example of how many lives he obviously impacted in a positive manner.

    Fair Winds and following Seas Gunner! I hope you find the Marines guarding Heaven’s streets “adequate”.

  15. Mike Flanagan May 4, 2022 at 12:18 pm - Reply

    I have had the pleasure of being with the Marine Corps for a very long time and during that time there are just a few names that have stuck with me for positive reasons. Gunner Connor is one of those few. Meeting the Gunner and supporting him as well as his team during the mid-80s; being selected by him to support the Far-Eastern Division Matches as well as a trip to Camp Perry as a 12 is unforgettable. I recall how he carried himself and managed his Marines, he was very impressionable to this young Sgt. I did not know it then, but he was my first mentor. I am pleased to read of his after Marine Corps successes and a life well lived.
    Semper Fi, Sir.
    My condolences to his family and close friends.

  16. Shelly Kramer May 4, 2022 at 2:05 pm - Reply

    I was blessed to work with Greg for 30 years – we had a lot fun and he will be so greatly missed. RIP my friend

  17. Russell Nelson May 4, 2022 at 7:53 pm - Reply

    I knew and respected CW4 Greg Conner from his many years running the Black Powder Cartridge Matches at Raton, NM. He ran a tight ship, and safety was always his primary concern. I am not aware of any injuries that were incurred on his watch. and if he occasionally stepped on some toes it was usually due a safety-related concern. I visited with him on many occasions and got to know him better than most of the competitors. Greg was always a Marine first, from his shined shoes, demeanor, and erect carriage reflected in the way he carried himself. He exemplified the best qualities and the United States Marine Corps and the NRA. May you always have fair winds and following winds, Chief. Semper Fi, Mac . Russell G. Nelson, Lt. Col., U.S. Army (Retired)

  18. John R. Burres May 5, 2022 at 8:10 pm - Reply

    I met Gunner Conner before I started shooting Service Rifle at Metallic Silhouette matches in California. I knew him to be as formidable competitor , and struck up a easy friendship.
    In 1984 I had been shooting Service Rifle for about 4 years and finally got a spot on the All Guard Team, which allowed me to go to Interservice Matches. Imagine my surprise when Gunner Conner was there walking the line and watching his rifle team compete. I never had seen him in uniform before that, and it gave me a rush to see him again.
    The shooting community lost a really great one, and my deepest heart felt condolences go out to the family
    RIP Gunner, please save me a spot on the the range.

  19. Ann Smith May 6, 2022 at 3:26 pm - Reply

    It was a pleasure knowing you as my sister’s husband and enjoyed meeting you when I came back to Virginia.
    Thank you for your years of service and my you rest in peace.

    Your sister-in-law, Ann

  20. Mary B Feeney May 10, 2022 at 2:48 pm - Reply

    I met Gunner Conner for the first time during the summer of 1984, when I was a member of the Navy Shooting Team. We trained for a few weeks at Quantico getting ready for the Interservice matches and Camp Perry. I didn’t know him well, but I can say that there wasn’t a Marine on the Marine Corps team that didn’t look up to him with the highest respect. He would freely share his shooting advise with whomever asked. The Marine Corps and nation have lost a very special man. Rest in peace Gunner you have earned it.

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