Ira Delbert Connaway was born June 20, 1940 to Ira and Alma Grelle Connaway in Brownwood. He passed away quickly and peacefully on June 17, 2019 with his son and grandson by his side.

He is survived by his son, John David Connaway and wife Laura of Brookesmith; grandson Brian David Connaway and wife Marla of Katy; sister Joyce Brooks and husband Keith of Georgetown; brother-in-law Joe Oden and wife Marcia of Normangee; and wife Wanda Connaway of Brookesmith.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his first wife, Bettye Sue Oden Connaway.

From an early age, Delbert was known to be inventing and re-engineering things. That desire grew through childhood and he had plans upon graduating from Brookesmith High School to pursue such at college. However, life abruptly changed for him when his father was killed in an automobile accident in December 1957. At the young age of 17, he put aside his own dreams to take on the role of responsibility, to care for the family farm and ranch interests. Failure wasn’t in his vocabulary. Sometimes things didn’t work out as he’d planned, but before he’d admit defeat — he’d figure out another angle to work things out!

Over the years, raising sheep gave way to cattle. And as farming and ranching ebbed and flowed with the economy, he delved into oil and gas production. Later years would find him expanding hunting interests as he would have his Brittany Spaniels flushing quail amid the fields. One of his last inventions was redesigning and building a quail house to retrieve the missed birds the hunters let get by them. Missed birds equaled another chance for profit rather than let them become coyote bait.

Delbert loved to travel. He’d jump on airplanes to travel with his sister to exotic places she’d book or to visit his son wherever he was living/working at the time. His travel wasn’t limited to planes, but also trains to zip across country. But probably his favorite was to take off driving to see the wheat fields and farming operations of the American and Canadian heartlands. Of course, there might be a few stops along the way at designated casinos and buffet bars.

He was a Brookesmith/Brown County boy his whole life. Born, lived and died there. He believed in being active in the community and served on many boards: Brookesmith School Board (President); McCulloch Electric Cooperative (President); Brown County Farm Services Agency County Committee; and 24 years as a Director on the Pecan Bayou Soil & Water Conservation District #553 Board.

The celebration of his life service will be Saturday, June 22, 2019 at Davis-Morris funeral home in Brownwood, Tx. Family visitation will commence that morning at 10 a.m. with the service to follow at 11 a.m. There will be no cemetery service as his ashes will be spread over his beloved ranch.

The family extends deep gratitude for the care he received over the last year from his primary caregivers and staff at The Chatfield Assisted Living, CMS HomeHealthCare, and the doctors and nurses who tended to him at BRMC.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in his name to Brookesmith Volunteer Fire Dept, PO Box 713, Brookesmith, TX 76827.

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