Essie Smith Conley of West Liberty, KY, passed away Tuesday, April 28, 2020 at her daughter’s residence, at the age of 87 years, 2 months, and 11 days. She was born Friday, February 17, 1933 at Jeptha, KY, daughter of the late Bill R. Smith & Louella Sparks Smith Ferguson.
She was united in marriage to James Clinton Conley on December 29, 1949. This union was blessed with thirteen children. She was homemaker, devoting her life to care for her family and her home. She was a Christian and a member of the Lacy Creek Church of Christ. She certainly was a loving mother, grandmother, great & great-great grandmother, and sister and will be sadly missed by all her family and her friends.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her step father whom raised her, Thurman Ferguson; her loving husband, James Conley; two grandsons, Donnie Lowell Conley & Jeff Elam; one great grandson, Jeffery Connor Easterling; one daughter-in-law, Carolyn Conley; one son-in-law, Bob Johnson; and two brothers and three sisters, James Ferguson, Jessie Smith, Thelma Smith Hutchinson, Monnie Messler, and Dorothy Keeton.
She is survived by her thirteen children, Mary Lou Johnson, William C. “Billy” & Glyndia Conley, Debbie & Jimmy Darrell Easterling, all of West Liberty, KY, Jimmy & Vonda Conley of Rockhouse, KY, Tommy & Robin Conley , Linda & Rudy Gilliam all of West Liberty, KY, Danny & Sonia Conley of Simpsonville, SC, Clarinda Jean & George Robbins, John Andy & Kathy Conley, Kenneth David Conley, Joe & Terry Conley, Tim & Tammy Conley, all of West Liberty, KY, and Dove “Beth” & Gary May of Kearneysville, WV; 68 grandchildren; 86 great grandchildren; 20 great-great grandchildren; three sisters, Vernie Patrick of West Liberty, KY, Loula Mae Hankins of Campton, KY, and Tressie Gamble of Morehead, KY; two brothers, Ollie Ferguson of Morehead, KY and Jackie Smith of West Liberty, KY; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
You can’t write a befitting obituary for a woman as great as our mommy in just a few pages. As daddy and mommy always said you live your life day to day, and a funeral is just a memorial service. However let us share a little of her today. The first time mommy ever met daddy at his house she was 16 years old. It was February 17, 1949. Later that same year on December 29, 1949 mommy and daddy was married. They moved up then to the holler that was then named Sugar Camp Branch. A neighbor named Nora Easterling also live up there. While listening to a radio show called queen for a day, Nora asked mommy what she would wish for if she could be queen for a day. Mommy said “I never had a honeymoon, and I would ask for a honeymoon.” Then she thought just for a minute and said “no, that is not right, I have been on a honeymoon from the day I married James Conley and moved up this holler, and we should name this holler Honeymoon Holler.” And they did, and that is how Honeymoon Holler and the Conley family began to create a life time of memories. To this union of James and Essie Conley, God blessed them with an abundance of family. As God had said to be fruitful and multiply daddy and mommy had 13 children in 16 years.
As we live in a time of uncertainty, are quarantined, and can’t have regular funerals, her great grandparents, the Kelly’s, had died during the “Spanish Flu of 1918”, one of them in the night, and the other one the next morning. Their house was boarded up and they were buried in the same grave. That was over 100 years ago. Daddy was 8 years old when mommy was born. He waited 16 years until she was 16, to become his wife. Then together for the next 16 years, mommy and daddy had 13 children and 3 miscarriages. That would have been 16 children. 16 years ago, daddy left this world and went to be with Jesus in heaven, and has been waiting on mommy. Now 16 years has passed, and mommy has been reunited with Jesus, the one who created her for her time allotted here, and daddy once again. Mommy and daddy spent a life time of helping others, visiting the sick the shut in, keeping the elderly, and teaching and preaching in the Lacy Creek Church of Christ. They lived their faith in God each day. If mommy could speak to each of you today she would say “we left you a trail by the Bible to where we went to our new home. Please come meet me and daddy there.” Whatever you knew her by, “Mommy”, “Mamaw”, “Nan”, “Nan Nan”, “Momma Conley”, or just “Essie”, just meet me there.
Due to the COVID-19 requirements set forth by Governor Andy Beshear, a private graveside service for the immediate family, will be held Saturday, May 2, 2020 at the Church of Christ Cemetery, Lacy Creek, KY.
Memorial Donations are suggested to the Lacy Creek Church of Christ or the Potter Children's Home, 917 Lacy Creek Road, West Liberty, KY 41472.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Essie Wandaleen (Smith) Conley, please visit our floral store.