Cover photo for Richard Clyde Conant's Obituary
Richard Clyde Conant Profile Photo
1939 Dick 2024

Richard Clyde Conant

October 31, 1939 — April 17, 2024

Ocean Springs

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Dick Conant, age 84, of Ocean Springs, died Wednesday, April 17, 2024.

Dick spent a remarkable career in the Air Force, had a hobby job being a lawyer, but claimed his real job was playing golf. Dick was born on Halloween to Clyde and Clara (Aichele) Conant on October 31, 1939, in East Peoria, IL. After graduating from East Peoria Community High School, he joined the U.S. Air Force, on June 13, 1957. Dick’s plan was to complete his initial four-year military commitment, become eligible for benefits under the G.I. Bill, and head off to college. Over 34 years later, Dick retired from the Air Force on December 1, 1991 as a full colonel.

While in the service, he did enroll in college and completed a B.S. degree in Management and an M.S. degree in Human Resource Management. He even began work on his Juris Doctor degree, and he played a lot of golf.

His lengthy Air Force tenure was highlighted by being commissioned a Regular Air Force officer upon completing Officer Candidate School in 1963, serving two tours of duty in Europe (France and England), a tour in Vietnam, a tour at the Pentagon, and finally retiring at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois as the Director of Personnel for the Air Force Communications Command. He was awarded the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, multiple Meritorious Service Awards, the Vietnam Honor Medal First Class and Humanitarian Service Award, and fourteen other service and conduct awards.

During his tour at Keesler AFB in Biloxi, Mississippi, Dick met the sweetest and loveliest girl in the world, Autie, who became his beloved wife of nearly 35 years. At Scott AFB, Dick completed his law degree and graduated from Saint Louis University School of Law, Saint Louis, Missouri in May 1992. Upon returning to Ocean Springs, Dick experienced a total detachment of the retina in his right eye and a partial detachment in his left eye while studying for the Mississippi bar exam. Requiring four operations at Tulane Hospital in New Orleans, Louisiana, Dick lost his right eye and had an artificial eye replacement. After then passing the bar exam and being admitted to practice law, Dick would say he had officially become a, "gray-haired, one-eyed, Damn Yankee lawyer in Mississippi."

In June, 1994, Dick opened his office and practiced law as a sole practitioner in Pascagoula, Mississippi, dealing mostly in criminal defense. And, he played golf. Dick closed his office in December, 2016, after twenty-four years due to health issues as COPD progressed to a stage that hampered his speech and stamina. Most upsetting and unfortunate for Dick was that declining health took away the golf, but not the desire to play, and it could never take away the memory of his hole-in-one!

Dick is preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Bill; and sister, Jean-Ann. He is survived by his wife Autie Skrmetta Conant; his and their children, Stuart (Roberta) Conant, Sue Peavy, Beth (Rick) Akers, John (Elizabeth) Kavanagh and Joel (Jill) Kavanagh; and grand-children, Amanda Conant, Dylan Conant, Harold (Amanda) Peavy, Gordon Peavy, Rick Akers, Kieran Conant, Ryan Conant, Chris Tice, Lauren Tice, Quinn Kavanagh and Conor Kavanagh.  

Memorial donations may be made to the American Lung Association in his memory.

Funeral service will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 24, 2024 at Bradford-O’Keefe Funeral Home, Howard Avenue in Biloxi. Friends may visit one hour prior. Graveside service will follow at 2:30 p.m. at Biloxi National Cemetery.

Bradford-O'Keefe Funeral Home is honored to serve the family of Mr. Conant.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Richard Clyde Conant, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

12:00 - 1:00 pm (Central time)

Bradford-O'Keefe Funeral Home - Howard Avenue

675 Howard Avenue, Biloxi, MS 39530

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Starts at 1:00 pm (Central time)

Bradford-O'Keefe Funeral Home - Howard Avenue

675 Howard Avenue, Biloxi, MS 39530

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Graveside Service

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Starts at 2:30 pm (Central time)

Bradford-O'Keefe Funeral Home - Howard Avenue

675 Howard Avenue, Biloxi, MS 39530

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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