Lyle Conrad, age 96, was born at the family farmhouse in Moxee, WA, on July 24, 1923. He graduated from high school in Yakima and then enlisted in the Air Force to be trained as a pilot where he met his beautiful bride-to-be Louise at a USO dance. They got married shortly thereafter in Lubbock, TX. Lyle then went on to fly cargo planes in WW2 in the Pacific Theatre. He flew in supplies, and flew out the wounded. Lyle was a decorated pilot though he didn’t talk much about this time in his life.
Lyle and Louise Conrad moved to Yakima to raise their family after the war. Lyle was a cattle rancher and also worked at Hanford in Richland, WA, until his retirement. Lyle always put his family first; he was a dedicated husband and mentor to all those blessed enough to know him. Lyle had a passion for nature and animals and shared that passion with his family and many friends. Upon retirement, Lyle enjoyed wintering in Arizona and Louisiana with his wife of over 70 years. He found great joy and peace in hiking and taking pictures on the many trails in Arizona as well as near their cabin on Lake Cle Elum. Lyle and Louise hosted many family gatherings at their cabin and we all have many fond memories there. Lyle was always taking pictures and videos of family events, ensuring the family would be able to enjoy those memories for years to come. He also made yearly family calendars that we all treasure. In recent years Lyle was happy to be surrounded by family and his dogs Lucy, Eve, and Jet, and his cat Tiger.
Lyle passed away peacefully at home on January 24, 2020. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife Louise Conrad in 2013. He leaves behind three children: Ron (Dora) Conrad from Ronald, WA, Karen (Steve) Bladow from Cliffdell, WA, and Diane Conrad from Yakima, WA. He has five grandchildren: Tina Conrad, Dylan Conrad, Jesse Bladow, Amanda Bladow, and Tyler Wellner, and six great-grandchildren: Saffron Lyle Conrad-Kirkland, Kylie Bladow, Khloe Milburn, River Bladow, Emmet Bladow, and Ireland Bladow.
The family would like to thank the amazing nurses that cared for him at home at the end of his life with such love, and to thank his special nurse Nicole. Lyle appreciated all that you did for him. Diane Conrad would like to thank her father Lyle for allowing her to care for him at home and to spend that invaluable time with him for the past 10+ precious years. She cherished every minute of their time together. Our family is left without our center, and without our mentor, but most importantly we are left with all the lessons that Lyle taught us over the years; to slow down, eat the cake, tend to your garden, find solace in nature, be kind and gentle with all creatures and with ourselves, enjoy each other, reserve judgment, love unconditionally, and take pictures whenever you can. Papa, you are the best in all of us.
The family will have a celebration of life for Lyle & Louise Conrad this summer in the mountains.