Arlie D. Connerley, 73, a Lewiston crane operator, passed away Monday evening, Feb. 9, 2015, at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center. An open house gathering for family and friends will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. Feb. 27 at the Colton Gun Club. As an avid trap shooter, Arlie would love it if his family and friends had an opportunity to practice their aim at a clay pigeon.Arlie was born Aug. 1, 1941, in Twin Falls, the youngest of five children born to Everett and Nellie (Davis) Connerley. He grew up in Twin Falls and graduated from high school there. Arlie loved horses and spent much of his spare time around the rodeo circuit of southern Idaho and Utah. He attended trade school in Salt Lake City, where he learned all he could about electrical engineering. He did electrical work for Boeing when it was installing missile silos throughout Montana and North Dakota.
Arlie married Carol Wilson of Hagerman, Idaho, on Sept. 21, 1962. As their family continued to grow, they found themselves in Lewiston in 1966, where Arlie began a long career working with his brother at A and R Construction.
Arlie was a superintendent on many bridge projects that took him all over the Pacific Northwest, from job site to job site. Still devoted to the rodeo, he often gathered the family, which now included his three daughters, and spent nearly every weekend watching and helping them compete. He was a member of the Nez Perce County Sheriff’s Posse and served as president of the 49ers Saddle Club. He enjoyed fishing and hunting too, and won trophies too numerous to count in his beloved sport of trap shooting. He and Carol divorced in 1985. He was a member of the Amateur Trap Association and PITA, the Pacific International Trap-Shooting Association. He liked to do his own reloading, enjoyed dancing and listened to “old-style” country music. Arlie was a hard worker, enjoyed his building projects and had an ability to fix almost anything, often saying, “if you can’t fix it – get a bigger hammer.”
While working in Rose Lake, Idaho, Arlie met Starlene Wise, and the couple became friends and were soon inseparable. They married Aug. 30, 1991. Star and Arlie moved with each new bridge project, but always had Lewiston as home base. They spent each winter for more than 15 years on the Arizona trap shooting circuit and thoroughly enjoyed a PITA trip to Hawaii last year. Arlie liked sports, especially the Gonzaga Bulldogs and the Seattle Seahawks. He always liked to root for the underdog and without fail would always bet on the “gray horse.” Even though he never really retired, he did slow down a little bit and they liked to travel to the coast at Astoria, Ore., with friends.
Arlie is survived by his wife, Star, at their Lewiston home; three daughters, Lori (MelodeeJoy) Hoene of Boise, Stacy Connerley of Lewiston and Dawn Connerley of Coeur d’Alene; his stepson, Brian Wise of Eatonville, Wash.; 10 grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and by his brother, Alvin Connerley, also of Lewiston; as well as numerous nieces, nephews and friends.
He was preceded in death by three sisters, Mary, Juanita and Lucille; his parents; and by a nephew, Byron.