Bob was born on August 29, 1928 to James R. and Margaret “Hazel” (Collister) Conley. He graduated from Wilson High School in Cherokee with the Class of 1947 and enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He spent from 1947-1950 in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps as a Corpsman. After his honorable discharge, he worked briefly on the Capitol Police Force in Washington, D.C. He returned to Cherokee. On February 13, 1951 he was united in marriage to Sharon Lea Fuhrman. He worked in the Cherokee County Engineer’s Office and in 1958 began work for Lundell Construction Co., Inc. He worked there for 58 years until his retirement on April 30, 2016.
He was the band leader for the Bob Conley Orchestra for twenty-five years. The band played for ballrooms, country clubs, dance clubs and proms within a 150 mile radius of Cherokee. His hobbies and likes were being around his grandkids, hunting and shooting targets with them, music, taking trips on his Harley motorcycle, enjoying his gun collection, and playing his trumpet. In 1943 he started playing Taps for military funerals. He was honored to continue this tradition for 77 years. He played taps for two Civil War veterans, one Spanish American War veteran—Guy M. Gillette, who was a United States Senator , countless World War I, World War II, Korean, Vietnam and one Desert Storm Veteran—Nathan Schubert.
He was a member of Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, Little Sioux Wildlife Association, and National Rifle Association. In 2009, Bob was placed in “Buglers Across America”.
Survivors include his four sons and their wives: Steven (Theresa), James (Janelle), Robert (Veronica), Daniel (Renee); eight grandsons—Derek (Kari), Dana (Renee), Drew (Abby), Tyson (Julia), Jon (Kim), Peter (Allyson), Calvin, and Gabriel (Clara Wulfson, fiancee’); five great grandsons—Kaden, Theodore (Theo), Cael, Dominic, and Owen, and six great grandaughters—Alexa, Alivia, Brylee, Teagan, Katherine, and Ada. He was preceded in death by his wife of 42 years, Sharon in 1993, his parents in 1995, and his sister and brother-in-law, Joanne and Vince Specht.