W. Kim Connerley, 68, of Gulf Breeze, Florida, passed away unexpectedly July 17, 2019. This one-in-a-million humble gentleman loved life, loved his friends and loved his family. He was born in Washington, Indiana, on October 28, 1950, to Don T. and Phyllis (King) Connerley and was adored by older sister Penny Collette. In 1956 the family moved to Gulf Breeze, Florida.
Kim's parents encouraged active minds. Dinner time incorporated learning all the state capitals and other historical trivia. He later became an avid crossword puzzle fan. As an "original Titan" during Woodham High School's (WHS) first three years, Kim was the basketball team manager. After graduating WHS he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Management from the University of West Florida.
Kim was a sports enthusiast, beginning with his foray into the Elks Little League baseball. His amateur sports resume lists racing his Porsche 356-B on unused Pensacola Airport property in sanctioned events; becoming a Kenpo Karate black belt; playing short stop in the City of Pensacola co-ed softball league; and joining local runners for 5K runs and distance runs like The Chicago Marathon and inaugural Walt Disney World marathon. He also enjoyed hang gliding in Tennessee, hiking the Appalachian Trail, and snow skiing in Utah with his dad.
In the 1980's he discovered pleasure sailing and later racing. His passion for the sport was evident in the number of trophies earned and his relationships with fellow sailors. It was through sailing that he found his soul mate and wife of 32 years, Julie (Bilby) Connerley. He worshipped her and she always called him "Husband." Even friends laughingly called him "Husband" instead of Kim.
Kim had the strength of character portrayed by John Wayne. Integrity, loyalty, compassion, and self-sacrifice were his trademarks. He always greeted everyone with a genuine smile, helpful attitude, and he unfailingly stood when a woman entered the room or approached the table.
Having spent 44.5 years as a company comptroller for a federal government contractor, Kim retired in 2017. He was a member of the Capt'n Fun Runners, Navy Yacht Club Pensacola, Order of the Granaderos y Damas de Gálvez, Pensacola Beach Elks Lodge, Pensacola Beach Yacht Club, Pensacola Heritage Foundation, Pensacola Historical Preservation Society, US Sailing Association, and UWF Historic Trust.
He was preceded in death by both parents. Left to cherish his memory are his wife, Julie; son, Jon Kristopher Connerley; sister, Penny Connerley; brother-in-law and sister-in law, Larry and Dreama Bilby; several cousins; countless friends; the family's devoted dog, Pumpkin; and felines Little Bit and Black Jack.
An Elks Funeral begins at 3:00 pm August 25, 2019 at the Pensacola Beach Elks Lodge followed by a Celebration of Life until 6:00pm. In lieu of flowers, the family hopes that you find happiness in living life--just as he did.