Dale Conard, age 90, of rural Chetopa, passed away Friday, February 10, 2012 at the Chetopa Manor, Chetopa, Kan.

Dale was born on Oct 9, 1921 in Chetopa, Kan. He was the son of George and Flora (Bartee) Conard. Dale was a graduate of Chetopa High School and attended Coffeyville Community College where he played basketball.

Dale grew up on a farm in Cherokee County during the depression and learned the value of hard work and sacrifice. He lived his entire life in a five square mile area between Chetopa, Faulkner, and Melrose, Kan.

He married Mary Glee Imel in 1945 and moved to the present farm in 1950. Together, they developed a large farming and ranching business. Dale pioneered the pecan industry in Southeast Kansas and Northwest Oklahoma, developing several innovative machines for pecans. Several media outlets called him the “Pecan King” over the years. He also enjoyed raising exotic animals and farm related enterprises.

Dale was a member of the Army serving in World War II in the South Pacific Theater. He was stationed and saw action at Leyte and Luson in the Philippines. He was in the occupation forces of Japan.

Dale was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Mary Glee, one sister, Virginia Chance and one brother, Veryl Conard, a son, Richard Conard, and a granddaughter, Mary Elizabeth Conard.

Survivors include Sonia Kelly of the home; two sons Norman Conard and wife Karen of Fort Scott, Kan., and Robert Conard and wife, Karyl of Rose Hill, Kan.; four grandchildren, Chris Krebs, Richard Conard, Matthew Conard, and Elizabeth Conard; nine great-grandchildren; two sisters and one brother, Mildred Poor of Oswego, Kan., Georgia Riley and husband Richard of Bloomington, Ill. and Raymond Conard and wife Bonnie of rural Chetopa, Kan.

Graveside services will be held at 11 am, Thursday, February 16, 2012 at Park Cemetery, Columbus, Kan. with Dennis Castle officiating. Online condolences may be left at www.derfeltfuneralhome.com.