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J. Stephen Conn

J. Stephen Conn, 79, of Cleveland, Tennessee, went to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on February 4, 2024.

Stephen was preceded in death by his parents, Charles W. Conn and Edna Minor Conn; and siblings, Sarah Wesson, Melody Conn, and Mark Conn.

Stephen is survived by his wife, Karen Conn; sons, Gregory Conn, Christopher (Christine) Conn, and Jeremy (Erin) Conn; stepdaughters, Laura (Brian) Tomeny and Jennifer (Josh) Swift; grandchildren, Alexandria Conn, Nicholas Conn, Kate Conn, James Conn, Matthew Conn, Clayton Conn, Logan Tomeny, Kyra Tomeny, and Emilee Fugitt; siblings, Philip (Julie) Conn, Paul (Darlia) Conn, Sharon (Mark) Hayes, Raymond (Joan) Conn, Camilla (Claude) Warren, Bruce (Denise) Conn, Jeff (Anita) Conn, and Cathy (Eddie) Robbins; and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was born in Leadwood, Missouri.  When Stephen was three, the family moved to Cleveland, Tennessee.  He graduated from Bradley Central High School in 1963 and attended Lee University from 1963 – 1967.  At Lee, he was a leader in Pioneers for Christ and a charter member of Alpha Gamma Chi.

Stephen was an ordained minister and pastored for more than 60 years in the Church of God, Assemblies of God, and Southern Baptist Church.  He has preached in every state in the U.S., in many countries around the world, and served as a cruise ship chaplain for several years.

He is the author of seven books and hundreds of articles that appeared in both religious and secular magazines.  Stephen also wrote a weekly syndicated column, which appeared in more than 60 newspapers around the U.S.

He hiked more than 1,000 miles of the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine.

He was recognized by the Extra Miler Club for being the 34th person to complete visiting all of the 3,142 counties or county equivalents in the U.S.

A private memorial service for family members and personal friends of Stephen and Karen Conn will be held on Thursday, February 8, at 11:00 a.m. EST (10:00 a.m. CST) at The Chapel at Lee University, 1020 N. Ocoee Street, Cleveland, Tennessee, 37311.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Alzheimer’s Tennessee. Memorial Gifts – Alzheimer’s Tennessee, Inc. – Support, Education and Research for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias.

Jim Rush Funeral and Cremation Services North Ocoee St. Chapel, Cleveland, has charge of the arrangements. You can share your memories and condolences with Stephen’s family by going to his memorial page at

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