The last time New Canaan’s Sandra Lefler (née Conner) saw her brother, Creighton Conner, was Memorial Day weekend in 1966, here in town. Creighton, a 1960 New Canaan High School graduate who excelled in academics as well as sports, had earned a bachelor’s degree in American Literature from Middlebury College, then joined the U.S. Army Signal Corps and went to Vietnam for two years, where he served as second lieutenant. Though the war had become very unpopular, Sandra recalled, the siblings’ grandfather William B. Conner—the man for whom Conner Field off of Farm Road (just below what is now Saxe Middle School) is named—told Creighton “to be an example for the rest of the kids and march in the parade, which my brother did.”
“My mother and I watched him and we kept running around from every corner on Main Street—you know how there are all those side streets off of Main?—because he looked so great in his uniform,” Sandra, two years younger than Creighton, recalled from a living room sofa at the Douglas Road home she shares with her husband of nearly 47 years, Mark—it’s not far from the house where she and Creighton grew up, on Oak Street up near the corner of South Avenue. “He marched in the parade down to the cemetery. He looked so handsome.