Veterans to be honored by dedication of parts of U.S. Highway 63

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JEFFERSON CITY – Two veterans honored on a memorial in front of the Boone County courthouse might be honored in another way along U.S. Highway 63.

Army Specialist Steven Paul Farnen and U.S. Navy Lieutenant Patrick Kelly Connor died in the line of duty. 

Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, and Rep. Chuck Basye, R-Rocheport, created identical bills in the Missouri House of Representatives and Missouri Senate.

The bill dedicates a portion of U.S. Highway 63 form Breedlove Drive to Peabody Road in Boone County as “U.S. Army Specialist Steven Paul Farnen Memorial Highway.” It would also dedicate another portion of U.S. Highway 63 from Discovery Parkway to Interstate 70 as “U.S. Navy Lieutenant Patrick Kelly Conner Memorial Highway.”

Hugh Farnen, Steven Farnen's father, said he didn’t come up with the idea for the memorial, but he supports it.

Marsha Connor, Patrick Connor’s mother, said, “I think it’s a great idea and worthy of honoring not only our son, but Steven Farnen also.”

Connor said her son's plane was shot down on Feb. 2, 1991.

“After 25 years of his passing we are still hearing from people who had contact with Patrick,” Connor said. “Patrick, I swear, was born smiling. That’s what people keep telling us they remember about him.” 

Steven Paul Farnen died in Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Storm.

Hugh Farnen said that one of the things people remembered about Steven was he was never greedy.

Farnen said the placement of the sign on that section of the highway is fitting.

“When you turn off over toward Highway ZZ and Dripping Springs Road, over there about a mile down is where we used to live, and so I think it’s pretty appropriate where it will be,” Farnen said.

Connor also said Columbia is a special place for their family.

“We still have family and friends there who grew up with Patrick, and went to school and played sports with him," Connor said. "There’s still some of his teachers who live in the area.”

Donations would fund the memorial signs on the highway.

According to Basye, the bill has received positive feedback and was expected to pass out of the House Select Committee on State and Local Governments Thursday.

[Editor's Note: The spelling of Rep. Basye's name was corrected.]