So sad. ‘The Waltons’ star Joe Conley died of complications from dementia at the age of 85 at a California care facility.
Joe Conley, best known for his role as a small town storekeeper in the 1970s television series The Waltons, died July 7 in Newbury Park, Calif. at age 85.
Joe Conley Dies — Waltons Co-Stars Remember Actor On Facebook
Joe played good-natured storekeeper Ike Godsey on the CBS family drama The Waltons from 1972 to 1981. He was well-loved by his co-stars, who took to social media to honor his memory.
Joe’s former co-star Mary Beth McDonough, who played Erin Walton on The Waltons, confirmed his death in a Facebook post.
Mary Beth wrote, “It is a sad day. So sorry to let you know Joe Conley, our beloved Ike Godsey, passed early this morning, please keep him, (wife) Louise, and his family in your prayers. RIP Mr. Godsey.”
Actress Ronnie Claire Edwards, who played Corabeth on The Waltons, also remembered Joe on Facebook, writing, “It was one of the greatest pleasures of my television career to play Corabeth opposite Joe because he made me so much better.”
She added, “I share all of your grief and appreciate your many condolences. He will be greatly missed but, thankfully, we may enjoy his work for years to come in the many reruns of The Waltons.”
Eric Scott, who played Ben Walton, also paid tribute to Joe on Facebook, saying, “A sad day…..Our beloved Joe Conley passed away yesterday morning. I always loved him and will miss him dearly. Please keep his wife Louise and his wonderful family in your thoughts and prayers.”
Joe Conley Played Small Roles, But Made A Big Impact
Joe is survived by his wife of 44 years, Louise, his three daughters Erin, Julie and Jana and his son, Kevin. Louise said her husband had been fighting dementia and was living in a care facility at the time of his death.
While he is most recognized for his work on The Waltons, Joe also made guest appearances in many television shows throughout the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s, including Mister Ed, Green Acres, The Brady Bunch and The Beverly Hillbillies. He played the role of Joe Wally in the Tom Hanks movie Cast Away in 2000.
Joe reprised his role as Ike Godsey in several Waltons TV movies in the 1980s and ’90s, including A Wedding on Walton’s Mountain, A Walton Thanksgiving Reunion and A Walton Wedding.
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— Tierney McAfee