JOLLY Bob Conway, 60, Boston actor and Freedom Trail interpreter, died Friday, Aug. 2, 2013, with family and friends at his side. He was born Jan. 2, 1953 in Baton Rouge, La., the son of Dr. Henry W. and Jane (Conway) Jolly. He was named for his grandfather, E.A. "Bob" Conway, former Louisiana Secretary of State. Bob grew up in Baton Rouge, attending Catholic High School, and graduated from Spring Hill College in Mobile, Ala. in 1975. He also studied in the Graduate Theater department at Louisiana State University. Bob was a well-known and much-loved actor on Boston stages, and a premiere interpreter of the works of Gilbert and Sullivan, as a director and in performances of the comic "patter" roles. He worked with the Publick Theater, Lyric Stage Company, American Classics, Improbable Players, Emerson Stage, Boston Playwrights, New Ehrlich, and other companies in his 28-year career. His final performance was as Koko in "The Mikado" at Lyric Stage in September 2012. He won an IRNE Award "for consistent excellence" in 1997. His television credits include "Unsolved Mysteries," "American Experience" and "American Masters." Bob was also a history interpreter with the Freedom Trail Foundation, portraying the Revolutionary figure Nathaniel Balch, a Boston hatter and friend of John Hancock. He was a grateful member of Alcoholics Anonymous, and cherished his fourteen years of sobriety and help with others. Bob is survived by two sisters, Eugenia Saurage Jolly Goff of Asheville, N.C., and Mary Etta Jolly Fizer and husband Rodney of Mount Blanchard, Ohio; a brother, H. William "Bill" Jolly and wife Margaret Rose (Losavio) of Baton Rouge, La.; a niece, Elizabeth Rose Jolly of Baton Rouge, and a nephew, Charles L. Hustmyre of Baton Rouge. Marshall Williams of Woonsocket, R.I., a close friend of 40 years, was by his side in the weeks before his death. A memorial service and celebration of Bob's life will be held Saturday, Sept. 21at 10 a.m. at Mount Auburn Cemetery, 580 Mt. Auburn St., Cambridge, Ma. In lieu of flowers, donations in Bob's name may be made to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, P.O. Box 849168, Boston, MA 02284.
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Published in Boston Herald on Aug. 6, 2013