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James Earl "Jim" Conaway

JAMES EARL "JIM" CONAWAY James Earl "Jim" Conaway, 85, died unexpectedly at his home in Greenville, DE, on April 22, 2014. He was the widower of Martha Harris Conaway. Born in Coosa County, AL, and raised in Birmingham, AL, he was the youngest son of the late Grady Judson Conaway and Linnie Neighbors Conaway. Jim's youth was notable for his success in academics, football and baseball; for his close relationship with his brother Bud; and for meeting his bride-to-be at the age of 13. Jim graduated from Ensley High School in Birmingham in 1945 and Auburn University in 1949, where he was the top graduate in the engineering school. He worked for the DuPont Company his entire professional career, beginning in Oak Ridge, TN, followed by a move in 1952 to Aiken, SC, to participate in the Savannah River Plant Project for the U.S. Government, where he was instrumental in the design, construction, and operation of the plant. The majority of his career was spent in the Atomic Energy Division, in which he became an expert in the production of tritium and plutonium-239 in support of our nation's defense program. He moved to Wilmington, NC, in 1974 and spent 4 years as Plant Manager of the Cape Fear Plant, retiring in 1989 as a Senior Vice President at DuPont Corporation headquarters in Wilmington, DE. While at Auburn, Jim married his childhood sweetheart, Martha Merle Harris, beginning a 57-year loving marriage. Jim and Martha raised their three children, Jim Jr., Ann, and David in Aiken, SC, which Jim often referred to as his "Camelot". Jim enjoyed his retirement in Greenville, DE, with Martha, traveling abroad and to their beach house in North Carolina while also enjoying their grandchildren. Aside from his professional achievements, Jim had a keen interest in many subjects, including jazz music, Greek and Egyptian antiquity, and collecting items for their home with Martha. One could always count on Jim's irrepressible positive spirit and a warm greeting with a big smile. He also stood as a beacon of love, intelligence, wisdom, compassion and humility. Above all, Jim was a devoted and loving husband, father, and grandfather. He is survived by his son Jim (Cathie) of Kennett Square, PA; daughter Ann of Chadds Ford, PA; and son David (Maria Elena) of Charlotte, NC; his nine grandchildren: James Earl Conaway III of Asheville, NC, Brian Edward Conaway of Arlington, VA, and Russell Andrew Conaway of Winston-Salem, NC; Martha Ann Anker, of Philadelphia, PA, Catie Beth Anker, Sarah Frances Anker, and Daniel James Anker, Jr., of Wilmington, DE; Anna Carolina Conaway and David Harris Conaway, Jr. of Charlotte, NC; his brother Elwyn Neighbors "Bud" Conaway and his wife Mary Elizabeth Conaway of Birmingham. Jim was preceded in death by his wife Martha and his brother Grady Judson "Jud" Conaway, Jr. The memorial service will be private. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests making a donation to a . For online condolences, please visit CHANDLER FUNERAL HOMES & CREMATORY, chandlerfuneral home.com, 302.478.7100

Funeral Home

Chandler Funeral Homes and Crematorium
2506 Concord Pike Wilmington, DE 19803-9925
(302) 478-7100

Published in the Wilmington Star-News on Apr. 29, 2014
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