Dr. Kenneth C. Conroy, 85, recently of the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy, died Wednesday (Jan. 16, 2013) in the Veterans Home.
Born May 28, 1927, in Judith Gap, Mont., he was the eldest son of Clement and Edna Buckland Conroy. He married Mary Belle Provost on Aug. 2, 1958, in Bishops' Lodge Chapel near Missoula, Mont. She died on March 9, 1998.
Dr. Conroy graduated from Judith Gap High School. He earned a bachelor's degree in history and philosophy from Carroll College in Helena, Mont., where he lettered in basketball, sang in the choir and served as president of the student body.
After graduating from college, Dr. Conroy taught high school in Lodge Grass, Mont. In 1951, he was drafted into the Army and served with the 99th Engineering Topographic Battalion at the Presidio in San Francisco during the Korean Conflict
. Following his term of service, Dr. Conroy taught and coached in Buffalo, Mont., for four years while also pursuing a master's degree in English at the University of Northern Colorado, Greeley.
While teaching English at the University of Montana, Dr. Conroy met his future wife. Following their marriage, he entered a doctoral program in medieval literature at the University of Washington
, Seattle, completing his Ph.D. in 1964. Subsequent positions included professor of English at the University of Arizona, Tucson (1964-1968), and professor of English, chair of the English department and provost at the University of West Florida, Pensacola (1968-1975).
In 1975, Dr. Conroy became academic dean at Quincy University, a position he retained until his retirement in 1992. While at QU, Conroy served as an evaluator for the Southeastern Accreditation Association and the Illinois Department of Public Instruction. He was a board member of the Quincy Civic Music Association and the Quincy Public Library. He was an active administrator for the POLIS program at QU and served as lector and Eucharistic Minister at St. Boniface Church.
Dr. Conroy was a lifelong Cardinals fan, an avid gardener and a lover of learning. Late in life he became an adventurous traveler, although his heart was always rooted in his home state of Montana.
Surviving are three daughters, Margaret Conroy (Connie Hall), Sarah Williams (Brett) and Alison Conroy; one son, Mike Conroy (Cynthia); and five grandchildren, Cole, Clayton, Cian, Ethan and Ava. Also surviving are his sister, Margaret; brothers, Thomas and David, and numerous nieces and nephews, most of whom live in Montana.
In addition to his wife, he was preceded in death by his parents; daughter, Ellen Milady; sister, Helen; and brother, Pat.
SERVICES: 10 a.m. Monday, Jan. 21 in the Quincy University Chapel, with the Rev. John Ostdiek, OFM, conducting. A luncheon reception was held after the Mass. Burial will take place in the Judith Gap Cemetery, Judith Gap, Mont.
MEMORIALS: Kenneth C. and Mary Belle Conroy Scholarship Fund at Quincy University or the Quincy Civic Music Association.
ARRANGEMENTS: Duker and Haugh Funeral Home.
Condolences may be expressed online at www.whig.com