Alan B. Conley
The Reverend Alan B. Conley â€" born January 4, 1934, Episcopal priest and school headmaster, involved in social justice work, LGBTQ+ rights, environmental issues, youth and education - beloved husband of Corinne, father to Amy Conley Hayutin, David and Cristen Conley, Grandfather to Dante, Roan, and Shay Conley, Sabina Hayutin and Lyla Hayutin-Baril, father-in-law to Robert Hayutin (deceased), Carole Conley, and Michael Anderson - passed away suddenly from COVID-19 on December 19, 2020 following a valiant and successful 8-month rehabilitation from a stroke. He was preceded in death by his parents, Fern Wheelock Conley and Elmer Conley, and his sisters Gloria Edwards Jackson and Carol Heald. His passion and sense of humor served his communities well as he carried thousands in his career through joys and sorrows. Ordained in 1959, he served parishes in Colorado City, Amarillo, Corpus Christi, and Kerrville, Texas until 2015, continuing his service well after his retirement in 2001. Corinne asks any donations in his honor be made to
Casa Q https://www.casaq.org/
or the Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico https://tgrcnm.org/
He was born in Pampa, Texas and shortly thereafter moved to Pueblo, Colorado where he spent the first half of his childhood. His family then moved to Lubbock, Texas where his maternal grandparents were founders of the city and held the first marriage license. In Lubbock Alan asked to visit churches of different denominations and realized at age 12 that he had been called to the ministry of the Episcopal Church. He met Corinne at Texas Tech University and she knew he was worth getting to know when she pretended to shoot him with a toy gun and he fell writhing to the floor. While at Tech Alan was the Scoutmaster for a new troop of Boy Scouts with exceptionalities and was quoted in a Time magazine article about that in 1956. http://content.time.com/time/subscriber/
article/0,33009,808110,00.html As a son of the West he was a volunteer firefighter for a few years. His family celebrates how he loved dogs, Halloween, skiing, and the Dallas Cowboys.
During his attendance at Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Virginia he continued his service to the marginalized as chaplain at a local hospital for people suffering from mental illness. During years of work with Alcoholics Anonymous in Amarillo, Texas he counseled hundreds with love and respect for those suffering the ravages of the medical condition of addiction to alcohol and drugs.
Alan particularly valued his time working with young people in his churches. In Texas he was the Headmaster at Episcopal schools - St. Andrew's in Amarillo, St. James' in Corpus Christi, and St. Peter's in Kerrville. He led youth on service projects followed by ski trips to his beloved New Mexico and Colorado and relished his time as a priest in residence at summer church camps. He spent his later years involved in and leading discussion groups such as "the Arguers Club" in Kerrville - engaging in good-natured debate on philosophy, politics and religion, and sharing and discussing "Great Courses" DVDs. He worked to install the meditation labyrinth and garden at St. Peter's in Kerrville, then in retirement served as a frequent guest priest at various Episcopal churches in the Texas Hill Country, was invited to speak at a Unitarian Universalist Church and various schools, and was a founder of the local PFLAG group. Alan was proud to be one of the few Democrats in Kerr County. He embraced the intellect and open-mindedness, believing deeply that God was truly omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent. He refused to squeeze God into a box created by limited human understanding, instead embracing the mystery and wonder of the Divine. Toward the end of his life, Alan told one friend he (Alan) was an agnostic since he wouldn't truly know about God until he died. We like to think he is deep in a good and humorous conversation wherever he is. He also took great joy in teasing his atheist friends that they had to contemplate a God to not believe in one. He was a lifelong learner with a great curiosity and desire to understand.
During his career he was early influenced by the inherent unfairness of racism, the need to be stewards of the Earth, the ravages of addiction, and the isolation and struggles faced by some many LGBTQ+ people. He shared stories with his children of having to help to negotiate a place to stay and the use of a laundromat by Black citizens and travelers, taught his kids to pick up trash on hikes, was instrumental in getting recycling started in Kerr county, and started talking about the need for gay marriage in the early 70s - later carrying that conviction to the General Convention of the Episcopal Church.
Join us in celebrating Alan's life and deeds in a ceremony at St. Michael's and All Angels in Albuquerque, New Mexico on August 14 at 2 p.m. in person or on-line. Please reach out to [email protected]
for a link or if you intend to travel to participate in person. We request you wear a mask, regardless of vaccination status. Finally, toast him with a Dr. Pepper wherever you are!
To plant trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store
Published by Albuquerque Journal on Jul. 18, 2021.