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Jack R. Conaway, 89

Jack R. Conaway of Bradenton, Florida, a former longtime Westport resident, died Feb. 13. He was 89.

The son of Fred and Nellie Conaway, he was born in 1929 in Parkersburg, West Virginia.  He graduated from Parkersburg High School (1947) and after attending Marietta College for a year, transferred to Duke University under a Navy ROTC scholarship.

Following graduation from Duke in 1952 with a B.S. degree in chemistry, he was commissioned a Navy officer. He spent three years aboard the aircraft carrier USS Coral Sea, with most of his duty serving as assistant navigator.

In conjunction with his honorable discharge, he received a National Defense Service Ribbon and Navy Occupation Medal.

In 1955, he joined the sales department of Union Carbide Chemicals Co. where he spent his entire business career, retiring in 1994 as business manager in the oxygenated solvents division. 

As a resident of Westport from 1975 to 2006, he enjoyed sports, sailing, skiing, singing and most of all spending weekends and vacations with his family whom he loved dearly.

He is survived by his devoted wife of 44 years Mary Beth Vernon Conaway, their sons Christopher and Timothy, daughters-in-law Jeanne-Marie and Tisha respectively, and grandchildren Victoria, Christopher, Jr., Alexander, C.J., Felicity, and Elliot. He is also survived by his sister Lois Ann Himml of Rockport, Massachusetts. He was preceded in death by his sister Judith Devlin.

A Mass celebrating his life was held on Feb. 17 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in West Bradenton.  In the spirit of celebrating his life, those attending the Mass wore something with “Duke Blue,” a gesture recognizing Jack’s pride in his alma mater.

As a Navy veteran, he was be laid to rest in the Sarasota National Cemetery on Feb. 20.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (http://www.stjude.org) in Jack Conaway’s name.

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