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Conway, Anthony Aloysius (‘Louis’)
beloved husband of Christine, wonderful father of Mark & Alison, fantastic grandad to Angus, the late Madeleine, & Erin, passed away peacefully at home on Sunday August 27th aged 85 years.
Funeral service will be held at St Michael & All Angels Church, Croft on Monday September 11th at 11.00am.
Family flowers only please.
Anthony Aloysius - Louis - Conway was born in Castlebar, the county town in County Mayo, on the West Coast of Ireland on September 16th 1931. He was to be the second eldest of seven children born to his father, also Louis, who was a detective in the Garda Síochána the Irish Police Force, and mother ‘Madge’ who was a long-suffering housewife but also the first woman in Ireland to gain a Botany & Sciences degree from the University of Dublin.
His upbringing was a mixture of love, laughter and adventure (usually involving boats and salmon fishing or ‘poaching’ as Louis the father might have described it) combined with money being tight and quite a large amount of keeping out of the way of the somewhat tyrannical and volatile patriarch.
A bright student, Louis, at 15, won a scholarship to Teachers Preparatory Training College in Salthill, Galway before attending the University of Dublin where he graduated ‘First in all Ireland’ in ‘the Gaelic’ in 1952. He subsequently qualified as a teacher and secured his own small school in Kilkitt in County Cavan, where he spent his days teaching, in a single classroom, students ranging in age from 11 to 15. It was a very challenging environment, with many of the kids off school during the harvest and Louis would have to repeat the lessons for them when they returned. Louis quickly realised that this set-up was not for him. After the Easter Break, in 1953, “in total dereliction of duty” (his own words!), he caught the train to Dublin and hopped on the Ferry to Holyhead. He sought refuge with his brother Eugene in Birmingham where the two of them had great fun despite a chronic lack of funds. The next time his mother knew of his whereabouts was when she received a letter from him from Birmingham, England, where he was working the night shift at Cadbury’s.
He subsequently moved from Birmingham to Leicester as he secured a sales job in the footwear industry, where he was to stay (albeit working for different companies) for the rest of his career, rising to the level of Sales Director for W Marlow & Sons for whom he worked for almost 30 years. He was an integral part of that organisation’s success, particularly in helping to establish the now ubiquitous Doc Martin as the pre-eminent product in its class - a position it has retained from the early 1970s when Louis joined the company, to the present day. Louis loved working for Marlows, and often said that he had never had a “Monday morning feeling” his entire life.
A very keen ballroom dancer, Louis met Christine Caroline Bennett at a dance in Leicester’s De Montfort Hall on February 8th 1958. By this time he was living on Fosse Road North, in Leicester with his brother Ernie. Louis & Christine were married at the Catholic Church of Saint Peter on Leamington Street in Leicester on 30th July 1960 and son Mark and daughter Alison arrived in 1964 and 1969 respectively. They moved to Bala Road in Croft in 1965 and have been there ever since.
Louis and Christine had a wonderful life together enjoying holidays and travel to many parts of the world including the USA, Canada, Mexico, many parts of continental Europe and the Far East. They enjoyed watching their own children grow up and become independent and, latterly, watching grandchildren Angus, Maddy and Erin and their many achievements. Louis was very proud of his family and loved nothing more than spending time with them, invariably taking advantage of a ‘captive audience’ to regale the group with his recitations of poetry and stories, delivered without notes and learned by heart.
Louis was a keen and talented dinghy sailor in his younger years - a skill and a source of enjoyment that he passed on to Alison & Mark. He was also a lifelong fly-fisherman and was, until just a few months ago, to be seen, twice a week, going out onto the waters at Thornton Reservoir, Fly-fishing for trout with his great friends Mick Cross and Geoff Willis.
Louis had never spent a day in hospital in his life until his short illness. He enjoyed robust good health until the very end and the family is grateful indeed that he didn’t suffer for a prolonged period and passed peacefully, in his sleep, at home here in Croft. He was charming the doctors, nurses and carers to the very end, just as his wit, sense of humour, the sparkle in his eye and his ability to always see the good in people, had charmed everyone who got to know him throughout his life.