CUMBERLAND - Eugene R. Conway, well respected businessman, educator, and life-long resident of Cumberland Hill, died July 7. He was 92. Eugene turned the lessons learned from early success at selling apples from the family orchard into growing the family bus and tour company, Conway Tours. The lessons he learned from curiously dismantling radiators on frigid winter mornings were turned into a successful career as a Cumberland High School science teacher for 27 years, retiring in 1983. Although he never learned to swim, he was a navy veteran of WWII, attaining the rank of captain. But the hats he wore most proudly were those of husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather. He was loved, cherished, respected, and will be greatly missed.
Gene was born in Cumberland Hill on April 19, 1922, the seventh of eight children of John E. and Julia (Casey) Conway. He was a graduate of Mt. St. Charles Academy, URI, and attended the Naval Academy. When assignment to duty in Canada threatened to put his wedding to his high school sweetheart, Rita Mae Charland, on hold, Rita chose to fly on a twin-engine plane through a terrible blizzard and they were married on the base in Argentia, Newfoundland. Gene was the only person Rita knew at her wedding! They were happily married for 68 years.
He was a member of the National Teachers Association, RI Teachers Association, and the Blackstone Valley Retired Teachers Association. He is survived by his children, Robert Conway and his wife Donna, Kathleen Peck and her husband Robert, Michael Conway and his partner, Steven Baird, Thomas Conway, Peter Conway and his wife Anne, and Julia Conway and her partner Karen Turner; his sisters, Barbara Brown and Rita Moran, 11 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren. He was the brother of the late Mary Hayes, Margaret Sherry, Dorothy Goodier, James and John Conway. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Thursday, July 10, 2014 at 10am Saint Joan of Arc Church, 3357 Mendon Road, Cumberland. Burial with military honors will be in Resurrection Cemetery, Cumberland. Relatives and friends are invited. Visiting hours Wednesday from 5-8pm in the O'Neill Funeral Home, 3102 Mendon Road, Cumberland www.oneillfuneralhomes.com
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