Given the love story exemplified by Barbara and Art Conway’s life together, it is especially fitting that they left this world within one week of each other, in early September.
Barbara was the first of four children born on September 15, 1934, in Mishawaka, Indiana, to William and Vivian Biron. She married and moved to Boston as a young adult and had two children. She returned to South Bend when her children were young where she managed and performed as a semiprofessional singer in a local entertainment venue. She later became the first woman in the sales force for the Cahners Publishing Company and then moved into sales management in Chicago, where she ultimately retired.
Arthur was the first of four children, born on May 11, 1935, to Arthur and Helen Conway. He graduated from Fairfield Prep Academy and then Fairfield University. Art went on to serve in the Army during the Korean War. Upon his return, he married and then he and his wife adopted one child. Professionally, Arthur co-founded Young Conway Publications. As his business expanded and began to include global publications, Arthur moved to Chicago, where he retired, after a long, successful career.
Arthur and Barbara met when their paths crossed in the publishing industry and married in Chicago 26 years ago. They retired from busy professional lives in Chicago to the hills and valleys of Vermont where they embraced the local culture with gusto. Art served for 10 years as an ambassador at Sugarbush Resort and then later provided bookkeeping assistance at the resort, where he was able to satisfy his passion for downhill skiing. Barbara became actively involved in the Joslin Library culture, reading voraciously and supporting fundraising efforts. Together, they promoted local theater and arts efforts, Rotary and animal rescue organizations, and Art became a writer of humorous, poignant and satirical collections of haikus, which were locally published and bound in a series of books.
Many in The Valley will remember Art and Barbara’s enduring spirits when considering their unstoppable advocacy for arts, culture and community. Recurring musical performances with the dogs from The Sound of Music at the Mad River Follies, “You Bet Your Ice” and Duck Race fundraisers were a few of the more memorable nods to Art and Barbara’s collective sense of humor and compassion.
Arthur and Barbara are survived by their children, Douglas and Dorene Greene of Idaho Falls, Idaho, Jeffrey and Sheila Greene of Cleveland, Ohio, and Matthew Conway of Boulder, Colorado; two brothers and two sisters in New York, Connecticut and South Bend; seven grandchildren; and local “sister”/friend Jackie Leyton.
Services will be privately held for family members. Those wishing to make memorial gifts may do so through contributions to the Central Vermont Humane Society (www.centralvermonthumane.org) or Central Vermont Home Health and Hospice (www.cvhhh.org).
Assisting the family is Perkins-Parker Funeral Home in Waterbury, Vermont. To send online condolences, visit www.perkinsparker.com.