2004-11-26

Roscoe's Obituary

Meredith wrote an obituary for Roscoe that occupied 1/6th of the obituary page in the paper.

Roscoe Ronald Conoley Jan. 17, 1925 – Nov. 22, 2004

Roscoe Conoley, age 79, died at his home Monday November 22 after an extended illness.

Roscoe was born on January 17, 1925, in rural Milam County to Francis R. Conoley and Cordelia M. (Beard) Conoley. He was the fifth child of what would be six born to the Conoleys. At the time of his birth and until the last son was born, Roscoe was thought to be the late Conoley child and was nicknamed “Baby” by the family and this is how he would be known from then on.

He was preceded in death by his parents, one sister Nell, two brothers Alexander (Alec) Hamilton and Eugene (Ken) Kenyon, and one son Ronald (Ronnie) Craig Conoley.

He is survived by his wife of 57 years Gladys (Marie) Conoley, three children, son Francis (Frank) Michael Conoley, his wife Pat and daughter Shannon of Mulberry, Florida, daughter Sanna L. Conoley, her partner Elizabeth of Thorndale, Texas, her son Eric Burke and daughter Brianna (Burke) Jones of Austin, Texas, a son Meredith Conoley, his wife Lisa and daughters Jill and Amy of Round Rock, Texas.

He is also survived by his brother, Rufus K. Conoley, his wife Nadine of Houston, and brother Ralph M. Conoley and his wife Helen of Silver Springs, Maryland. The legacy of Roscoe will live on through seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Born from the Great Depression in tough rural conditions, Roscoe was taught the early lessons of hard work, honesty, and determination by his parents and siblings. Though times were tough the family was fortunate to have a unique blend of toughness and good natured spirit to get through the hard times by building a treasure chest of stories work and play to share with the later generations.

As a member of what would become “The Greatest Generation,” Roscoe headed the call of his counter in 1944 and joined the Allied troops in Europe as part of the 101st Cannon Company in France and Germany. Roscoe received the Purple Heart for wounds received during battle in France in 1945.

After the war Roscoe returned to Texas and enrolled at The University of Texas in Austin where he graduated in 1950 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Mathematics. It was during this time that he met his wife-to-be, Marie Young, on a blind date. This blind date carried on to marriage on August 30, 1947. The next 57 years were full of joy and challenges and passed all too fast.

Roscoe and Marie returned to Thorndale in 1950 to be closer to Roscoe’s aging parents. Roscoe served as the Rural Letter Mail Carrier for the Thorndale area for 31 years. During this time he was also a bookkeeper of C.A. Forbes and Co.

Roscoe believed in serving the community for the greater good. Never was this more demonstrated than in his efforts with other community leaders to lead the desegregation of the Thorndale school district that culminated in the building of a new High School Complex in 1966. This was a very difficult time for the Community but Roscoe worked with many others to bring this transition through in a peaceful manner not seen elsewhere. Thorndale ISD and the community at large became a model for others to follow.

Upon retirement from the U.S. Postal Service in 1989 Roscoe continued his community involvement by accepting the position of City Manager for Thorndale. Following his belief that good health starts by taking care of “what comes in and goes out” he developed and administered projects to provide a modern sewage treatment facility for Thorndale and secured water rights and improvements to the water transportation network to ensure a long-lasting safe water supply. Roscoe retired from the City of Thorndale in 2000.

Though Roscoe believed in hard work, and you would often find him behind a push mower taking care of his two acre yard, he equally enjoyed having fun and the company of friends and family. He leaves behind a tremendous volume of stories, anecdotes, and sayings that he shared with all who had the great fortune to know him. He loved spending his free time with friends, family, and especially his grandchildren. His local golfing group will sorely miss the times spent on the gold course followed by enjoying Roscoe’s favorite pastime – having a cold beer after a hot round of golf.

The family would like to express their sincere and heartfelt thanks to everyone who stopped by, called, wrote letters, and provided so much comfort and love during this very difficult time. We would extend a special thank you to a group of incredibly caring and wonderful folks at Lone Star Hospice, especially Carol and Jan.

A memorial service conducted by the Rev. Don Elrod will be held a Condar Funeral Home in Taylor, Texas at 2:00 p.m., Saturday November 27th, Honorary pallbearers, Ricky Melde, Floyd Zuehlke Jr., Robert Lindermann, Ted Westerman II, Wynn D. Scruggs, W. E. “Bill” Burke III, Joel Wilkerson. A celebration of Roscoe’s life will follow at the Thorndale Senior Center. In lieu of flowers, Roscoe requested donations to Thorndale Cares, Lone Start Hospice, or the charity of your choice.

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