Robert Harold Conroy
December 22, 1936 – May 19, 2018
Robert Harold “Bob” Conroy was born December 22, 1936 in Spokane, raised in Chattaroy, and graduated from Riverside High School. Judith Kay “Judi” (Hood) Conroy was born October 2, 1941 in Spokane, and graduated from Marycliff High School. When they met in 1961, Bob was on the extra board for the Great Northern Railroad and a combat communications reservist with the Washington Air National Guard. Judi was an operator for the telephone company. They married that same year, and by 1969 had three children: Carmela, Shawn, and Cailin. The little house behind Rogers High School was too small for a family of five, so in 1970 they moved to the Spokane Valley.
Bob stayed with the railroad as it changed hands, remaining a yard master in order to stay in the Spokane area. He rose to the rank of Master Sergeant with the Air National Guard; he stayed with both organizations for over 40 years before retiring. For a few years Judi had a small business, YocoTogs, with her cousin Barb Young. In 1978 Judi passed her insurance licensing test, and became an independent contractor with the Western Farmer Stockman Insurance Group, and its first insurance conservationist. Judi had a great rapport with customers, and developed what the family came to know as “the insurance voice.”
Bob and Judi volunteered annually at the Christmas Bureau organized by the Spokesman Review, Volunteers of America, and Catholic Charities. For thirty years, Judi volunteered almost every Monday night at the VOA Crosswalk, a shelter for homeless teens in downtown Spokane. In 2017 VOA presented Judi the Ken Jernberg Butterfly Award, recognizing her commitment and service. Judi was a lifelong believer in Jesus Christ and a member of the Roman Catholic Church; most recently she and Bob were members of St. Joseph’s Parish in Otis Orchards.
During an early 1970’s flea market, Judi bought a raffle ticket and won five acres of wooded property on the Priest River. “The Property” became the focus of decades of adventures. Bob and Judi contacted the owner of an abandoned log cabin in Spokane, and agreed to clean up the lot in exchange for the cabin. With a lot of help from their extended family and friends, and unburdened by much expertise, they transported and rebuilt it, eventually transforming The Property into “The Cabin.”
Bob enjoyed woodworking, playing cards and board games, smoking salmon, the Tuesday Coffee Club, and grumbling at television political commentators. Judi enjoyed sewing and quilting, dabbling in all sorts of textile arts, often at Sew Uniquely You; her pinochle group, gardening, baking tea rings with her grandchildren, and hanging out with The River Girls. Together they built, maintained, and welcomed guests to The Cabin; loved their extended families, and they traveled the world together. When the kids were still at home, they hit Canada and Mexico and several western states. As “empty nesters,” they roamed to Japan (repeatedly), Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, England, France, Belgium, Italy, the Vatican City, Ireland, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, and Norway. They made friends everywhere they went. They were looking forward to a cruise to Alaska before the May 19 accident that took them from us.
Bob and Judi were preceded in death by their parents, Forrest and Elsie (Lankey) Conroy, and Mark and Marie (Dellwo) Hood; by siblings Fern Conroy, Rich Hood, Fay Conroy, Betty Jane Reynolds (Howard), and Blanche Achord. They are survived by their children Carmela Conroy, Shawn Conroy (Shelli), and Cailin Conroy Davey (Clayton), and grandchildren Emily Conroy, Ben Conroy, Forrest Hanson, Megan Conroy, and Morgan Hanson. Their surviving siblings are Marilyn Piper, Karen Snyder Scott (Paul), Patti Dawson, and sister-in-law Robin Hood.
In a document titled “Five Wishes,” Judi asked that people remember this about her, “I was blessed with a loving and caring husband and the blessings continued with three kids and five grandkids. To all my family and friends I leave my love and thanks for sharing your life with me.” Judi asked that memorial donations be made to VOA Crosswalk, https://www.voaspokane.org/crosswalk and to St. Joseph Parish, www.stjoeparish.org
St. Joseph Church, 4521 N. Arden Rd., Otis Orchards will host memorial services for Bob and Judi. Vigil Service will be Friday June 1 at 7:00 p.m., and Funeral Mass at 11:00 a.m on Saturday, June 2. There will be a military service at the Washington State Military Cemetery, 21702 W. Espanola Rd. in Medical Lake, at 1:30pm on Monday, June 4.
Thornhill Valley Chapel is making arrangements as organized by Bob and Judi well in advance of need, and requests that any flowers be delivered to them at 1400 S. Pines Road, Spokane Valley, no later than Friday, June 1 at 3:00pm.
- Vigil Service Friday, June 1, 2018
- Funeral Mass Saturday, June 2, 2018