Fr. Jack Conway

fr. jack conway

Fr. Jack Conway, 75, died on Tuesday, October 19, 2010 at Methodist Hospital in Minneapolis, MN.

Fr. Jack was born on August 18, 1935 in Fargo, ND.  He was the son of the late John and Gladys (LaVoi) Conway.

He attended St. Mary's Grade School and high school and two years of college at St. John's in Collegeville, MN and then studied philosophy and theology at St. Paul Seminary in St. Paul and at St. John's Seminary.  He was ordained in June of 1962 at St. Mary's Cathedral.  He served in parishes in Fargo, Marion, Buffalo, Oriska, and Manvel.  His other positions included advocate on Marriage Tribunal, Personnel Board, Fargo Priest's Senate, president of the Fargo Priest's Association, and Newman chaplain at Valley City State College.  He also gave much of his time to the Liturgy Committee of the Parish Council.  Together they worked for the development of the Sunday liturgy by more participation of lay people as lay ministers of the Eucharist, lectors and greeters.  He retired from active ministry in 1995 and lived in St. Paul, MN.  He was very involved with Laketrails Base Camp on Oak Island in Lake of the Woods.  He also volunteered at the Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota.

He is survived by his sisters, Mary Poirier Fargo, ND, Helen Jaurequi  of Silver City, NM, Patricia Conway Fargo, ND, Anne Conway, Fargo, ND; brother, Bill (Donna) Conway, Fargo, ND; many nieces and nephews.

 The family requests any memorials be sent to the Presentation Sisters or the St. Vincent DePaul Society.

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Memories Timeline


  1. Ham Lake MN
    Sympathy to the Conway family, from the Minnesota
    Master Naturalist Volunteers. Jack was a member of our North Metro Chapter. He will be missed by all of us.

    Sincerely MMNV.

  2. Fargo ND
    Today I was saddened to learn of Fr. Jack’s passing. I worked with Jack for two years as principal of Holy Spirit School in Fargo in the late-80’s. Although I had lost touch with him over the years, my memories of him are all very positive. He was a kind & compassionate man who brought a sense of grace and dignity to every situation I saw him in. I wish to extend my sympathy to his entire family. I have no doubt he will be missed by many. May he rest in peace.

  3. Apple Valley MN
    My condolences to all in the Conway family.

    I was saddened to come across the news of Father Conway’s passing while reading The Forum online, but seeing his photo made me smile at the very same time. He officiated at our marriage at Nativity in 1967 – and I will always remember the genuine respect, openness and kindness he showed to us at that special time in our lives. He will always be fondly remembered.

  4. Ramsey MN
    Jack was a classmate of mine in a Master Naturalist class. He had a special interest in raptors and was well liked by everyone. I am so sorry for your loss.

  5. Minneapolis MN
    I grew up in Fargo and Father Jack spent a few years at Holy Spirit Church.
    He was just wonderful! He was so warm and always there for a chat. He was a good speaker and made his homilys so young people could understand them.
    What a loss for the community.
    My heartfelt condolences

    B Dobbs
    Minneapolis, MN

  6. Grand Forks ND
    My caring thoughts are with Fr. Jack’s family during this time. I thank Fr. Conway for sharing his time and ministry with us during our high school years (60’s) when he was our CYO advisor at Nativity. He was gifted in affirming and respecting the people we were and we respected him. To me, he was always a positive representative of a priest who modeled living a faith-filled life in the real world. He will be missed!

  7. Orange CAMy deepest sympathy to the Conway family and especially Father Jacks sister Anne. Anne was my friend for many years and I remember when she introduced me to her brother the priest when I was just a young girl. Many fond memories. Peace be with you.

  8. Charlottesville VADear Family and Friends,

    I want to express my deepest sympathy to all of you on the deah of dear Jack. I was with Jack for four years of philosophy and theology at St Paul Seminary, if my memory serves me right. I joined Maryknoll in 3rd Theology and spent most of my adult rational life in Africa. Now I am retired from active ministry here in Charlottesville, VA.

    In one way I feel sorrow at his death. He was a good and gentle person from my memory of him. In another way I envy his entrance into eternal life with our God, sharing this with parents, relatives and friends. We have another advocate in heaven.

    Peace, Carroll

  9. Fr. Jack shared his amazing gifts of humor and comfort with my family while he was at Nativity at the same time as my uncle, Fr. Maurice Mueller. (I believe it was Snidely Whiplash who he protrayed at times), what great memories. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you.

  10. Moorhead Minnesota
    Fr. Jack married us over 26 years ago. He baptized our daughter, Kayla, and was there for us when our daughter, Nichole, passed away. We will always remember him.

  11. The absolute BEST advice I ever received while I was working at LakeTrails was from Jack. He told me that, no matter what–at all hours of the day–I should be carrying a hammer. This brilliant ploy gives the impression that you are on your way to fixing something. If you are fixing something, you can’t be troubled with other LAME chores—like KP!

    Thanks for that advice and everything else, Jack. You’ll be missed. Kevin

  12. Valley City N D Remembering Father Jack and working with the Committee to put the Oriska Centennial book together. (1981)

  13. Austin TexasI owe a great deal of my love of the outdoors to Alneau Jack..His campfire stories at the lake trails camp are stories I tell today.

    He will always walk as a legend in tales told fireside in the land of the midnight sun….

    I will always remember!

  14. Manvel ND
    Fr. Jack married Mike & I. We really enjoyed our time in the marriage prep. with him. He was always so common sense about things in life. He had such a wonderful caring, kind way with people. Every time we’d go through Mpls. we would give him a call and we’d have a great visit. We were sure blessed to have him in our lives at St. Timothy’s. May he rest in peace!

  15. Minneapolis Minnesota
    My one time room mate at the St. Paul Seminary. We have not seen much of each other lately, but my best wishes are with you. May you rest in peace.

  16. Bemidji mnTree trimmer,
    tree planter,
    tree lover/hugger

    scout of the South Beach trail
    at Laketrails.

    maker of canes
    made of diamond willow, always dead and down

    observer of people and plants and nature
    Master Naturalist, who loved volunteering at the Raptor center and at Laketrails,

    Original researcher of Lake of the Woods History, especially the island history.

    Writer of pamphlets and books
    And most of this in his later years.

  17. Sandy Lake ManitobaMary, Ann, Pat, and families – I was saddened to read of Jack’s passing. He always brought a smile to my face especially since I had heard so many inside stories about him.

  18. I met Jack back in the late 60 in Fargo. I will forever remember him for his wonderful sense of ritual, beauty, and ability to truly listen to others. He was a genuinely good person with a sense of humor. He was humble and delightful. I liked the honesty in which he approached struggles head on and how he continually saw the the sacredness of each person’s life.

  19. St. Paul MN
    I worked with Jack for several years raising money for services to inner-city families of Minneapolis. Jack was a talented editor and dedicated worker. He could lighten up tense moments when a deadline was getting uncomfortably close! Sometimes, in the midst of it all, we would have honest, human conversations that made a difference. I will remember Jack for a long time for things he said, and for the way he lived his life with courage, enthusiasm and sincere love for others. I am grateful for having known Jack, and will truly miss him.

  20. Fr. Jack blessed me with wonderful memories of sharing mass outside. An upside down canoe served as his altar. What a beautiful celebration being out in nature. And being out in nature is what I loved about Laketrails. Thanks Fr. Jack for those experiences. You will be missed.

  21. Fresno CATo the family of Jack Conway, I am Patricia Ford, current chair of the Laketrails Base Camp Board. I first met Jack when Mike Ford asked me to come to Camp on Memorial Day, 1999, and Jack was one of the ‘regulars’ for Memorial Day–infact he was in charge of all of us ‘worker bees’ – and we did his work with a side bar of lots of fun! Then Jack asked if I could assit him in wallpapering a map to the wall in the Chart House building–what a project, and how much we enjoyed the work of attaching it in the frame Jack had prepared for the map. I could name many things I have seen and used because of Jack’s work! He will truly be missed, his work will be missed and he was just a fixture of Laketrails! There will be lasting memorials of Jack. Come see him and us at laketrails. God bless you as you grieve for your loss, my prayers are with each of you, Patricia

  22. Fresno CAI have known Jack Conway since we were at St. John’s Prep school together in the early 50’s. I last saw him on September 18th of this year, where, as usual we talked about our families, (Jack knew all of us Moorhead, Fords) friends, our church, the environment and Laketrails Base Camp. I brought Jack to Camp in 1959-60 and it has been part of both our lives for all of these years. He was a guide and presently, served on the Board of Laketrails Base Camp. He was tireless in his commitment to cataloging the camps history–his google earth perspectives of Laketrails are a wonderful legacy for the Camp. I will miss him, the Ford family will miss him, and Laketrails will miss him! God’s blessing on his family. Love, Mike Ford

  23. Minnetonka MN
    I have great memories of working with Jack at Laketrails. His ideas and leadership will be missed. My deepest sympathy to his family.

  24. Rice MN
    Jack and I met in 1952 @ St John’s and stayed in touch over many years. He was a refreshing soul and I appreciated re-connecting with him the last several years, especially at his classmates’ annual reunion to which they so graciously invited me. RIP!

  25. Westfield InI will always remember his wonderful laugh and the good conversations we had at Laketrails. We had some great adventures.

  26. San Diego CAI met Jack through my husband, Don Marohn. They were in seminary together and through the years gathered for reunions at St. John’s… most recently this past summer. Jack was a good friend with a good heart! He will be missed.

  27. Osseo MN
    Jack was a classmate at St. Mary’s and friend over all these years. He officiated at my Mother’s funeral back in 1975, and we have stayed in contact over the years. Jack was my “rock” that day. I knew that Jack was on some antibiotic for a lung problem picked up in the Boundary Waters – but thought it was under control. We live here in the Twin Cities, and I had volunteered to work for coworkers on both Sunday and Monday. Will miss the services and funeral, but will attend daily Mass on Monday and have some additional Masses here at our local parish. My continued prayers on the anniversary of his death over the next years. Prayers for his loving family. Tom

  28. Cohasset MN

    Jack was a wonderful and caring friend. We were both in the ordination class of ’62. We are coming to the funeral on Mon. May he rest in Peace. Nick and Nancy

  29. Adel IaFather Jack was our Nativity priest when I attended school there. The girls all loved him!! He’d ride his bike down 10th street to our home to come for dinner or have a drink with my father.
    Last October we reunited with him and he drove down to Waukee, Ia. to spend the week-end with my parents. It was such a joy to see and visit with him after all these years. My family will miss him.

  30. I met Father Jack Conway through Laketrails Base Camp and Father Bill Mehrkens. He was always kind and generous. I guess I surprised him with my delight at being back at Laketrails for several of the reunions. We met once in St Paul, my home town, after his retirement there. God bless him and his memory, and Jack, say a little prayer for me, too! Laketrails, our Island in the Sun.

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