Hafemeister Funeral Home And Cremation Service
Richard B. Conley
Service: July 5, 2017
Richard B. Conley
Richard B. Conley, 86 of Watertown, passed away peacefully on Thursday morning, June 29, 2017 at his home, surrounded by his family.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Wednesday July 5, 2017 at Noon, at St. Henry Catholic Church in Watertown with Father Bob Sears, S.J. and Father Patrick Wendler officiating. Private family burial will be at St. Bernard’s Catholic Cemetery in Watertown on Thursday. Visitation will be at the church on Wednesday, July 5, from 10 am until the time of the service.
Richard (aka Dick and RBC) was born in Galena, Illinois, on March 6, 1931, the third of four children. Shortly after his birth, his family relocated to DePere, Wisconsin.
He attended Abbott Pennings High School, where he excelled in the literary arts, tennis and golf. His success in golf earned him a place on the golf team at the University of Notre Dame, which he attended for a year prior to enrolling as a seminarian at St. Norbert College. Seminary studies included a year in Rome, which sparked an interest in travel.
Richard left the seminary to take a trip around the world with his good friend Pat Ariens, setting sail for the Olympics in Australia in 1957. Upon returning home two years later, he met the love of his life, Olive Rose Holzer, who had just returned from a trip to Europe and Turkey.
Richard courted Olive in Green Bay while teaching at Premontre High School and beginning work on his Masters degree in English from the University of Wisconsin, where he studied under Helen C. White. He also continued his interest in golf, and became the Northeastern Wisconsin Golf Champion and the Club Champion of Oneida Country Club.
Richard and Olive married on June 12, 1961, and the two found teaching roles in Watertown.
On Palm Sunday, 1964, their country home was completely demolished by a tornado. The young couple was overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support from the Watertown community, and decided to make Watertown their permanent home.
Richard taught in the Watertown High School English department from 1961-1993, and was named educator of the year in 1963. His interest in media and persuasion contributed to his role on the committee that introduced cable television communications to Watertown.
He also served as a coach of the WHS golf team and enjoyed golfing at the Watertown Country Club, where he participated in the “Winter Golf Tour” well into his 70s.
Richard was part of St. Bernard’s Sicilian Choir, which he led for a number of years. His musical interests were also expressed in a Barbershop Quartet, in which he was accompanied by Royce Rowedder, John Block and Dave Nielsen. Richard composed this song for Olive: http://bit.ly/OliveSong
In retirement, Richard and Olive focused time on family, friends and Green Bay Packer games. His annual NCAA college football bowl pick competition drew participants from across the country, and he relished any opportunity to win or lose a game of cribbage.
Richard went home to his Heavenly Father on June 29, 2017, joining his father and mother, Harry and Julia Conley, brother Fr. Kieran Conley, O.S.B.; sister, Terry Byrne; five in-laws: Urban Schumacher, Bud Byrne, Jack and Judy Holzer, and Mary Pat (Holzer) Wach; and four nephews: Mike, Dick, Tom and John Byrne.
Richard is survived by his wife Olive Rose of Watertown, four children: Kevin (Kay) Conley of Watertown; Mary (Dale) Eggert of Libertyville, IL.; Kiara (Jay) Mack of Delafield; and Bridget (John) Zakowski of Green Bay; sister, Judy Schumacher of Green Bay, nieces, nephews other relatives and friends, and 10 grandchildren: Elizabeth Mack, Colleen Conley, Meghan Conley, Catherine Zakowski, John Mack, Mary Zakowski, Kara Conley, Kieran Conley, John Zakowski and Tommy Zakowski.
Online condolences may be made at www.hafemeisterfh.com. Hafemeister Funeral Home of Watertown is serving the family.
Memorials may be made to EWTN, Judicial Watch, Wisconsin Right to Life or St. Norbert College.
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