Henry Conway ’51 died on August 1, 2018, in Silver Spring, Maryland.
(The following was published on DignityMemorial.com):
On August 1, 2018, Henry L. (“Monk”) Conway, Jr., age eighty-nine, passed away peacefully in Silver Spring, MD. Born on March 16, 1929 to Henry L. Conway and Etta Bockmiller Conway, Henry Jr. was a lifelong Baltimore resident and diehard supporter of his beloved hometown.
As a child, Henry Jr. could be a handful. His mother passed away while he was still young. His father, a co-founder of the Conway Furniture Company, and his sisters, Kathryn (“Kitty”) and Mary Patricia (“Pat”) did their best to manage. Soon, however, a decision was made. Henry was sent off to Randolph Macon Military Academy in Front Royal, Virginia.
The experience proved formative. Henry graduated first in his class and went on to Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, where he majored in history. At Bowdoin, he was a top football player under the coaching of Adam Walsh, himself a legendary player under Knute Rockne at the University of Notre Dame.
After graduating from college, Henry entered the United States Marine Corps. First came recruit training in Parris Island, SC—another memorable experience. Henry then shipped out for combat in the Korean War. Under brutal conditions at Outpost Detroit, he learned first-hand the true hell that is war. Many were killed in savage fighting amidst intense artillery shelling. Henry himself was wounded and knocked unconscious by a grenade blast.
When he came to, he was in a collapsed trench facing Chinese bayonets. He was then taken prisoner and held in captivity for almost a year. His family was notified that he was missing and presumed killed in action. Only following a prisoner release did they learn that he was still alive.
After a tearful and joyous reunion with family, Henry then decompressed on a slow trip to Europe on a freighter out of Baltimore by way of New Orleans. He subsequently returned to Baltimore, where he married Marilyn Claire Litty, also of Baltimore, and began to put down roots. He enrolled in law school at The University of Maryland in Baltimore and upon graduation entered private practice.
At first, Henry and Marilyn lived in a walk-up apartment on Mount Vernon Place. There they had their first son, Thomas Blakely Conway. They then moved to a row house on Rokeby Road in Hunting Hills, nearer to family. They had two more children, Benjamin Johnston Conway and Elizabeth Bayfield Conway, before at last moving in the late 1960s to their beloved Dickeyville, where they would remain for most of their adult lives.
Dickeyville. Gwynns Falls. Leakin Park. Hunting Hills. Ten Hills. Druid Hill Park. Fort McHenry. Fells Point. The Colts. The Orioles. Hopkins. The Baltimore Museum of Art. Henry and Marilyn loved everything about their hometown of Baltimore and never strayed far. Henry for many years quietly endured flashbacks of war and captivity but Marilyn—and Baltimore—were both his salve and salvation.
All Conways from Henry’s generation and above are now gone—Henry was the last remaining, having lived a full life in all respects despite the punishment he endured as a soldier and warrior. His father and mother, his sisters, Kathryn Conway Preyer and Mary Patricia Conway, and now Henry—all now have passed, yet many vivid memories remain. Marilyn herself passed away two years ago.
Left to carry on are Henry and Marilyn’s children—Tom, of Gaithersburg, Maryland, Ben, of Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts, and Elizabeth (Betsy), of Berlin, Germany and their children. Henry and his wife Marilyn touched many lives and will be remembered forever for their love, endurance, and civic pride. Henry himself was one-of-a-kind. Stories will be told about him generations from now, but stories will never come close to the real thing.