John Jacob Conroy was born Oct. 24, 1917 to Wess and Frances (Spaulding) Conroy. John was born in Sleights Siding in Blair Township. The family farm was in the Boardman Valley on River Road.
He worked at Fotchmans and the Traverse City Canning plant prior to entering the U.S. Army in 1941 at the age of 23. He began his service at Fort Knox, Kentucky, as a mechanic. John served in the U.S. Army from 1941 to 1945 in North Africa and Italy during World War II as a tank commander.
John met Helen Kolbasa at the Conroy homestead for a family get together. After a short courtship they eloped in Wayne County on Dec. 7, 1946 and then move to Traverse City. He opened the Conroy Brothers Service with his brother, Sherman. He went to work at Sheffer Collet Machine shop in the heat treatment department. They moved to Kingsley around 1965. John farmed at both the Boardman Valley farm and the Kingsley farm.
John was reacquainted with a former classmate from Kingsley, Beulah Sedlacek. John and Beulah were married at the Kingsley Methodist Church in February 1973.
John was an active member of the community. He was on the Sleights and Sabin School board. He was active in the Kingsley community on the Planning Board for Paradise Township, the VFW and American Legion and the Good Neighbors in Kingsley. It was a special part of their life with their many friends.
John was a founding member of the Kingsmen. The Kingsmen set up a food wagon that they took to the Bancroft auctions. The proceeds were used to help those in need in the community.
John loved working in his workshop. He loved woodworking. Later in life he began making picture frames. He was very proud and loved to give them to people as special gifts. He signed and dated every one of them. You knew you were special to John if you were a lucky recipient of one of those frames.
John lost Beulah in November 2009. John's grandson, Daryl, had been on working the family farm with his grandpa since he was a young boy. Then John worked alongside Daryl. Even at the age of 98 he was still helping by driving tractors getting the fields ready for planting and loading and stacking round bales. He was the hardest working person, never letting grass grow under his feet. The Paul Harvey saying, "So God made a Farmer," was a perfect description of John.
John loved going to The Rock of Kingsley to play euchre with friends, and Wednesdays were reserved for lunch with the "Seniors" at The Rock.
He is survived by his daughters, Janice (Victor) Rioux, Eileen (Terry) Bigelow, Maureen (Bob) Nelson and Irene (Leon) Hulett; stepdaughter, Nancy (John) Kenyon; stepson, John (Melinda) Sedlacek; special friend, Flossie Loutonin; grandchildren, Victor (Monique) Rioux, Riquelle (Chris) Steinmiller, Mike (Ann) Rioux, Joe (Brenda) Rioux, Christine (Tracy) Orr, Tom Rioux, John (Dottie) Lehn, Daryl (Tina) Lehn, Joyce (Scott) Harrington, Danielle Nelson, Heather (Steve) Craker, Heidi Nelson, Nicole Ruiz, Scott (Rigel) Hulett, Ross Hulett. Kristen (Jeff) McDonald, John (Jessica) Kenyon, Sara (Roland) St. Armand, William (Cyndi) Sedlacek and Melissa Sedlacek; 27 great-grandchildren; and 23 great-great-grandchildren.
John was preceded in death by parents; wife, Helen Conroy; second wife, Beulah Conroy; siblings, Julia Baker, Sherman Conroy and Jesse Martin; granddaughter, Dawn Lehn; and great-grandson, Chris Steinmiller.
The family would like to thank Mike Fulker for everything he has done for John.
Services will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, April 13, 2017 at The Rock of Kingsley. The family will greet friends starting at 10 a.m. Burial will be in the Evergreen Cemetery, Kingsley.
Please visit www.lifestorytc.com to sign the guestbook, view photos and share your thoughts and memories with the family and more.
Published on April 9, 2017