Ann S. Conley

Ann S. Conley died at the age of 81 at midnight on Christmas morning 2017. She was born on January 1, 1936 being the first baby born that year in her town. She was the daughter of Ellsworth Spencer and Margaret Ethalind Gray who were born in the Boston, MA area. They moved to Columbia, MO where Ann was born, but later moved to Lawrence, KS where her father was a professor at the University of Kansas in the Mechanical Engineering department. He passed away when she was a pre-teen and she realized the need to help support her family, so she went to work for the Castle Tea Room at the age of 11 serving coffee and water in the ballroom. She attended Lawrence High School where her class was the first to graduate from the new school at 19th and Louisiana St. She later attended the University of Kansas on an academic scholarship. She was active in many activities while at KU including being President of LaTertulia Spanish Club, President of the Christian Science organization and worked part-time in the Registrar’s office in Strong Hall while going to classes. It was there that she met her future husband, Harold L. Conley. She boasts of having Wilt Chamberlain in her biology class who sat in front of her in Lindley Hall. She also participated in ballet swimming while at KU. In the summer she was water-front counselor at Sea Pines camp on Cape Cod and while there she got to teach Gypsy Rose Lee’s son, Eric, to swim. Her grandparents had a house on Cape Cod just down the beach from the camp where she would go every Thursday on her day off.

She married Harold on November 6, 1955. They were busy travelling, attending KU basketball games, attending shows at the New Theatre in Overland Park, KS, the Lied Center in Lawrence, KS and Topeka Civic Theatre in Topeka, KS where they had season tickets to all of them. For a number of years, they also had season tickets to the College World Series of baseball in Omaha, Nebraska. They had been members of FSBC since 1978. On many of their long trips before and after their marriage, they often would sing their favorite theme song, The Bible Tells Me So. She was also a busy mother of 3 children. Harold preceded Ann in death in 2005.

She is survived by her brother, David Gray (Ella) of Ft. Worth, TX; daughter Cindy Lakey (Barry) of Overland Park, KS; son David Conley of Tonganoxie, KS; son Steven Conley (Rosalyn) of Lawrence, KS; granddaughter Sarah Conley of Lawrence, KS; step granddaughter Amy Navarro (Matt Huss) of Lawrence, KS; step grandson Erik Slan (Meredith) of Topeka, KS and two great grandsons Martin Navarro and Brian Navarro of Lawrence, KS. There are also numerous nieces and nephews from Texas, Kansas, New England and England. She leaves behind many dear friends, some of whom she has known and remained friends with since her elementary school days. She also leaves a long-time friend, Dottie Matthew whose 4 children are her God children.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Christian Higher Education Endowment Fund of the Kansas-Nebraska Southern Baptist Foundation at 5410 W. 7th st., Topeka, KS 66606.

A memorial service is planned for Saturday, January 6th at 11:00 am at the First Southern Baptist Church in Topeka, KS. That evening a Celebration of Life open house will be held at the Castle Tea Room in Lawrence, KS from 6:00-8:00 pm for friends and family to come. Beverages and snacks will be served as we share memories.