Charles Carlton “Chuck” Conahey

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C. Conahey

C. Conahey

Charles “Chuck” Conahey, former South Orange, New Jersey resident, passed away on July 27, 2013 in Keizer.

Born on April 4, 1925, in Orange, New Jersey to Catherine and John Conahey, he was raised in South Orange as the oldest of three with his sisters Joan and Barbara.  He attended Marshall School, Seton Hall Prep, and Columbia High School, graduating in 1943.  He was drafted for World War II and served in the US Army Air Corp (US Air Force) in intelligence.  After the war, he attended Seton Hall University earning his bachelors degree in English and minoring in Philosophy in 1948.  At Seton Hall he sang with various groups.  He was a good hitter with the Pirates baseball team and played well as a center and left fielder. Music remained a big part of his life as he played the saxophone, clarinet, and piano.  He enjoyed the shore and spending time with family and friends.

At a Halloween party he met a beautiful blonde named Barbara Fischer, from California, who would become the love of his life.  In 1950, Barbara left to attend her brother’s wedding.  Chuck moved to California to follow her and for greater opportunities.

They married on August 4, 1951, and were together until she passed on February 6, 2006, in Keizer.  Following his marriage to Barbara, he went to work as a Sales Representative for Prudential Insurance Company selling life and health insurance.

In 1959, Charles and Barbara moved to Seattle, Washington, where he joined what would become Safeco Insurance.  The following year, son Rob was born. In 1966 he was promoted and transferred to Portland to lead the Oregon division.  In 1968, he was transferred and promoted to the same position for the State of Washington.  He remained with Safeco Insurance Company until 1969.  During his career, he worked for Unigard, Kemper and Consumers National Life as a Sales Representative, Sales Manager, and Regional Manager.

In August of 1972, Chuck went to work for the State of Oregon in what is now known as the Oregon Department of Insurance and Finance as a Deputy Insurance Commissioner / Compliance Officer until his retirement in 1987.

In retirement, Charles and Barbara traveled extensively, taking 26 cruises and six trips to Europe, as well as the Panama Canal, Alaska and Hawaii.

As an avid sports fan, he enjoyed playing golf.  He played in a weekly golf league and especially loved golfing with his son.  He also enjoyed barbecuing, reading, playing cards, cribbage, crossword puzzles and gardening.  He was an avid lifelong New York Yankees, Notre Dame, and Oregon State University fan.  During the Fiesta and Insight Bowls he cheered for the Oregon State University Beavers.  He enjoyed attending home games of the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes Northwest League Single-A baseball team, a short season affiliate of the San Francisco Giants.  As a Volcanoes Fan, he was able to watch several future Giants players, such as Pablo Sandoval, early in their careers.

He was a member of the Elks Lodge for 50 years, more than 30 with the Keizer lodge. Charles and Barbara were members of the Sons of Norway lodge in Salem.  He sang in the Lodge’s mixed chorus “The Thorsman” as well as holding a number of positions. He helped start the Keizer chapter of the Salem Noon Optomist Club.  Chuck is survived by his son Robert “Rob” Conahey of Keizer; brother-in-law Alan Hathcock of Costa Mesa, CA; brother-in-law Joel (Lucille) Fischer of Palm Desert and Los Angeles; several cousins, their spouses and children; and 12 nieces and nephews, their spouses and children.

Chuck was preceded in death by his parents, John and Catherine; sisters Barbara and Joan; his grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles.

A Memorial Service and Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, August 24, 2013, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Keizer Elks Lodge.  In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the American Heart Association or the American Cancer Society.  Chuck is interred at City View Cemetery.

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