Dr. Thomas's Story
Dr. Thomas J. Conway, 90, passed away Oct. 21, 2017 at Newburgh Healthcare Center in Newburgh. He was born Dec. 24, 1926, in Cincinnati, to Agnes and Arthur Conway.
Survivors include five children, Patrick J. Conway (Carol) of Chapel Hill, N.C., Mark F. Conway (Margaret) of Evansville, Daniel W. Conway (Claire) of College Station, Texas, Timothy M. Conway (Karen) of Newburyport, Mass., and Michael T. Conway of Bloomington, Ind; and nine grandchildren, Christopher, Paul (Pat), Jeffrey, David, (Mark), Olivia, Evie, (Dan), Keith, Kelly, and Petey (Tim).
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife of 57 years, Mary Jo Kavanagh Conway; his siblings, Betty, Agnes, Lucille and William; and a daughter, Mary Kathleen.
Dr. Conway attended St. Xavier High School and Xavier University, both in Cincinnati. World War II interrupted his undergraduate education. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1944, studying radio technology at the U.S. Navy Radar School in Great Lakes, Ill., and at Lambert Field Naval Air station in St. Louis.
After his discharge from the Navy, Dr. Conway enrolled in the University of Cincinnati Medical School, where he studied pediatric medicine.
In 1955, Dr. Conway and his family moved to Terre Haute, where he joined the Associated Physicians and Surgeons (AP&S) Clinic. He worked at the AP&S Clinic until his retirement in 1995. He also was affiliated with St. Anthony Hospital, Union Hospital and Terre Haute Regional Hospital. He was known for his devotion to his patients and his insistence on making house calls long after most doctors had given up that approach.
In 1968, Drs. Conway, William E. Scully and Roger West of the AP&S Clinic, in conjunction with Union Hospital, started the first Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in the state of Indiana. The NICU helped reduce the newborn mortality rate by more than fifty percent.
He was also a life-long mentor to health care professionals in the Wabash Valley. He sponsored Mary Alice Mulvihill as the first nurse practitioner in the Wabash Valley and mentored her through the credentialing process.
He was a member of the Terre Haute Academy of Medicine, the Indiana State Medical Association, The American Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, the Indiana Pediatric Society and the Irish American Pediatric Society.
Dr. Conway served as the Vigo County Health Officer from 1988 to 1992.
Dr. Conway was an active member of the St. Patrick's Parish in Terre Haute, serving on the parish council and in the choir. He enjoyed golf, tennis and running as well as all activities with his children and grandchildren.
A memorial service for Dr. Conway will be Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017, at Alexander Funeral Home East Chapel, 2115 Lincoln Avenue, in Evansville. (alexandereastchapel.com). Visitation will begin at 1 p.m. followed by a memorial service at 4 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, if you would like to make a donation, there are two scholarships in the health care field in memory of our parents. The Thomas J. and Mary K. Conway Scholarship at Indiana State University https://www.indstate.edu/student-affairs/wrc/donations; and Mary Joan and Thomas Conway Scholarship for Health Careers in connection with Union Hospital in Terre Haute https://www.unionhealthfoundation.org/pages/scholarships. An alternative donation option is The Alzheimer's Association (alz.org).
The Conway family would like to thank the wonderful staff of Newburgh Healthcare Center North Unit for the care and love they gave our father during his final years.
Published on October 25, 2017