LA CRESCENT, Minn./LONGBOAT KEY, Fla. — James P. Conway, 79, of La Crescent and Longboat Key, died Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2011, at Sarasota Memorial Hospital, in Florida.
He was born Sept. 25, 1931, to James and Dorothy Conway.
Conway was a longtime La Crosse broadcaster serving as news director for WLCX 1960-65. Conway worked as a public relations account executive for Loveland, Dyer, Loveland. He returned to broadcasting joining the UW-La Crosse Mass Communications department in 1971 where he established WLSU FM, one of three National Public Radio stations in Wisconsin. He retired in 1991 with Director Emeritus status.
He was proud of his home on the banks of the Mississippi. During the summers he boated and during the winter he would frequently cross-country ski the river.
Conway was involved in many civic activities throughout the years. He was co-presenter to the National Chamber of Commerce which led to the city being named All American City in 1966. That same year he was named Oktoberfest Maple Leaf Parade Marshal.
He was also a member of the Wisconsin Bicentennial Committee.
Conway was active in local theatre, earning a La Crosse Community Theatre Dionysus Award for his lead role in “Night of the Iguana.“
He was a La Crosse Skyrocker and a director of the La Crosse Area Jazz Society. He served in the U.S. Army from 1952 to 54.
Conway was a graduate of Aquinas High School, earned his bachelor’s degree from UW-La Crosse and a master’s degree in speech at the University of Iowa.
Conway is survived by a daughter, Cathleen (Sherry Berhow) of Minneapolis; sisters, Patricia Pfister (Walter) of Sarasota, Fla., Janine Shervey (Lee) of Bloomer, Wis.; brother, Jerry Conway (Myrna) of Buffalo City, Wis.; sister-in-law, Judy Carman (William) of Sarasota, Fla.; godchildren, Benjamin, Elizabeth, Katherine (Erickson) and Barbara Nerud; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He married Lorraine Kammel Conway Tanke. They later divorced.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Barbara; a brother, Dennis M. Conway; and sisters, Barbara C. Hartenberg, Beverly J. Cronin and Maureen Rowe (Norman).
A jazz memorial service will be held this summer when it’s warm enough to drink beer on the banks of Jim’s beloved Mississippi. Those who wish to send a memorial may do so to the Mississippi Valley Conservancy, 201 Main St., La Crosse, WI 54601-0721.