Leona Mae Conaway, 92, passed away Tuesday, March 12, 2019 at her home in Smith Center.
Leona Mae (Henrichs) Conaway was born August 29, 1926 to August George and Frieda Marie (Borgman) Henrichs at the family home in Athol, Kansas. She attended Athol Schools, graduating with the class of 1944. Following graduation, she enrolled in classes at Fort Hays State College. She taught two years in Smith County rural schools and did substitute teaching for wives of servicemen during WWII.
She married her school friend, Estle (Bud) Conaway, and became a farmer’s wife, work that was unfamiliar to her at the time but which she came to love. Leona was well-known throughout the community from her work at the Smith County Pioneer, a position she held for 20 years while raising her family and caring for her mother, Frieda Henrichs. After retiring from the Pioneer, she joined the Waconda Trader as an ad salesperson, a position she held for 13 years before retiring to care for Bud during his long illness.
Leona was a member of the Athol Congregational Church (UCC).
She was preceded in death by her parents and husband and son, Bud and Joe Conaway.
Leona is survived by daughters, Eve Marie Conaway of Philadelphia, PA, Vona Shellito of Carrollton, TX and Melody (Kevin) Brucker of Melvin, ILL; a daughter-in-law, Darla Conaway of Smith Center; a sister-in-law, Norma Conaway of Athol; one living cousin, Dean Henrichs of Winston-Salem, NC; seven grandchildren, Joshua (Melissa) Rubinson, Jocelyn (Mark) Dannenberg, Heather (Mike) Schwerer, Gunnison Shellito (Kristen Allen), Austin (Lisa) Shellito, Cullen Brucker and Keegan Brucker; five great-grandchildren, Blake Stewart, Marshall and Henry Shellito and May and Remy Rubinson.
A celebration of Leona's life will be held at 10:30 a.m., Monday, March 18, 2019 at All Faiths Funeral Chapel, Smith Center, KS, with Pastor Lance McDowell officiating. There will not be a public visitation as cremation was chosen. Memorials may be given to the Athol Congregational Church or Hospice Services of NW Kansas or Smith Center Library and can be sent in care of the funeral chapel.