UA Journey

1959-1966 John Joseph "Jack" Conway

Sitka

John Joseph “Jack” Conway was born August 29, 1905 in Skagway, Alaska. After graduating from the University of Washington in 1927, with a degree in business administration, he met and married Gertrude McGarth from Sitka in 1930. When his father died in 1930, he was picked as Skagway’s new postmaster to take over the position his father left.   The Conways later move to Sitka where he would be active in promoting the community. 

While in Sitka for the next 50 years, Mr. Conway constructed the Conway Dock (now Sitka Sound Seafoods), established marine freight business facilities, a petroleum facility and a fish processing plant. 

In 1937, he opened his insurance company, Conway Insurance. Later he would establish the First Bank of Sitka where he served as its first president and director.

Mr. Conway was president of the Sitka School Board, Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club. He also served as mayor for the City of Sitka in 1940 and 1941. 

During World War II, he served in the U.S. Navy as a harbormaster and port captain in Cold Bay and in the Aleutian Islands of Amchitka and Attu. He achieved the rank of Lieutenant Commander and received the Bronze Star. 

In 1959 he joins the Board of Regents to succeed Frank Heintzleman. In 1966 he leaves the Board and James Nolan was appointed to take his place. 

Mr. Conway left Sitka in 1982 to live in Seattle, Washington, Gertrude later dies in 1984. 

On October 19, 2005, John Joseph Conway died peacefully in his sleep in Bellevue, Washington. He was 100.


Sources

Anchorage Daily News, Thursday, October 27, 2005

Swagel, W., (1995). Jack J. Conway: sold on Sitka, Alaska Business Monthly.

BOR file