Tim Conroy, age 86, of Naples, Florida, formerly of Spring Lake and Grand Rapids, Michigan. Tim gracefully lived with Parkinson’s for several years and died peacefully in Naples on July 17, a day he spent with the love of his life, Janet, and in the care and company of all his children, both present and far away.
Born April 14, 1933, to the late Harold “Pat” Conroy and to the late Annabelle Conroy (nee McElwee), and also preceded in death by his stepmother, Ada Conroy. Loving and devoted husband of nearly 66 years to Janet (nee Klapperich). Tim will also be welcomed to heaven by his cherished in-laws, Oliver “Tex” Klapperich and Myrtle (nee Cloutier) Klapperich. Tim and Janet raised eight children: Ann Fielder (Keith), Patrick (Karin), Tim (Debbie), John (Jill), Tom (Kim), Brigid Voreis (Glenn), Brendan (Terry) and Molly Foley (Ed). He is survived by 24 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren; and was preceded in death by one grandchild, Christina, and three siblings.
As a lawyer in Grand Rapids, Tim was formidable, prepared, a champion of the underdog — and tough, fair and ethical. He believed in hard work, honesty and a story that would evoke a good laugh. A man of deep faith, Tim was an active member of St. Mary’s Parish in Spring Lake for many years.
Tim’s strong belief in the value of Catholic education was evident in his own life and in raising his and Janet’s children. However, he also felt strongly that it was a gift to be shared with others, resulting in his co-founding the Foundation for Catholic Education of Grand Rapids, which made it possible for hundreds of Grand Rapids families to afford a Catholic high school education. That was his way to pay forward the kindnesses shown to him as a skinny 17-year-old who came to Grand Rapids alone to attend Catholic Central and graduate in 1951.
Tim was a generous friend to all he met: old Catholic Central or Aquinas College classmates, fellow St. Mary’s parishioners, lifelong legal buddies, and any visitors who tied their boats up at the Conroy dock on Spring Lake on a summer afternoon. Tim and Janet were best friends and welcomed all to their homes in Spring Lake and Naples. Pondering his good fortune in marrying Janet, Tim would mention that he had “married up” — that is, how could he be so lucky to deserve a girl like her? He will be missed.
A celebration of Tim’s life will take place with a funeral Mass at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Spring Lake, Michigan, on September 28: Visitation at 10 a.m., Mass at 11 a.m.
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