Thomas Joseph Conley
was born on December 10, 1939 at Little Company of Mary Hospital near Chicago. Unbeknownst to him, his future wife was born in the same hospital six days later, meaning that they were first together in the hospital nursery.
They were reunited seven years later in the third grade at Little Flower parish school on the Southside of Chicago. Both were the oldest children of Chicago firemen. Recognizing the inevitable, they were married in January 1961 and spent almost 60 wonderful years together.
Tom graduated from Leo High School in Chicago in 1957, and Marquette University in 1961. He started in the credit insurance business shortly after graduation and became very successful due to his exceptional people skills and willingness to work hard. He moved his growing family to St. Louis for new business opportunities in 1968, and St. Louis remained his home until his death from complications of leukemia on November 17, 2020. He spent his final days on earth peacefully with his wife, children and his beloved “out-laws” at his side.
Tom loved attending his kids’ and grandkids’ sporting events, and was well-known for his boisterous “ho” call from the stands. He loved being active: motorcycling, horseback riding, skiing, scuba diving, playing golf and tennis, fishing, going to movies, and riding his bike around Sanibel Island in search of the best Cuban sandwich. He attended daily Mass for most of his life and was a loyal member of St. Clare of Assisi Church in Ellisville for over 50 years, playing many roles within the parish, including chair of the parish council. He was a strong supporter of St. Louis Priory School and Visitation Academy. He served on the board of Guardian Angel Settlement Association for many years. Tom was very proud of being 100% Irish and of having an Irish passport. He knew way too many bad jokes and puns, and was a master of “verbal-so-closis”. He loved his family more than anything.
Tom was predeceased by his father, Tom, his mother, Lil, and his sister Sue. He is survived by his wife of almost 60 years, Betty (Heery); his five children: T.J. (Angie Zavoral), Kathey (Dave Taiclet), Mike (Tracey Kisling), Sharon (Matt Spellman) and Kevin (Susan Zink), 19 well-loved grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. He served as a surrogate father and mentor to many, and had innumerable friends. Tom never met a stranger.
Services: Tom’s funeral will be celebrated on Monday, November 23 at St. Clare of Assisi Church, 15642 Clayton Road in Ellisville. There will be a Visitation at 10:00 a.m., followed by Mass at 11:00 a.m. Covid protocols will be followed, and the mass will be live-streamed. Instead of flowers, his family would appreciate memorials in his honor to the St. Vincent DePaul Society of St. Clare Parish or Guardian Angel Settlement Association. Private burial following the Mass.
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Bob & Arlene Diekemper saysNovember 23, 2020 at 7:21 pm
Betty and Family:
We are sorry for the loss of Tom. He was an exceptional individual and we had many good times on and off the tennis court.
Please know that he and all of you are in our thoughts and prayers.
Anonymous saysNovember 23, 2020 at 4:40 pm
Betty, Mike and family, I smile every time I think about Tom! He was a person who made people happy just being around him. I am grateful for the business relationship and even more grateful for the friendship gained with the family. I have no doubt God holds a special place in Heaven for Tom. Tom will be missed, but a have a feeling he is smiling down on all of you. God bless you and Tom’s soul, Ed and Susie Kizer
Harlan Hatfield saysNovember 23, 2020 at 4:05 pm
RaDene and I mourn with you this day. Though our friendship is young, we know the goodness of your soul already, which is an enduring tribute to your father. His legacy is rich through you and your family.
Blessings to you this day,
Elder Harlan & Sister RaDene Hatfield
George and Shirley Clough saysNovember 23, 2020 at 3:32 pm
Betty Shirley and I are so sorry for your loss. Tom was a very good friend since we met in 1969. I am sorry we will not be able to attend the funeral
John Brennan saysNovember 23, 2020 at 11:31 am
Mike, so sorry for your loss. Saying prayers for you and your family.
Carolyn Ring saysNovember 22, 2020 at 11:30 pm
Betty and family, am so sorry to learn of Tom’s passing. What a great guy. I know he will be missed by a lot of family and friends. Keeping you all in prayer.
Rick & Deb Frain saysNovember 22, 2020 at 12:39 pm
Betty, Our deepest sympathy to you and your family on Tom’s passing. We met in 1978 and I have been recalling many occasions, events, and experiences I had over the years. Although we have been apart, a closeness has always remained. Tom was a wonderful man who inspired. Grounded in his Faith, principled in his life, and dedicated to his family and I was fortunate to have called him my friend. God Bless.