Michael Conway

01/24/2012 2:12 PM |


Michael Stephen Conway of East Marion and Park Slope, Brooklyn, died January 1 at N.Y. Methodist Hospital in Brooklyn. He was 60 years old.

Michael Stephen Conway

He was born September 25, 1951, in Chelsea, Mass., to Edward and Bernadette (Young) Conway. A graduate of Wakefield Memorial High School in Massachusetts, he moved to Brooklyn in 1969. He earned a B.A. in English from Long Island University and embarked on a 36-year career with the NYC Department of Education. For 26 years he taught high-school English at such schools as Boys and Girls High School and Prospect Heights High School in Brooklyn. In 1984 he received an M.A. in English from Hunter College. Colleagues described him as “truly devoted to his craft, with a deep love for literature and teaching” and “a sweet and gallant soul.” Recognizing his extraordinary ability to inspire and mentor other teachers, the United Federation of Teachers appointed him as Teacher Specialist, first at Benjamin Bannecker High School in 1999 and then at Brooklyn Technical High School in 2004, where he ran professional development programs leading to a dramatic rise in students’ Regent Test scores. Critically injured in an electrical fire in Brooklyn, he retired from teaching in 2010.

Mr. Conway enjoyed summers in Maine and on the North Fork, where he married his longtime sweetheart, Robin Lee Simmen, at Founders Landing on July 6, 2007. A homeowner in East Marion for 10 years, he spent countless hours reading, walking and swimming at Sound and bay beaches on the East End. He loved Shakespeare, family, good friends and good food, especially the strawberries, sweet corn, tomatoes and scallops of Long Island and blueberries picked while hiking in Maine.

Mr. Conway is survived by his wife, Robin Simmen; his daughters, Kate, of Manhattan, and Margaret, of Brooklyn; his mother, Betty, of Naples, Fla.; his brothers, Edward, of Chatham, Mass., Stephen, of Groton, Mass., and Robert, of Pittsburgh, Pa.; his sisters, Anne Haglof of East Harwich, Mass., and Eileen Rounds of Bridgton, Maine; and many beloved nieces and nephews.

A private crematory service was held January 6 at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn. A memorial service at Brooklyn Botanic Garden is planned for late spring.

This is a paid notice.