Born: September 22, 1915 Died: July 27, 2004
CONLEY, Frank C. Esq. retired Col, U.S. Army Reserves, age 88, of Farragut, died Tuesday, July 27, 2004, after a lengthy hospitalization. He was a member of St. John Neumann Catholic Church. Conley, one of four sons, was born and raised on a dairy farm in Belvidere, Ill. He was a fine student-athlete and following graduation from Belvidere High School, he accepted a full athletic scholarship to play baseball and football for the University of Illinois. After completing his undergraduate degree at Illinois in 1939, Conley was recruited to play first base for the Chicago White Sox organization, but ultimately chose to pursue a law degree at the University of Chicago. Following the outbreak of World War II, he interrupted his law school education to enlist in the U.S. Army. He completed Officer Candidate School and served as a tank destroyer battalion commander of the 633rd Tank Destroyer Battilion under Gen. George S. Patton. He saw battle in much of Central Europe, but lost his youngest brother at the Battle of the Bulge. At the conclusion of the war, Conley completed his law school education at the University of Wyoming, where he also was head coach of the varsity baseball team, winning the Western Athletic Championship. As an attorney, Conley served as law clerk to Judges Pickett and Hickey of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. He then served as the special assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Wyoming, where among other matters, he prosecuted a large west coast illegal gambling operation that sought a presence in Jackson Hole, Wyo. He then joined the Office of Chief Counsel, U.S. Treasury Department, serving under each president from (Dwight D.)Eisenhower to (James “Jimmy”) Carter as regional counsel to the commissioner, IRS and deputy general counsel to the U.S. Treasury. His headquarters were initially located in Denver, Colo., but ultimately moved to Chicago where he retired in 1978. In this role, Conley supervised hundreds of lawyers representing the government’s interest in tax litigation in the U.S. Tax Court and other federal and state court systems on a regional and national basis. He also served in the Judge Advocate General Corps., U.S. Army Active Reserve, where he held the rank of colonel. Conley is survived by his wife of 62 years, Alma Ford Conley; his children, Dean R. Conley, MD, David F. Conley, Esq. and Barbara C. Hopkins; grandchildren, Patrick, Catherine, Susannah, Lisa, Caroline, Megan, Andrew, Franklin II, Eric and Elizabeth. He is also survived by four great-grandchildren, many nieces and nephews and spouses and their families. He was blessed with a powerful physical presence and a military bearing, but at heart, he will be remembered as a warm and gentle man with an Irish twinkle in his eye who loved his family and his Lord to the very last of his days. A funeral mass was celebrated Saturday at St. John Neumann Catholic Church with the Rev. John Dowling officiating. Interment followed at Pleasant Forest Cemetery with full military honors presented by the Volunteer State Veterans’ Honor Guard. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to the University of Illinois, Baseball I fund, In memory of Frank Conley, 1305 West Green, Urbana, IL 61801. The family received friends Friday with a rosary service at Rose Mortuary Mann Heritage Chapel.