Robert Eugene Conway - Cumberland

Robert Eugene Conway - Cumberland

Bob Conway never met a stranger. In his 74 years, he made countless friends across the globe. He never forgot any of them or their stories.

Born Robert Eugene Conway, in Newport, he was the son of the late Eugene R. Conway and Rita (Charland) Conway. As an infant, he lived on the Newport Naval Base where his father was stationed, and moved to Cumberland with his parents as a young child. Bob lived within the same half mile of Cumberland Hill for most of his life until his passing on May 5. From this small corner of the world, Bob lived a big, adventurous life.

Bob was the beloved husband to his bride of 42 years, Donna (Cinqmars) Conway. Together they traveled the world and raised three children. In addition to his wife, Bob is survived by his children Gene Conway and his partner Kristen Polletta of Pawtucket, Angela Conway and her husband Brendan Carlson of Pawtucket, and Ray Conway of Avon, Colo.; his grandchildren James Conway and Cecilia Conway and their mom, Michaela Antunes of Cranston; his granddaughters Perla Conway Carlson and Marigold Conway Carlson of Pawtucket; his sister Kathleen (Conway) Peck and her husband Bob Peck of San Diego, Calif.; his three brothers Michael Conway of Miami, Fla., Thomas Conway of Boulder, Colo., and Peter Conway and his wife Anne Conway of Cumberland; and sister Julia Conway and her wife Juliana Pabon of New York, N.Y.; and several nieces and nephews and great-nieces and great-nephews.

Lovingly known to his friends as “Junior” and to his grandchildren as “Pap,” Bob was a generous, warm friend and doting family man. He was an entertainer by nature, and thrived in the company of his big, extended family and an endless array of colorful friends. Every guest he welcomed into his home or met on a trip became a friend for life.

Bob cherished old friendships and regularly kept in touch with friends from his time in Vietnam, where he served in the U.S. Navy as a Seabee mechanic for Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 74. He spent two tours in Vietnam; 1967 to 1968 in Da Nang, and 1968 to 1969 in Chu Lai. He was proud to serve in combat, and deeply appreciated the service of others, including that of his son Gene in the U.S. Navy.

Family meant everything to Bob, and he was proud to work alongside his father, brother and sons at the family bus and tour business, Conway Tours in Cumberland, which was located across the street from his own home. He was a skilled bus mechanic, and over the course of his 40+ year career worked his way up to vice president, retiring on his 65th birthday in 2010. Throughout his long career in tourism, Bob traveled extensively and was exceptionally skilled at the art of vacationing. Aruba, in particular, became a home away from home for Bob and Donna, where they met and maintained many friends from around the world.

Bob found both comfort and adventure on the open road. A traveler at heart and by trade, Bob was a car and motorcycle enthusiast, and he and Donna enjoyed many memories on his Harley Davidson. Together with his family, Bob’s work at Conway Tours afforded countless Rhode Islanders opportunities for adventures of their own.

To his siblings, Bob is remembered as a protective and fearless brother with a tender heart and clever wit. He had a love for words, a knack for stories, and a penchant for limericks. A natural MacGuyver, he was the brother who could fix anything from a kid sister’s bike to a fleet of buses. His nieces and nephews fondly remember their fun Uncle Bob picking them up from the airport and letting them drive those buses at a remarkably young age.

Most notably, Bob’s generosity was boundless and his heart was gentle. He is remembered by all who knew him by the way he made them feel: welcome, important, and loved.

Relatives and friends are kindly invited to Bob’s life celebration to begin with visiting hours on Monday, May 10, from 4 to 7 p.m. and continuing on Tuesday, May 11, at 9 a.m. in the JJ Duffy Funeral Home, 757 Mendon Road, Cumberland.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Tuesday, May 11, at 10 a.m., in the St. Joan of Arc Church, 3357 Mendon Road, Cumberland. Burial with military honors will be held in Resurrection Cemetery, Cumberland. Online memorial: jjduffyfuneralhome.com .

“Our breath is brief, and being so
Let's make our heaven here below,
And lavish kindness as we go.”
- Robert W. Service