Emmett A. Conway Sr.

obituary picture E Conway

February 17, 1914 —  February 20, 2009

Emmett Arthur Conway, Sr. passed away peacefully on February 20, 2009 at Adena Medical Center in Chillicothe, three days after celebrating his 95th birthday. He was predeceased by his beloved wife of 66 years, Myrtle Irene (nee Lundgren) Conway.

He was born on February 17, 1914, in Glouster, Ohio. He was the last surviving sibling of the eight children of William Arthur and Blanch (nee Andrews) Conway. He had an adventuresome childhood with a twin brother Errett in Struthers. In two separate instances, the twins saved one another from drowning. Emmett was active in Boy Scouts, earning all available merit badges at the time and achieving the rank of Eagle Scout.

He attended Youngstown College for two years, then transferred to Michigan University, where he graduated with BSF and MS degrees in Forestry and Conservation. Emmett was an avid fan of his alma mater, and in later years was never seen without his MU hat.

He began his professional forestry career in Youngstown, Ohio where he was the first park forester and assistant naturalist in Mill Creek Park. In 1941 he moved to Southeastern Ohio where he was the Forest Ranger of Lake Hope Park and Zaleski State Forest. He switched to forestry research in 1948. He worked on all the Ohio state forests, methodically walking 500 miles over them to make a timber inventory and management plan. The baseline data from this survey is still referenced today.

In 1951 Emmett became manager of the McArthur Division of the D. B. Frampton & Co. He helped start the Vinton Furnace Forest Experimental Station of the U.S. Forest Service, and in 1957 he was chairman of the first Paul Bunyan Show in McArthur.

He joined Ohio University in 1964 in an area development program. His work involved research in industrial and tourism planning. He remained until retirement in 1976. Afterwards, Emmett and his loving wife traveled the world extensively.
He owned Christmas tree farms beginning in 1947, using the extra income to send all of his six children to college. He was an active tree farmer for 50 years until age 84.

Emmett pursued his interests in ancient trails, Native American history, pioneer folklore, iron furnaces, natural salt licks and the early manufacturing of salt. He shared his wealth of knowledge though many mediums. He wrote a column titled “The Olde Forester” in The Vinton County Courier, published a website (, and was a guest speaker and consultant of regional history. He had a passion for historic preservation as well as conservation. Emmett was a founder and president of South Central Ohio Preservation Society (SCOPS).

Over his lifetime he received many honors, including Friend of the Forest from the Ohio Division of Natural Resources, Lifetime Achievement Award from the Ohio Forestry Association, and 1991Vinton County Man of the Year. He was a lifetime member of the Society of American Foresters, a Mason Past Master and the Les Voyageur Society of UM. Emmett was a member of the McArthur First Presbyterian Church, where he served in many capacities.

This adored father will be sadly missed by his six children, Carol Jean Yegerlehner (Larry dec.) of Fairborn, Barbara Sue Elbert (Earl) of Orlando, FL, Sandra Lee Morrissey (William) of Hartsdale, NY, Emmett A. Conway Jr. of Athens, Jennifer Kaye Pesta (Patrick) of Dublin and Richard Bruce Conway (Mary) of Pickerington, eleven grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 24, at the McArthur First Presbyterian Church, Rev. William Bales and Rev. Kay Puckett officiating. Cremation will follow the service.
Friends may call at the Garrett-Cardaras Funeral Home, 201 W. High St., McArthur, on Monday, Feb. 23, from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that contributions be made to the McArthur First Presbyterian Church, 202 W. High St., McArthur, Ohio 45651 or to the Simon Kenton Council of the Boy Scouts of America, 1901 E. Dublin Rd., Columbus, OH 43229.

Please sign his online guestbook at



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