OBIT: Honour local icon Ed Conroy by registering as an organ donour
Roy Edward Conroy, known to everyone as Ed, was born October 21, 1946 in Rossland, BC, the first born of his parents Ed and Irene Conroy.
Ed died on June 26, at Vancouver General Hospital due to complications following surgery for a broken hip. He was 73.
Ed lived in Rossland for a few years before his parents moved back to the family dairy, operated by his maternal grandparents, Roy and Nell Tipping. The dairy was where the Hugh Keenleyside Dam sits today. They then moved to Castlegar where his siblings Lynsie, Alan and Janice were born. He graduated from Stanley Humphries in 1966, and then went to University of Victoria, where he studied political science.
He ended up back in the Kootenays living in Glade and in March 1972 he and his partner, Gwen Jones had Jennifer and then Wyllie in November, 1973. That same year he bought the Farm in Pass Creek.
In 1977 Ed met Katrine Thor-Larsen, they had a Contract signing in July 1980, as Ed was never getting married. However, in March of 1981 they were formally married at the Court House in Nelson, with witnesses Ken and Sandra Wyllie. On April 15th of the same year Sasha was born and March 1984 Ben arrived.
Ed worked a brief time at the pulp mill and then was hired on at the saw mill to work on the tug boats where he continued working until he took a leave in 1991. He was elected as a school Board Trustee for the former School District # 9 in 1986, a position he kept until becoming an MLA in October 1991.
Ed was an MLA until the election of 2001 serving in various roles, including the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, the Minister responsible for Rural Development and the Columbia Basin Trust and the Columbia Power Corporation. After that election he went back to work on the boats for a short time, having to take a leave due to medical complications.
Ed’s medical history was varied, including losing a kidney to cancer, successfully battling Hepatitis C, two liver transplants and a kidney transplant, dialysis and numerous other bouts of cancer.
He was able to watch all his kids grow up, spend time with his 9 grandchildren and raise his Purebred Polled Hereford Cattle. The farm and the cattle was his other passion. Being a breeder for over 50 years, first as Norns Creek Farms and then in his 30 year partnership with Murray Gore as Kootenay Polled Herefords. The partnership won awards at many shows, often taking on very large breeders to the surprise of everyone.
Ed will be missed by his wife Katrine, kids Jennifer (Peter), Wyllie (Jayme), Sasha (Kirk) and Ben (Myra) as well as the 9 grandchildren Daira, Alexia, Eric, Ryen, Aydenn, Kaelin, Moss, Sarah and Sayge. His father-in -law Ben Thor-Larsen, Siblings Lynsie (Aldo), Alan (Kristina), Janice (Jim), his in-laws Elisabet, Thomas (Sandy), Sana (Jerry), many nieces and nephews, extended family and friends.
A Celebration of Life will be held at a future date.
Donations can be made in memory of Ed to either his other “family of 45 years” the New Democratic Party or a charity of your choice. His life touched so many organizations it was hard to choose just one. Also in Ed’s memory, if you aren’t already, please consider registering as an organ donor at BC Transplant.ca
The family would like to thank the so many medical professionals from across the Province that have been part of Ed’s life. Your care and compassion gave him a much longer life than we ever expected.