Obituary — Douglas Charles Conrow
January 2, 2009
Doug was born January 26, 1936 in Big Timber, Mont. to John Moore and Ruth Ryan Conrow. He was raised in Butte, Mont. and attended the Universities of Montana and Utah where he was a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity. In 1964, he graduated with honors from the University of Utah masters program in social work and then returned to Montana to provide public welfare services and receive a promotion to the state director of training for the Department of Public Welfare. As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), he worked with families of the Shoshone and Bannock tribes on the Ft. Hall, Idaho Indian reservation where he founded the Ft. Hall Boy’s Club and left a piece of his heart with the people there. In 1969, he was recruited as assistant director to help found the Weber County Mental Health Center in Ogden. In 1977, he became the executive director and for the next 11 years, Doug was respected for his innovative programs, creative problem solving, and dynamic work environment. He was selected to be one of 25 mental health administrators (from 2000 applicants) to participate in an advanced training program offered by the National Institute of Mental Health. He held the title Diplomat in Clinical Social Work. In 1990, he moved with his family to Salt Lake City, Utah where he continued his mental health calling through private practice psychotherapy and the development of programs at Valley Mental Health and the Utah State Department of Corrections. He was especially effective as a counselor in the mental health and women’s facilities at the Draper Prison. The common thread throughout his professional career was his belief in leveling the playing field and honoring the value of all humanity. In 1998, he retired to enjoy his family and friends as a resident of Park City, Utah.
Doug’s way of divining the contents of a person’s heart and the careful and compassionate wisdom he offered as a mentor will be sorely missed by each and every person who knew him. Rare was the encounter with Doug that did not include his quick wit, easy laugh and generous hug. He had a great passion for lively discussions with friends and family and held to the belief that everything is better when complemented by unusual food and exotic creatures.
Doug was a restless and eternal questioner who delighted in the process of critical thought and in continually challenging conventional wisdom. He retained a sense of wonder and excitement at the world around him until the very end.
Doug passed away gently in his sleep at his home in Park City on the morning of Wednesday, Dec, 17, 2008. He was surrounded by family who sent him on his way filled with love.
A lively, old-fashioned Irish wake and viewing was held at the family home on Saturday, Dec 20. He was well attended by family and friends, gathered to celebrate his life.
Doug leaves behind his wife, Nancy, three sons, John Conrow (Big Fork, Mont.), Mark (Jovita) Conrow (Ogden, Utah), Matthew (Michelle) Conrow (Winlock, Wash.), and daughter Kate Conrow (Salt Lake City, Utah), grandchildren, Tairah, Ashlee, Jace, Paige, Bryan, Damon, Chandler, Javier, Omar, Lance and Austin, and five great grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister Linda (Pat) McKissick and brother Steve Hancock, esteemed family member Dar (Win) Jensen, a circle of lifelong friends and his special feline companion Bronwyn. Doug is preceded in death by his parents.
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The family would like to give special recognition to all the people who gave such extraordinary care and attention to Doug during his years of unexplained illness and his final battle with pancreatic cancer.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Jan. 3, 2009, at 12 noon at Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church, 4595 North Silver Springs Drive, Park City, UT 84098. Arrangements in care of Olpin-Hoopes Funeral Home. Condolences may be sent at http://www.olpinhoopes.com
In lieu of flowers, and to honor Doug’s commitment to research and helping others, the family requests any donations be made to Huntsman Cancer Institute http://www.huntsmancancer.org
It was the little things in life that made him larger than life.