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Samuel "Bill" Conver

April 4, 1916 January 31, 2009
Samuel "Bill" Conver
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Obituary for Samuel "Bill" Conver

PEORIA-Samuel Willis "Bill" Conver died on Saturday January 31 in Peoria at the age of 92. Born in Elmwood, Illinois to Samuel Boland and Miriam Helen Potts Conver on April 4, 1916, the family moved to Peoria when Willis was 7 years old. He attended St. Mark Grade School and Spalding Institute, where he played on the basketball and football teams. Bill graduated from Spalding in 1934 and earned a scholarship to Bradley University where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree. While at Bradley, he met classmate Sara Jane (Sally) Adams. They married on July 9, 1941 at Saints Faith, Hope, and Charity Catholic Church in Winnetka, Illinois. Following his service as a cryptographer in the Army Air Corps in Italy during World War II, Bill and Sally returned to Peoria where their four children were born. They enjoyed 63 years together until Sally preceded him in death on September 12, 2004. Daughters S. Ann and M. Kathleen of Peoria, and sons Michael E. of Cadiz, Kentucky, and Samuel Lee (Beverly) of Elkridge, Maryland, survive him along with four grandchildren, Sayshan (Steve), Samuel Calhoun, James, Samuel Scott, and four great grandchildren, Samuel Joseph, Caitlin, Colby, and Trent. Bill began working at the Peoria Star while a student at Bradley. He wrote a column called Lookin' Em Over which appeared in the sports section for many years. Later he became assistant city editor and copy editor and wrote a column on religion. He was a founding member of Local 86 of the American Newspaper Guild. He retired from the Journal Star in 1982. He was a member of St. Cecilia Catholic Church for more than 40 years and served on its Parish Council. He and Sally were members of the Catholic Interracial Council and were active with FISH. He enjoyed playing golf and was a member of several golf leagues. He was a member of St. Philomena Catholic Church where the funeral Mass will be said by Fr. Donald Henderson on Tuesday, February 3, 2009, at 10 a.m. Visitation will be from 4 to 6 p.m. on Monday at Wright & Salmon Mortuary. Interment will be in Resurrection Cemetery in Peoria. Tributes and condolences may be submitted to


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