Kathryn Ann Elizabeth Lawler Conway

BATH – Kathryn Ann Elizabeth Lawler Conway of Bath, formerly of Belfast and Washington, D.C., died Friday, Jan. 31, 2020, at MidCoast Hospital in Brunswick. Prior to her unexpected death, she was visited by family and loyal friends and talked with other friends and family across the country about her planned return home.  
She was born on March 9, 1924, the daughter of former Hartford, Conn. mayor, Joseph Henry Lawler and Marguerite Hickey Lawler. She grew up in the colonial Whiting Homestead and surrounding farm in West Hartford, Conn. Her parents and relatives were engaged in national Catholic and democratic leadership circles for decades as well as the bipartisan Irish American network that fought to establish the Republic of Ireland and to end British rule over the Irish people and land. Her father’s friends and allies included former Boston mayor, John Francis “Honey Fitz” Fitzgerald, grandfather of President John F. Kennedy, and former New York governor and democratic presidential candidate, Al Smith.
She attended the Mount Saint Joseph Academy for girls, run by the Catholic Sisters of Mercy, in West Hartford. She received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Cornell University in 1946. She continued graduate and doctoral studies at Cornell University Graduate School, Fordham University, and Trinity College Graduate School, and received her master’s degree in child psychology from Trinity in 1952. 
Following her studies, Mrs. Conway was a social worker for Catholic Charities in New York City and Connecticut, working alongside state agencies including child protective services and law enforcement. She had deep respect for law enforcement and emergency personnel and was a staunch advocate of faith-based and non-profit social service solutions for parents and their children over government, and believed the family institution and privacy should be defended unless the lives of children were truly endangered. 
On Jan. 5, 1952, she married Paul Thomas Conway at St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Hartford, Conn. Mr. Conway was graduate of Boston College with a master’s in psychology from Fordham University. He was a veteran of the USMC and USN Reserves and served on PT Boats in the South Pacific in WWII. He worked for Catholic Charities in New York City and the Pinkerton National Detective Agency. He was recruited as a psychologist for Department of the Navy and worked for the Department of Defense and in support of other federal agencies for several decades of the Cold War before the couple retired to Maine in 1978. Mr. Conway died on Nov. 27, 1991, in Belfast due to medical malpractice.
Mrs. Conway was a nationally known quilter, avid knitter, and needle pointer and received expert certification in American needlework and design through Carnegie Mellon University. She was active with Pine Tree Quilters and was a faithful attendee at Sutherlands Auctions in North Yarmouth.
She is survived by her children, Kathryn Marguerite Conway of New York, Eileen Marie Conway of Colorado, Elizabeth Theresa Coco of New York and South Carolina, and Paul Timothy Conway of Virginia and Maine; her brother, Professor Thomas Lawler of Worcester, Mass.; and four grandsons; and three great-grandchildren.   
A memorial mass will be celebrated on Saturday, Feb. 8 at 11 a.m. at St. John’s the Baptist Church 39 Pleasant St. Brunswick. Interment will be in Arlington National Cemetery.
Arrangements are by Stetson’s Funeral Home 12 Federal St. Brunswick where memorials condolences may be expressed at stetsonsfuneralhome.com 
In lieu of flowers, Mrs. Conway requested any gifts be made to the Catholic religious order of the Poor Clare’s, C/O Monastery of the Poor Clare’s
2505 Stone Hedge Drive
Alexandria, VA 22306