Jack Conroy came to Maryville at the age of seven in November of 1947. He has never left his childhood home – at least not in spirit. Jack’s in the Alumni Association as a volunteer his presence is well known. Jack was the youngest of five children. After his father passed away and his mother became quite ill, Jack and his two youngest sisters were all placed at Maryville. Jack recalls being “scared stiff” when Msgr. Cooke, head of Catholic Charities, drove him and his sisters to their new home. “Where are they taking us? What the heck is going on?” Confusion reigned in Jack’s head.
Msgr. Cooke took them to Maryville, then St. Mary’s Training School. Jack’s sisters stayed for approximately two years; it was to be Jack’s home for the next eleven years – until he graduated from high school in 1958. “Initial scary thoughts disappeared in short order,” said Jack. “Those were some of the happiest years of my life. St. Mary’s became my home, my family, my security. It was a safe haven that provided for all of my needs. I had the chance, if I wanted, to leave after grammar school, but I couldn’t think of a good reason. All of my friends were here; I had the opportunity to participate in a lot of activities that might not be available elsewhere. I wasn’t about to look a gift horse in the mouth!”
While at St. Mary’s Jack was a member of the marching band, the concert band and, junior and senior year, played in the dance band, the Musical Marians. John Yaccino, Maryville band master and music teacher, took Jack under his wing. One of his assigned duties was to keep the band room swept and mopped, help new students with their instruments and oversee their practices. Jack also participated in sports, but makes no claims to any great athletic accomplishments.
After high school, Jack went to work and to night school where he earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting. He became controller for a Sears’ subsidiary and later corporate controller for MFRI, Inc. for 21 years.
Jack has been active in the Maryville Alumni Association for years. He served as treasurer of the association for six years and is an ever-present volunteer at Maryville events, from Spike for Kids, to the recent family circus event this year as well as other activities where the Alumni Association provides food service and much appreciated helping hands.
Jack is retired and resides in Morton Grove, Illinois.