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Compassion was hallmark of North Huntingdon umpire's outlook

| Friday, Feb. 19, 2010

Bill Conley umpired Special Olympics softball games in Pennsylvania and other states for more than 20 years.

"Bill was sanctioned by the Amateur Softball Association of America," said Larry Taylor, who along with Mr. Conley umpired Special Olympics games. "He knew when to lay back and when to discipline. We were asked to umpire the International Special Olympics games in Raleigh, North Carolina, in 1999, where 170 countries were represented."

William A. Conley of North Huntingdon, a U.S. Steel retiree, died of cancer on Sunday, Feb. 14, 2010, in his home. He was 69.

"We also instructed inmates to become umpires at the Greensburg Correctional Facility," said Taylor. "They were a tough bunch, but good students who passed the ASA test for umpires."

For Mr. Conley, his commitment to the Special Olympics was one of numerous volunteer endeavors that spanned 37 years.

Kristen Mattiuz of Greensburg said her father assisted blind people on their weekly walks through Monroeville Mall.

"No matter what Dad had scheduled, he'd be at the mall on Wednesday mornings. Dad had a kind and gentle demeanor," Mattiuz said. "He was truly a gentle spirit who had a strong work ethic that he passed down to my brother, Scott, and me.

"And he was also a man who proudly served his country in the Army and was committed to the ideals of his Christian faith -- ideals that he also passed on to us."

His wife, Georgia Langol Conley, recalled her husband's kindness when they were dating.

"I always wanted to own a dog, but knew that I couldn't look after one while I was working. Bill encouraged me to get a dog, which he looked after until I retired," she said.

In addition to his wife, Georgia, and daughter, Kristen, Mr. Conley is survived by his mother, Thelma McWilliams Conley of McKeesport; son, Scott Conley of North Huntingdon; stepdaughter, Jeanne Drinon of Utah; four grandchildren and two stepgrandchildren; and his siblings, David Conley of Florida, Robert Conley of White Oak and Lois Smith of McKeesport.

He was preceded in death by his father, Michael Conley, and a brother, Lynn Conley.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. today in the Norwin Alliance Church with the Rev. William Wood officiating.

Interment with military honors will follow in Union Cemetery, Irwin.

Arrangements are being handled by the Jaycox-Jaworski Funeral Home Inc. in McKeesport.

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