Dr. Mary Ann (Tolar) Conaway, age 80, of Florissant, Missouri entered the gates of heaven on April 16, 2021. She was born November 3, 1940, in Pulaski, Illinois to Mary (Walsh) and Harry Tolar, Sr.
Mary Ann was born and raised in Pulaski, Illinois. She graduated from Mounds Township High School in 1958. She valued education and went on to earn the following degrees: Bachelor of Science in Home Economics Education and a Minor in Physical Education from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale (1962); Masters in Education - Counseling from University of Missouri, St. Louis (1980) and Doctorate in Education-Counselor Education from St. Louis University, St. Louis (1991). Mary Ann taught junior high and high school in the early years of her career. She was a Licensed Professional Counselor and operated her own counseling practice (1981-2017). She was on staff at Fee Fee Baptist Church as the Director of Single Adults and Counseling (1988-1989) and Concord Baptist Church as the Director of Education and Counseling (1989-1991). Mary Ann went on to hold the following positions at Missouri Baptist University: Associate Professor (1992-1996), Dean of Students (1993-1996), Adjunct Professor (1998-2000) and the Director of the Graduate Counselor Education Program (2000-2018). She was also a member of The Daughters of the American Revolution.
Mary Ann was married to Larry K. Conaway for 42 years. She enjoyed a fantastic professional career but the titles she most cherished were that of Mom and Granny. She was blessed with three children and three grandchildren. Her family meant the world to her. She taught her family what unconditional love was. No matter how busy her professional life got she was always present and engaged for her family.
Mary Ann was preceded in death by her daughter, Mary Kay Braley; parents, brothers, Harry (Hazel) Tolar, Jr.; Nathan (Jewell) Tolar and sister, 1st Lt. Doris E. Tolar.
Mary is survived by her daughter, Larissa Stillman, son, Stephen Conaway and son-in-law, Bobby Braley, Jr.; grandchildren Victoria Stillman, Reagan Braley and Kamryn Braley; she will be dearly missed by nieces and nephews, other family members and friends.
In lieu of flowers our family would love to challenge everyone to do one thing but do it continuously. Make an effort everyday to call or visit your parents or grandparents. Slow down and listen to them. Ask them about their day and share your day with them. They understand life is busy, but they just want to feel like they are an important part of your life. Give them your time. You will never know when those memories will mean the most to you.
A celebration of life service will be held on Thursday, May 20, 2021, 11:00 am at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, Pulaski, IL 62976.