Hope Demott Conley

Hope Demott Conley
Hope Demott Conley

Hope Demott Wells Conley, age 95, died on May 24th, 2014 at AgraceHospice Care, Inc. in Fitchburg, Wisconsin. Hope was born in Madison, Wisconsin on the shores of Lake Monona in her parents’ honeymoon cottage where they had returned after the birth of their first child, Sidney. She lived most of her life in Wisconsin including in the cities of Madison, Nekoosa, Combined Locks and Blue Mounds. She also lived in Quincy, IL, Chicago, IL, Fredericksburg, VA, Kobe Japan, Las Vegas, NV, Bogotá, Colombia, and Houston, TX.

Hope graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a B.A. and B.S. in Health, Physical Education and Recreation in the pre-WWII years where she was know as one of the “beautiful Wells Girls”. Hope enjoyed her college years, but thought being a wife and mother of six children was her number one calling. However, being a child of the Depression, she recognized the need to support oneself and to pitch in and support a family when times were tough. Thus, she was a career woman before it was fashionable. She taught at Mary Washington College, Fredericksburg, VA where she met her future husband, Brooke, and then at Lawrence College, Appleton, WI, where she dated her second husband Dan. After marriage, she also taught elementary school in Fredericksburg and later in Las Vegas. Hope was the Health, Physical Education and Recreation Director at the Madison YWCA for many years in the 60’s and 70’s, including teaching many “terrifieds” how to swim as outlined in an article in the Capital Times entitled “Hope, Faith and Charity”. She worked tirelessly at this career while raising six children, and, along with her husband, Dan, helped them through college and into adulthood.

After retirement, Hope found time to externalize her values through her volunteer activities. She worked for the Mt. Horeb Cooperative because she was nutritionally informed and conscious before “health foods” as they were then known, were common knowledge and fashionable. She volunteered for the University of Wisconsin Arboretum because she loved the environment and native plants. She taught English as a Second Language (and reading) because she had struggled as a language learner in two foreign countries. She worked as an officer for the United Nations Association of Dane County because she held a vision for world peace. In her eighties and while physically handicapped, she still volunteered on various Capitol Lakes Residence Committees because she believed in giving to her community.

Hope was married to Clifton B. McIntosh (1979) from 1946 to 1955. She married Daniel L. Conley (1981) in 1956.

Hope was preceded in death by her parents, Hope and Sidney Wells, a brother, Sidney Wells, three sisters, Eleanor J. Wells, Mary Bardwell and Elizabeth Bardwell, as well as a grandson, Michael McIntosh.

She is survived by a sister and brother-in-law, Martha and Robert Lewis, one brother, Benjamin Wells, six children: Molly McIntosh (David Brookshire), Cindy McNown (Bill), Gale McIntosh, Brooke McIntosh (Rebecca), Daniel Conley (Alessandra Conversi), and Cathleen Conley; six granddaughters, Treva Morath (Christian), C. Suki Pierce, Rachel McIntosh, Jessica McIntosh, Amira Conley-Conversi and Kaila Conley-Conversi; eight grandsons, Aaron Brookshire, Neil Brookshire, Brendon Ludwick (fiancée Ashley Widing), Andrew McNown, Patrick McNown (Amber), Elliot Pierce (Regan Sobaje), Robert McNown and Morgan McIntosh; and two great grandsons, Zachary Pierce and Sagan Morath; as well as numerous nieces and nephews and their progeny.

A Memorial Service will be held at Cress Funeral Home(3610 Speedway Rd, Madison, WI) on Friday, May 30 at 3:30 P.M. A reception will follow.

In lieu of flowers, the family would be grateful for donations to Agrace Hospice Care, Inc., 5395 E. Cheryl Parkway, Madison, WI, 53711 because of their wonderful care for Hope during the last year of her life. In the alternative, donations may be made to the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (www.seashepherd.org) because of Hope’s love and concern for our oceans, or The Nature Conservancy in Arlington, VA because she loved nature.