Doris Conley

Doris Conley

Tuesday, July 10th, 1928 - Friday, May 1st, 2020
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Reverend Doris Sadie Conley
July 10, 1928 to May 1, 2020

Doris Sadie Conley passed away in the early hours of May 1, 2020 at Brockville General Hospital, leaving this earth to embark on the next phase of her life’s journey.

Born in Malone, New York to Viola Brownell-Sherman and Henry (Hank) Brownell, Doris’ family life was complex and difficult. But with her deep faith in God, her inner spark, along with the support of her music teacher Winnifred Sperry, members of the Standard Church and her guardians Rev. Fred and Bessie Crawford, Doris created an extraordinary life.

Doris attended Brockville Bible College, where she met Rev. Earl Conley (1928-2011), the love of her life and partner for 63 years. They shared a calling to the ministry, a love of travel and a sense of adventure. Together, they were unstoppable. They served in the ministry with the Standard/Wesleyan churches for 64 years, pastoring in Canada and the United States, pioneering missions in Mexico and Ghana, and working tirelessly with missions in Egypt.

Doris loved Egypt with all her heart. She learned to play the accordion and speak Arabic, and her powerful singing voice and personality added greatly to the services there. She and Earl made countless lifelong friends in Egypt and right up until her passing, Doris continued to converse in Arabic with them during visits and phone conversations.

In 1962, Doris and Earl left Egypt to return to Canada. Earl had been appointed General Conference Superintendent of the Standard Church of America (now merged with the Wesleyan Church), a position he held for the next 24 years. During that time, they lived in North Gower and Brockville where Doris worked full-time in an office, while working on their ministry after hours.

In 1991, Doris left her job as executive assistant to the VP, International Sales at Philips Cables and accepted a pastorship at Ottawa’s Highland Park Wesleyan Church (formerly the Standard Church) where she worked with the members to grow the Sunday school and tend to the spiritual needs of the congregation.

Settling again in Brockville after her retirement at the age of 71, Doris was surrounded by friends she had worked with in the private sector and worshipped with at the Centennial Road Church.

Throughout their lives, there was one home base that remained constant for Earl and Doris. It was a little cabin in Morin Heights, Quebec, that Earl purchased at 19 years of age, and lovingly maintained for family times and community gatherings. In their retirement, Doris and Earl ran summer services in Hillside Chapel and made lifelong friends.

As an ordained pastor in the Standard Church herself, and the wife of its General Superintendent, Missions Director, and pastor, Doris mentored and encouraged many people who continue to express their gratitude and appreciation to the present day.

Doris was an exceptional pianist, singer, speaker, writer, cook, baker, mentor, mother, grandmother, and friend to many. She had a great sense of humour and enjoyed “clowning around” and making people laugh. She loved to host events to bring people together for fun, food and fellowship.

As with every challenge life dealt her, Doris faced the last many years of surgeries, hospitalizations, physio, and recovery with courage, a sense of humor, a steadfast faith in God, and demonstrated love and caring for those around her.

Doris is survived and greatly missed by her son Henry, daughters Sandra and Mary Lou; grandchildren Virginia and Jesse Wolfe; many nieces and nephews; and friends from around the world.

The family is very thankful for the tremendous care Doris received over the years at the Brockville General Hospital, Kingston General Hospital, Bridlewood Manor, and most recently, the Garden Street Hospice Palliative Care Centre.

Complying with current provincial directives, a small funeral service was held on May 7 with a few friends and family members in attendance. In order to provide friends with an opportunity to grieve her loss and memorialize her during this time of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, the family has provided a video link to Rev. Doris Conley’s Memorial Service below. When conditions allow, Doris’ ashes will be buried next to the love of her life Earl in Morin Heights, Quebec.

Those desiring to place a donation in her memory are asked to contribute to the Brockville General Hospital at, or to the Wesleyan Church Egyptian missions fund at ( or by phone at (506) 567-1452.

Please take a moment to send a message of condolence, a word of prayer or a special thought of Doris on the Memory Wall above. Thank you.

A Photo Tribute to Doris...
* If using a cell phone, please view in landscape format


Rev. Doris Conley’s Memorial Service video

In light of continued pandemic guidelines for social and physical distancing, the family provides this video link to the private service held for Doris on May 7 in hopes it will help those who wish to grieve and commemorate her life. The service was presided over by Rev. Laurence Croswell and a eulogy and closing prayer was delivered by Rev. Dr. Peter Rigby.

*If using a cell phone, please view in landscape format

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Sandra Conley

Posted at 01:14pm
Dears Henry, Sandra, and Mary Lou,
I would like to express my deep sympathies to you and the whole family at the loss of dear Mrs. Conley.
On my last trip to Canada, it was so good to see her. It would have been too hard for me to know of her passing away if we had not met for this last time. She had been a faithful servant to the Lord, whether in Canada or in Egypt. She has a special place in each of our families and churches. Together with Rev. Conley, they had been serving diligently in Egypt, and they invested a lot in this land.We have been calling Mrs. Conley "Mother" or "Mama", so she was not only your mother, but ours as well, and our hearts ache because of her loss.May God bless you all, and fill your hearts with His comfort and peace through these hard days. Our prayers and love for you all.
Dr. Atef Sedhom Khalaf
National Superintendent of the Wesleyan Standard Church in Egypt

Dwight EA Thompson

Posted at 09:40am
Dear Conley Family,

I don't think there was a finer lady than Rev D. Conley. She was a woman who loved to share her life, music and her faith. I remember working with her as a helper with the children and music when she was pastoring at Highland Park Standard Church. I remember one afternoon as I was prepping for Sunday School, she came in and we both spent about an hour playing hymns (me on the piano, and she on the organ). That was a very special time for me. She always seemed to have time to listen or spend time with those who needed it most. More recently I had the opportunity a couple of years ago to have dinner with her as I was driving her back from an event with Mom and Dad (Inez and Garry). It was fun to catch up. She was telling me a story about her special capacity to do housework...with an honorable mention from a visiting pastor friend. I had a good laugh to think that with all the things she was doing in her life during her time at North Gower, the only thing that some visitors noticed was the dust in the living room. It was a good chuckle. She leaves an empty space that seems connected to all the other relationships I had with those growing up in the Standard Church who have since passed on. It's hard not to think about the Standard Church when I think about Pastor Doris. She was such a positive influence on my life and a good friend to my parents. She loved her children and her grandchildren - she spoke of you all the last time I saw her. Thank you for sharing her with us! I trust you will find comfort in the messages people share with you in the days to come.

Blessings to you all during this difficult time!

Dwight Thompson
(Inez's and Garry's son)

Sandra Conley Posted at 11:20am

Thanks so much for your note Dwight. I forgot that you knew mom, but now I remember. Our families have a long history together. I remember your mom and dad as part of the young peoples' group that used to hang out at our house in North Gower. We had a lot of fun. I am so glad that you had a relationship with mom as well. Take care and hope to see you one of these days! a Sandra Conley

Uretta (Brown) Ward

Posted at 11:03pm
Memories of Doris take me back many years to when Doris was a teenager and my sister, Martha, and I were little kids. Time found us together on a snowy winter day in Stowe, Vermont, at the Standard Church parsonage which was beautifully located at the bottom of a mountain slope. With the perfect sled to hold more than one person, it didn't take much for us to have a wonderful time sliding down that hill with Doris. I remember Doris pulling the sled up the hill and then, taking turns, gave Martha and me rides down the hill. The joy and adventure of that time with Doris was one of those snapshot moments in our lives never to be forgotten. In my childhood Autograph book (1946) Doris wrote, "Yours till Heaven I find." We have loved her dearly these many years and know she has now found heaven.

Sandra Conley Posted at 11:24am

Oh my goodness Uretta, what a wonderful story! That must have been a great time. It is also pretty remarkable that you kept your autograph book from 1946. We all had them, especially at church camps and I don't know anyone who still has one. Thank you for reaching out. Sandra Conley

Martha Jackson

Posted at 06:56pm
I want to send our sincere symphathy to the Conley family. Rick and I..want you to know that we will miss Doris. She paid an important part of our lives. I personaly have know Doris since she was a girl...and we shared so many wonderful memories. We shared often and I will those visits. God be with all the family at this time . Rick and Martha Jackson.


Sandra Conley Posted at 11:27am

Thank you Rick and Martha. Strangely, it was only at mom's 90th birthday party that I fully realized the depth and length of your connection (Uretta and Martha) with mom. I always knew you were important in her life, but I didn't understand just how long you had known each other. Thank you for your kind words. Sandra Conley

Jane E. White

Posted at 04:49pm
Doris's manner of expression, and exuberant personality remain as a fond memory. Our family visits at the North Gower House were particularly thrilling for me, with lots of chatter, and secret places for we kids to hide out.
As a youngster, I recall her suggestion that I change the spelling of my name to Jayne. This was all in fun. In my teens she confronted me about losing some extra pounds that I'd been gaining. This was at a time in my life when I struggled emotionally with a boy friend break-up. Doris noticed me, and I believe was making an effort to connect with me. Doris had heart!

Sandra Conley Posted at 11:32am

Hi cousin! We sure did have a lot of fun in that house in North Gower. I also remember a lot of fun times in Ottawa at your home with the skating rink in the back yard, the park across the street and you had a TV! Our families have had so many great times over the years. Remember Winona Lake when our parents all went to writing camp and we spent a lot of time on the porch swing (until it broke)? We all sure do miss (in this order of passing) Clem, Earl, Eunice and Doris..... Thank you for sharing these awesome photos. Love you! Sandra Conley

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