Natick on Monday celebrated the life of Brett Conaway inside a crowded Natick High School auditorium, where family and friends addressed community members in the wake of the Army National Guard Colonel and retired Natick Police sergeant’s unexpected death (see video of ceremony embedded below). Conaway died on June 29 at the age of 52.
Conaway, who grew up in town and graduated from the high school, went on to become a second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Military Police Corps and served as a Citizen-Soldier in the Army National Guard for over 30 years. He earned a master’s degree in guidance and counseling from Providence College.
Conaway’s family and friends spoke at the event, talking about his personality and love for service. (See photo gallery from MetroWest Daily News.)
Rodney Dailey described his friend as “a good man, good husband, and with a heart for service.” He said that “Brett loved people, he loved serving people,” and that “we must carry his love for service.”
Pat Conaway described his son as “always willing to build a bridge. He listened, he cared.” The elder Conaway recalled “his strength, his patience, his commitment to the great American experiment, as he called it.”
Conaway’s sister, Miriam Morrison, fondly remembered how “instead of doing his homework, [Brett] would gaze adoringly into the mirror and flex his biceps,” while bemoaning how difficult it was to grow up with a brother who was aware of his own good looks.
The sudden loss of this Natick has been indescribably hard for those close to him, but Morrison and others tried to focus on what made Conaway so special to them and the community.