William Priestley Conyers III ’43

William Priestley Conyers III ’43, 89, of Princeton, N.J., formerly of Ridgewood, N.J., passed away peacefully Sept. 8 surrounded by family at the University Medical Center at Princeton. Devoted husband, father, grandfather, and friend: he will be deeply missed by all who have known and loved him. He was born Aug. 9, 1921, in Greenville, Greenville County, S.C., as the first child of William Priestley Conyers, Jr. and Olivia Fitts Wallace. He received his B.S. from Davidson. He was a captain of the Tank Corps in the U.S. Army serving from 1943-46, developing new tank technology, and stationed on the island of Okinawa. He received his M.Div. from Union Theological Seminary, Richmond, Va., and completed additional graduate study at the University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland, studying under theologian Karl Barth. He was pastor of First Presbyterian Church and Wildwood Presbyterian Church, both of Morehead City, N.C., and First Presbyterian Church, Belmont, N.C. He was executive associate to the president and dean of students at Union Theological Seminary. Following a move to the N.Y. area in 1964, Conyers trained at the American Foundation of Religion and Psychiatry in New York City, and was a staff therapist at the Long Island Consultation Center, Queens, N.Y., therapist and marriage counselor at the Psychotherapy Center, Fair Lawn, N.J., and counselor for the Palisades Counseling Center for the Palisades Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A. In 1969 Conyers created the Center for Counseling in Ridgewood and Ho-Ho-Kus, N.J., and maintained a private practice until his retirement in 2005. He was a diplomate of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors, a clinical member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, and a licensed marriage counselor for the state of N.J. Conyers married Janice Marguerite “Marge” Mason of Charlotte, N.C., in 1945. He was a devoted husband for 42 years, and raised seven children with Marge. After her death in 1997, he married Helene Sally Feldhun Franklin. Conyers was preceded in death by his only sister, Olivia Conyers McManaway, in 2006, and his eldest son, William Priestley Conyers IV, in 2007. He is survived by his wife, Helene, 155 Raymond Rd., Apt. 222, Princeton, NJ 08540-9643; his son, James Conyers; his daughters, Anne Conyers Hom, Olivia Van Wagner, Carol Conyers, Mary C. Sullivan, and Janice Conyers; his stepson, Joel Franklin (Nancy L. Messner Franklin); five grandchildren, John R. Sullivan, Jr., Courtney M. Hom, Marguerite M.S. Van Wagner, Isabel C. Van Wagner, and William Y.S. Comparin; two step-grandchildren, Daniel E. and Samuel B. Franklin; and nieces, Lillie Smith, Mary Tucker, and Elizabeth Richie.