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Eugene Conquy, life-long Sussex County resident and former pro baseball player, dies at 81

SUSSEX COUNTY, NJ – Eugene B. Conquy, life-long Sussex County resident and former pro baseball player, died Thursday. He was 81-years-old.

Conquy was born on Feb. 2, 1931 to the late Bennet and Mildred (Lemin) Conquy. Born and raised in Newton, he was a life-long resident of Sussex County, according to his obituary.

Conquy was a 1949 graduate of Newton High school, where he achieved Varsity letters in Football, Basketball, and Baseball. As a pitcher, he went 8-2 during his sophomore year, and 6-4 as a junior. In his senior year, Conquy struck out 24 batters against Hackettstown High School, with a season average of 8-0, batting .423 with 3 home runs, his obituary said.

In 1949, he set a basketball scoring record for the county, averaging 19 PPG for 34 straight games. In football, he averaged 1 TD for every game played during three consecutive seasons, and held a season scoring record for 20 years. Eugene was State in baseball, football for two years, and basketball for one year, his obituary said.

After high school, Conquy played football and basketball for the U.S. Navy, as well as football for the Franklin Miners for seven years. Eugene then signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers as a pitcher, later moving to the outfield where he batted .347. He made the All-Star team and led the league in stolen bases (35). Following the Dodgers, he signed with the Detroit Tigers for four years, according to his obituary.

Conquy was inducted into the Sussex County Sports Hall of Fame on October 30, 1976, and served as president for three terms. He announced high school sport games on the local radio station, WNNJ, and was a wrestling commentator on local cable TV for several years, while also playing baseball locally for the Newton AA and Fetzer Chiefs for 10 years, his obituary said.

As an accomplished athlete, Eugene imparted his talents by coaching Newton football, baseball, and basketball teams to championship seasons. He coached the baseball, basketball, softball, and football teams at Sussex Vo-Tech, softball at SCCC, and football and softball at Pope John. Eugene coached the Andover Arrows Little League for seven years, winning three championships with 32 straight wins at one point. He also coached the Newton Baseball Little League Panthers for two years and the Cougars for one year, winning titles all three years. He also refereed high school wrestling, basketball, baseball, and softball, and would volunteer his services as a referee for many non-profit organizations to raise money, according to his obituary.

Beyond his athletic endeavors, Eugene was a photographer and took wedding pictures over the years for many happy couples and took pictures of sporting events in the area for the NJ Herald. He was always ready with his camera and loved taking pictures. Eugene was also a dedicated member of the Lafayette Federated Church where he served as an usher, Sunday school teacher, and assisted in the Sunday school office, his obituary said.

Eugene is survived by his beloved wife, Helen Conquy; 5 children, Kevin Conquy, Lisa Conquy, James Greenfield, Kyle Conquy (Wenya), and Kurt Conquy (Heather); sister Betty Ogden; 9 grandchildren; and 3 great-grandchildren.

Conquy shared most of his life with two best friends, Ken Benson and John Zamos. He and Ken would golf as often as they could, always coming within just a few strokes of each other. He enjoyed refereeing with John because he never knew what John would do, which was always one of the highlights of the game.

A memorial service for Eugene will be held Thursday, Feb. 23, at 11:00 a.m. at the Lafayette Federated Church, 180 NJ-15, Lafayette, NJ 07848. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Sussex County Sports Hall of Fame, or to the Lafayette Federated Church.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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