William “Bill” J. Conboy II

William J. Conboy II

William J. Conboy II

ALBANY — William J. Conboy II died on Jan. 30, 2017, surrounded by family in his Albany home. He was 66. The town attorney for Berne for over three decades under five supervisors, he was known as a devoted public servant. Many who worked alongside him also considered him a friend, and said he will be deeply missed.

Mr. Conboy worked as an attorney for nearly his entire life. He gave counsel to the town of Berne from 1982 until December 2016. He worked with five different supervisors over the course of six terms, and gave legal advice for major projects.

“In 1982, he was young, he was just starting out,” said Patricia Favreau, who worked with Mr. Conboy for 32 years as town clerk, and came to know him as a good friend. Mr. Conboy’s son noted that he was assigned the position as a new lawyer in a firm, but stayed with the town after leaving the firm.

“He was the most admirable and decent human being,” said Mrs. Favreau.

Mr. Conboy was also Mrs. Favreau’s personal lawyer, as well as Berne resident Helen Lounsbury’s, whose husband worked with Mr. Conboy as a town councilman.

“He was one of the kindest, smartest, most capable people I have ever met,” said Mrs. Lounsbury.

Former Berne Supervisor Alan Zuk described Mr. Conboy as a likable as well as an efficient lawyer who helped the town through the difficult period of its first town-wide property revaluation.

“He could convey the message that a layperson, like I was...could understand,” Mr. Zuk said. “He was just a wonderful person.”

“I’m heartbroken,” said current Berne Supervisor Kevin Crosier. “Bill Conboy was probably one of the best municipal attorneys around.”

Mr. Conboy did pro bono work for the town when it was creating its sewer district, essentially donating “tens of thousands of dollars of work,” said Mr. Crosier.

“Bill had a soft spot for the Hilltowns and the town of Berne,” he said.

When Mr. Conboy retired as town attorney in December, his son — William J. Conboy III, formerly the deputy town attorney — took over his job.

“His son is just like his father,” said Mr. Crosier.

Besides private practice work and work with the town, Mr. Conboy was the Albany County attorney from 1984 to 1991, counsel to the Legislative Majority for the Albany County Legislature from 1992 to 2011, and attorney for the Hudson River Black River Regulating District.

Although Mr. Conboy retired from his position with Berne, he never completely quit his private practice; he only “slowed it down,” said his son.

Mr. Conboy had an interest in the law since his boyhood. He was born on March 18, 1950, in Newark, New Jersey, and grew up in an Irish family with two other siblings in the township of Verona, spending his summers in the beachside borough of Manasquan. His father — William J. Conboy — worked in the New Jersey court systems as an attendant, and William J. Conboy III said that this was part of his initial interest in law.

“He went to the courts with his father, occasionally,” said his son.

Mr. Conboy attended Essex Catholic High School, and graduated in 1967. In 1971, he received his bachelor’s degree from Siena College, and in 1975 he completed his juris doctorate from Brooklyn Law School.

As a student at Siena College, he met Carole Martin, an Albany native and Saint Rose student, at a college mixer, said his son. They met 47 years prior to the day he died, he added.

Mr. Conboy married Ms. Martin on June 30, 1973. They lived together in New Jersey for a couple of years before returning to Albany, where they settled down and raised five children. A family man, Mr. Conboy cared for his children deeply. Mrs. Lounsbury remembers when Mr. Conboy’s son, William J. Conboy III, was born.

“He was so excited, he could hardly speak,” she said.

“He was a very good father,” said his son. “He gave very good advice during good times and tough times.”

Despite his busy schedule as an attorney, Mr. Conboy took the time to coach his children’s sports teams, such as his son’s Little League team and his daughters’ basketball and softball teams.

He also donated his time and money to charities like the Adopt-a-Family and Thanksgiving meal programs run by the county.

Mr. Conboy later enjoyed spending time with his six grandchildren, as well as taking trips and golfing.

“He loved his grandkids,” said his son. “He liked to spoil them, I guess.”

Mr. Conboy was a member of the church the Parish of Mater Christi, the Albany County Democratic Party, and the Knights of Columbus.

“As I thought about Bill, one old Irish phrase seemed to fit better than any other,” said Mrs. Lounsbury. “‘We will not see his like again.’ We, in Berne and beyond, were blessed to have known him.”

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Mr. Conboy is survived by his wife, Carole Martin Conboy; his children William J. Conboy III, and his partner, Lauren Cardinal, Christine Priest, and her husband, Timothy, Kimberly Poulopoulos, and her husband, Christopher, Tracey Zusman and her husband, Brian, and Stephanie Conboy; his grandchildren, Juliana and John Conboy, Alexandra and Adrian Poulopoulos, and Quincy and Silas Zusman.

He is also survived by his mother-in-law, Mary Martin; his brother, Brian Conboy; his brother-in-law, Paul Livelli; nieces and nephews; and close friends. His sister, Sheila Livelli, died before him.

Relatives and friends are invited to visit with his family on Wednesday, Feb. 1, from 4 to 7 p.m. in the Parish of Mater Christi Church, 40 Hopewell St., Albany.

A funeral Mass will be held on Thursday, Feb. 2, at 10 a.m. at the Parish of Mater Christi Church.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Parish of Mater Christi Church, , 40 Hopewell St., Albany, NY 12208, or the American Cancer Society, 1 Penny Ln., Latham, NY 12110.

— H. Rose Schneider

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