John Conway, '71
Altair Distinguished Alumni Award
If asked to hum the tune of the Mister Softee truck circling the neighborhood, most would be able to do it without hesitating. Before John Conway, the president of the Mister Softee company, was thinking about high school or what he wanted to do with his life, his family, namely his father and uncle had much different things on their mind; ice cream. In Philadelphia on St. Patrick’s Day in 1956 William and James Conway decided, for their second attempt at inventions, to try their hand at making some special green ice cream for the local neighborhood to try. And so became the start of Mister Softee. Since those early days, the Conway family has been busy making families not only in New Jersey but also in the tri-state area happy with their ice cream trucks. As many people read this, the sound of the Mister Softee song is probably already resonating your mind.
John Conway graduated from Paul VI high school in 1971. While attending Paul VI he was involved with varsity baseball for three years as well basketball. John can recall how much Paul VI influenced the rest of his life. He remembers how discipline was so important to the staff and how well they taught this to the PVI students. Not only was disciple important but it was integrated with a Christian way of growing. John believes Paul VI helped prepare him for life After his days at PVI, John went on to study at St. Joe’s University. John will always remember his college years, mainly because this is where he met his wife, Rosemary. John and his wife will be married for 30 years this coming January. They have four children, all of which attended Paul VI High School and also played basketball.
After completing college John started to help his father run the family business and eventually took it over. John has always remained involved with Paul VI since his early days as a student. He realizes how important it is to give back to an institution which alumni should strongly believe in. John has taken much from his days at Paul VI. Recently, John along with the Board of Trustees, PVI alumni and the late president of Paul VI, Dr. David Coghlan, joined together to put a new face to the Paul VI gym, where John, his children and many of our Paul VI alumni have gathered. The Mister Softee Company along with John, matched every dollar that was donated to help improve the gym.
“I have learned, since my early days at PVI, how important and necessary it is to give back to this community that has given me so much.”
John has always played a significant role in the life of this school. To him and his wife, one of the most important achievements he has had since his days attending this school was seeing his four children graduate from Paul VI. John can remember how privileged he felt to see his children play basketball on the same court he played on, and walk through graduation, the same as he once did. Looking back through those years helps him see how Paul VI shaped him and his family.