Connie Conway picks familiar face for 'Woman of the Year'

The Fresno BeeMarch 14, 2014 

Clara Conway was honored as Woman of the Year for the 26th Assembly District during a special ceremony held at the State Capitol in Sacramento. From left, Assembly Republican Leader Connie Conway, Clara Conway, Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez and Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal.

CHRISTIAN KOSZKA, ASSEMBLY REPUBLICAN CAUCUS — Special To The Bee

State legislators can name a worthy female in their district "Woman of the Year."

Usually, it's a community volunteer or business leader who does good things but is rarely in the news.

The honoree gets her picture taken with the legislator and a framed certificate of recognition. Sometimes the local newspaper publishes the information.

Assembly Minority Leader Connie Conway, who terms out this year, chose as her "Woman of the Year" for the 26th Assembly District a person she has known her entire life: her mother, Clara Conway.

Judging by the news release, Clara deserves the honor.

She "recently retired after nearly 50 years of full-time employment with Tulare District Hospital," it states. "Her decision to delay retirement and work more hours so her colleagues could spend more time with their own families is indicative of her generous spirit."

When Connie was in high school, Clara drove her daughter to San Joaquin Memorial High in Fresno every day, a 100-mile round trip.

She and her husband, the late John Conway, a Tulare County supervisor, raised four children, and Clara is the proud grandmother of eight and great-grandmother of two.

"I am proud to give her this honor," Conway said, "and even prouder to simply call her 'Mom.' "

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