Deacon John Conick, former Banner editor, dies Aug. 8

PALATINE, Ill. — Deacon John E. Conick, 62, died Aug. 8, after a prolonged illness. The Mass of Christian Burial was Aug. 11 at St. Theresa Church in Palatine.

Born the son of the late James and Mary Conick, he was a retired Marine Corps combat correspondent. He entered the military in 1955 with an assignment on the commissioning crew of the U.S.S. Lexington. He was an administration clerk of the First Marine Division at Camp Pendleton, Calif., then received orders to become a non-commissioned officer (NCO) assigned to an admiral in the Pacific Fleet.

After attending journalism school in Great Lakes, Conick was assigned to the 29 Palms Marine Base in California where he was the editor of the newspaper. His next assignment was to Far East Network Radio in Iwakuni, Japan, where he moved from announcer to station manager.

In 1964, Conick went to Vietnam to write the first radio show about Marines in that country. Upon his return to the United States, he was assigned as public affairs NCO in Philadelphia. He returned to Vietnam in 1968 as a combat correspondent taking part in 15 combat operations. Conick was a Marine Corps spokesman at Kae Sahn during it 99-day siege by North Vietnamese forces.

He was awarded the Secretary of Navy Achievement Medal.

The correspondent returned to the United States, serving in Detroit as public affairs NCO. He retired from the Marines in 1974 in Beaufort, as NCO in charge of public affairs at the Marine Corps Air Station.

Conick was news coordinator of The Catholic Banner, the Diocese of Charleston’s newspaper, for 18 years. During that time he was ordained a deacon. While at Corpus Christi Church in Lexington, he served on the board and as president of Lexington Interfaith Community Service, an outreach program.

Conick became a book editor for the IRI/Skylight training group in Arlington Heights. He later worked for the Journal and Topics Newspaper in Des Plaines where he covered Mt. Prospect and Prospect Heights until 1997.

An illness forced the journalist to retire from newspapers after 40 years and 23 years of active diaconate ministry. His last parish assignment was at St. Theresa.

Conick is survived by his wife of 40 years, Marianne Van Stelle Conick; a son, John Jr. of Waukegan; two daughters, Carol Conick of Lexington and Katherine Conick of Streamwood; an adopted daughter, Patty Elkins; an adopted granddaughter, Erica Elkins, both of Lexington; and two sisters, Geraldine Bellanca of Glencoe and Maureen Berger of Waconda.

In lieu of memorials, donations are requested for the Chicago Archdiocesan Diaconate Training Program, 1025 N. Columbian, Oak Park, IL 60302.