Obituary of Lowell G. Conrad
Lowell G. Conrad, age 86, of Geneseo, passed away peacefully on Sunday, January 30, 2022 at his residence. He was predeceased by his wife, Joanne Burdett Conrad, and his first wife, Nancy Hughes Conrad, and brother, Russell Conrad. He is survived by his daughters, Elizabeth (Scott Johnson) Conrad of Latham, NY; Virginia (Charles Balen) Conrad of Shrub Oak, NY; granddaughter, Katherine Balen; nephews, Jeffrey, Peter, Matthew, and Adam Conrad; and several grand nieces and nephews.
Lowell was born in Norwalk, OH, the son of George and Gladys Machan Conrad. His father, a minister, led the Presbyterian Church in Leicester where Lowell was raised. A 1953 graduate of York High School, he served in the United States Army Reserve from 1957-1963 as a field radio repairman.
An entrepreneur from a young age, he built and repaired radios for friends and relatives at age 12. At age 16, he sold his first television. As his business grew, he set up his radio, television, and appliance store in Leicester then moved to Geneseo in 1958. In 1959, Conrad's moved to its present location at 125 Main Street in the former Concert Hall, built in 1851. "I moved in shortly thereafter,' he said.
He had a deep devotion to Main Street and small business. He served as President of the Geneseo Downtowner's Merchants' Association and played a leading role in the development of the Geneseo Commons. In 2006, he received the first annual Buzzo Award, which is awarded to a Geneseo merchant for longevity in business, adherence to solid business principles, and service to Main Street and the community. During his 63 years in business, he was committed to serving his community and customers. When asked about retirement, he'd reply "Why would I want to retire? Retirement is not in my vocabulary. I don't know what a person would do." Many have heard him say that he planned to retire two days before his funeral for calling hours.
Regarded as a legend in Republican politics, he served as a Town of Geneseo Republican Committee member and Chairman before becoming the Livingston County GOP Chairman in 1986, a position he held for 32 years and through which he was instrumental in the successful campaigns of numerous local and statewide elected officials. In 2012, he received the Livingston County Republican Women's Lincoln Leadership Award.
Friends know him as a New York Yankees fan, with a passion for old radios and old radio shows, his favorite being The Great Gildersleeve. He stood 6'1" and had a lovable charismatic personality with many friends in the community. He was the kind of man that could travel around the state, have coffee, and talk with people. He will be missed by all.
Calling hours will be held on Thursday, February 3, 2022 from 4-7 PM at the Rector-Hicks Funeral Home, 111 Main St. in Geneseo where his funeral service will be held on Friday, February 4, 2022 at 11 AM with Mark Shepard officiating. Burial with Military Honors will be in Temple Hill Cemetery in Geneseo.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Geneseo Ambulance Fund, PO Box 428, Geneseo, NY 14454 or the Antique Wireless Association, PO Box 421, Bloomfield, New York 14469.