Tessa Marie Conway

June 9, 1965 ~ February 2, 2021 (age 55)


   Teresa (Tessa) Marie Conway, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly at her parents’ home on February 2, 2021. She was 55. Tessa is survived by her parents, Anthony (Jim) and Janet (Birch) Conway, her daughters Melissa McConnell (Patrick Heusinkveld) and Ashley McConnell (Kajuan Parker), her loyal companion Bogie, her grandchildren Olivea, Emme, and Allison Heusinkveld, Destiny and Prince Dunbar, Genesis Harris, and Kareena Parker and her siblings Claire Bartels (Travis), Jeanne Penhollow (Adam), and Patrick Conway (Ashley Swancutt). She was preceded in death by her grandparents John and Mary Conway and Robert and Edna Birch. She is reunited in death with her fiance’, Jeff DeYoung.

   Tessa was born on June 9, 1965 to Anthony (Jim) and Janet (Birch) Conway. She grew up in Chatfield and went to school at Chosen Valley High School. She moved to Spring Valley, married Gus McConnell and had two daughters, Melissa and Ashley McConnell. After they divorced, Tessa shared many wonderful years with Steve Thompson. She was a strong and loving mother who would do anything for her girls.

   Tessa was a bright spirit with a quick wit and sparkling blue eyes who left an impression on everyone she met. She was quick with a compliment and a smile, but would also tell you exactly what she thought without mincing words. She was a caregiver at heart and a passionate lover of animals, often stopping to rescue strays on the side of the road.

   Tessa spent 20 years working with her Dad and her uncle Philip at Rochester Medical in Stewartville MN. She was a great combination of tough and compassionate, which made her a wonderful manager. She adored her Rochester Medical family. It was there that she met the love of her life, Jeff DeYoung. When Jeff fell ill with cancer, Tessa’s caregiving spirit never wavered, and she was by his side until he passed away in 2007.

   Tessa later went to work with her brother Patrick at CountyLine Bootleg Wine & Liquor in Chatfield. Her high energy and gift of gab were a hit with customers and made everyone feel welcome.

   Though she kept them on their toes during her teens, Tessa was a devoted daughter who spent her last years helping her parents with whatever they needed. She spent as much time as she could with her grandchildren, who were truly the lights of her life. Tessa always made time for her nieces and nephews, often checking in on them “just because”. She had a gift for making people feel special. She will be dearly missed by her loving family, though we know she is at peace and reunited with the love of her life, Jeff DeYoung.


        You belong among the wildflowers    

       You belong somewhere close to me

     Far away from your trouble and worries

        You belong somewhere you feel free

        You belong somewhere you feel free

                              ~ Tom Petty

To send flowers to Tessa's family, please visit our floral store.


February 5, 2021

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Riley Funeral Home
800 S Main St
Chatfield, MN 55923

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