Archive for Wednesday, October 20, 1999

Former Reno resident early-day stewardess

October 20, 1999

Helen Schilling, a former correspondent for the Tonganoxie Mirror, reports that Marie (Hess) Conway, a native of Reno, was recently featured in an Illinois newspaper.

Conway grew up in Reno where her father owned a grocery store. She was a registered nurse working in a Kansas City hospital in the early 1930s when a patient suggested she'd make a good stewardess.

The first plane she worked on was a Ford Trimotor that handled 2,999 pounds of payload, including 12 passengers. It flew from Chicago to Cheyenne, Wyo., with a stop in Kansas City.

It was a requirement that early-day stewardesses had to be registered nurses. Conway "retired" from United Airlines in 1940 to marry.

At that time, she had flown about 1.5 million miles. She recently celebrated her 90th birthday.

She and Helen Schilling have remained friends and have kept in contact through the years.

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