Obituary: Charles P. Conrad
Charles P. “Charlie” Conrad of Montclair, whose long career in book publishing included editing some of the biggest names in both fiction and nonfiction, died on Nov. 21, 2021, at his home from complications of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. He was 61.
Mr. Conrad grew up in Conrad, Montana, graduated with high honors from the University of Montana with a B.A. in English and earned a master’s in library science from the University of Wisconsin.
He attended the Denver Publishing Institute before moving to New York to work in book publishing. He met his wife, Becky Cabaza, shortly after arriving. They married in 1990, moved to Montclair in 1993, and had one son, Carlos, a 2019 graduate of Montclair High School.
Mr. Conrad edited some of the biggest names in fiction and nonfiction, among them Frances Mayes and Jon Krakauer. His decades-long career spanned several publishing imprints — including Doubleday, Broadway, Crown and Penguin — and genres of travel, memoir, biography, history and fiction.
He was a voracious reader and consumer of magazines and newspapers (he preferred old-school print) and was a lover of good food and wine, music and conversation, especially when they were all served up at once.
He was also a devoted husband and father, a regular patron of the Montclair Public Library and a committed long-distance runner who never let bad weather stop him from hitting the roads of Montclair and Glen Ridge, rarely missing a local 10K.
Mr. Conrad loved to travel and explore, especially in Italy, and his family’s annual summer adventures there were always made more memorable by his determination to go off the beaten path, avoiding tourists and discovering new places. Though he thrived in New York, he was proud of his small-town roots and delighted in sending donations of books to the Conrad Public Library.
He was funny, smart and kind, and was beloved by many.
In addition to his wife Becky and son Carlos, Mr. Conrad is survived by his sister, Monica Paoli (David); his brother, Damian (Pam), and numerous nieces and nephews.
His family is extremely grateful to the good people of Valley Hospice. Mr. Conrad was able to remain comfortably at home, surrounded by whom and what he loved, largely thanks to hospice.
A memorial service to celebrate his life will be announced for next May.
Memorials can be made to the scholarship established in his name through the Montclair Scholarship Fund (montclairscholarshipfund.org).
Arrangements were by Hugh M. Moriarty Funeral Home. For online condolences please visit moriartyfh.com.