Tim Conway's Widow Details Comedian's Final Weeks and How She'd Like Him Remembered

Tim Conway's widow Charlene remembered the legendary comedian's final weeks before his death Tuesday at the age of 85, calling him "a gift" to the world.

In an interview with PEOPLE, Charlene said the Carol Burnett Show star was "truly a gift," whom she will remember as a "devoted" and "funny" husband and father.

"People say that nothing is perfect and truly nothing ever is," Charlene told the magazine. "But we had a marriage that… I feel that the two of us were meant to be together. We were just one mind and heart. And it was 35 years of heaven. I know that sounds cheesy, but it's true."

Conway battled Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus. He died in the Los Angeles area, according to his representative. He had six children and one stepdaughter from his marriage to ex-wife Mary Anne Dalton. He married Charlene in 1984.

Charlene said Conway instilled "in the family, all the kids, the grandkids, that humor does help us deal with horrific experiences. It's a way out. For him, it was a way out. It didn't mean he felt or grieved any less. That was his outlet for it."

She said Conway was always a "humble" man, despite his legend status and never wallowed in his celebrity.

"He was always shocked and surprised when other celebrities knew who he was. He truly was," Charlene recalled. "He and Harvey [Korman] toured for ten years doing this two-man show in theaters all across the country, and he was always surprised that there were standing ovations and crowds around the stage door, entrance and exit."

Charlene went on to thank fans for their support, even though Conway had been out of the public eye for several years before his death.

"Tim's been out of the limelight for four, five years, but I'm just amazed at the outpouring of love from his fans and everybody," she said. "And I'm so proud of him, and the man that he was."

Conway was "very sick" for the last two weeks of his life, and "the only comfort we all have is that that suffering has ended," Charlene told PEOPLE.

When asked how Conway would like to be remembered, Charlene said, "Just as he was... Funny."

"I mean, his brain, his body, everything is funny," she told the magazine. "And he was exactly what they saw. A very sweet, kind, humble guy."

Conway was best known for his roles on The Carol Burnett Show and his several films with Don Knotts during the 1980s and early 1980s. He shot to fame as Ensign Pulver on McHale's Navy and was known to a younger generation as the voice of Barnacle Boy on Spongebob Squarepants. Conway won a Golden Globe in 1976 and six Emmys during his career.


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