Familiar face lost

Two memorial services will be held this weekend for Charles Reginald “Cowboy” Conway, who died Saturday after being hit by a minivan on Laguna Canyon Road.

The Rev. Bob Moore of the Neighborhood Congregations Church will conduct a service at 9 a.m. Saturday in Heisler Park for the homeless population, of which Conwell was one of the most recognizable.

A second service will be conducted by the Rev. B.J. Beu at 1 p.m. Sunday at the church at St. Ann’s Drive and Glenneyre Street.

“I knew Cowboy — I talked with him many times — I just wish I knew him better,” said Beu, who has been active on homeless issues. “This was his community. He liked it here, and he liked most of the people here. He had his demons and sometimes he got more attention than he might have wanted “


Conwell’s family, with whom he hadn’t spoken in 15 years, will be invited to the service if they can be located, Beu said.

Donations may be made in Conwell’s name to the Laguna Beach Relief and Resource Center or Friendship Shelter, Beu said.

“I think that would be appropriate because they help people like Cowboy,” Beu said.

“Cowboy was a familiar face in Laguna,” police Lt. Jason Kravetz said. “He had been here at least since the mid-1980s.”


Conwell is believed to have been on his way to the alternative sleeping site for the homeless at ACT V when he was struck. He was not in a crosswalk.

He and two companions had been dropped off by an Orange County Transportation bus after 6 p.m. in the 1700 block of Laguna Canyon Road.

The two companions crossed the road in a crosswalk. Conwell walked further along the side of the road before attempting to cross.

The companions indicated that they were heading for ACT V when the accident occurred, Kravetz said.

“They heard but they didn’t see the crash, but they waited until police arrived,” he said.

Conwell was taken to Mission Hospital in Laguna Beach, where he died.

The van was driven by a Mission Viejo woman with her four children. She was not cited, but the investigation is ongoing, Kravetz said.

Anyone who saw the collision or a pedestrian in the area before the collision is asked to call Kravetz at (949) 497-0307.