Richard M. Conklin, 87, passed away Wednesday, March 20, 2013 at E.J. Noble Hospital in Gouverneur.
A funeral service will be held Saturday, March 23rd at 1:00 p.m. at the Gouverneur First Presbyterian Church with Rev. Dr. Richard Mayforth officiating and burial with military rites in Spragueville Cemetery. Calling hours will be held Friday from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Green Funeral Home, Gouverneur and on Saturday from 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m. at the church, preceding the funeral service.
Richard was born August 14, 1925 in Gouverneur, the son of John Clare and Myrtle Gray Conklin. Richard graduated from Richville High School as Salutatorian in 1943 and then served in the United States Army Air Force overseas during WW II.
Richard worked for his brother at his veterinary clinic and for the Town of Rossie highway department. Richard began his career in insurance by purchasing the Keyes Insurance Agency in 1948. He established R.M. Conklin Insurance Agency in 1950. The three generation family business has been recognized by National Grange Mutual as a preferred agent and was recognized by the Gouverneur Chamber of Commerce as the Business of the Year in 2012.
Richard married Flora Jean Bell on June 30, 1949. The couple resided in Spragueville many years and were known for their passion of raising, training, and running coonhounds. Dick, a Master of Hounds for the American Kennel Club, was proud of the couple's reputation, and he was recognized with a lifetime achievement award from the United English Breeders and Fanciers several years ago. Dick remarked the couple once sold a pup to country singer Tanya Tucker. Flora Jean passed away April 10, 1988. On June 13, 1992, Richard married Beverly Brown Tibbits.
His enjoyment of farming and the outdoors continued on at the Brown family farm where one might find a couple cows, a few cats and dogs, or an old mule. Dick also enjoyed hunting, playing cards, a round of golf, round table discussions at Jumbo's Diner, or a trip to town with his close friend Gertie.
He was a charter member of the Gouverneur Elks Lodge, life member of the Gouverneur VFW, member of the Gouverneur American Legion, Gouverneur Luncheon Club, and Triple EEE Hunting Club. Richard also served over 25 years on the St. Lawrence NYSARC board of directors.
Richard is survived by his wife, Beverly; three children, Marilyn and Roger LaPierre of Gouverneur, Bradley and Tammy Conklin of Gouverneur, and Sherry Conklin of Hermon; three stepchildren, Tammy and William Kukula of Cicero, Terri and David Norris of Hammond, and Tori Tibbits and his companion Tonya Patton of Fowler; 13 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by a brother, Erwin "Doc" Conklin.
Memorial donations may be made to St. Lawrence NYSARC, 6 Commerce Lane, Canton, NY 13617, Gouverneur Foundation, 133 E. Barney Street, Gouverneur, NY 13642, or a charity of one's choice.