Eldon B. Conklin, 93, of Gouverneur
GOUVERNEUR, New York (WWNY) - Eldon B. Conklin passed away peacefully at home on May 6, 2022 at 3:45 PM, surrounded by friends, family, and community.
Calling hours will be held on Sunday, May 15th from 11 am to 2 pm with a funeral service at 2 pm at the Gouverneur Community Center with Henry Leader officiating. The committal will follow at Hailesboro Cemetery and a celebration of life reception will be held at the community center at 4 pm. Arrangements are with the Green Funeral Home, Gouverneur.
Eldon was born November 21, 1929 in the town of DeKalb, the son of farmer Lee F. and Vera (Cole) Conklin. He attended Os-borneville Country School on Rock Island Road.
In 1947, at the age of 18, he was employed as a truck driver for John Austin Trucking in Richville, NY, until he joined the U.S. Ma-rines in 1951. After serving with honorable discharge, he returned to trucking for several companies hauling freight, milk, heavy equipment, race horses, and more.
On April 17, 1969 he married Eloise Tibbits, the love of his life, at the Gouverneur United Methodist Church with Rev. Stanley E. Brown officiating. They lived together in their home at 133 Depot St.
In 1972, he purchased Van Ornum Furniture on Main Street in Gouverneur, which he owned and operated with his wife until it was sold in 1998. Eldon continued to manage this business for three more years.
In 1985, he became interested in local government, serving var-ious positions such as village trustee, mayor, and finally town councilman from 2003, which he maintained until his passing. El-don also served as chairman of the local Republican committee for many years, receiving the Betsy Kaplan Award in 2017 for his service to the north country.
In 1989, Eldon took a 6 week leave of absence and headed to California to drive truck for the Concord Blue Devils Drum & Bugle Corp. He toured the continental United States as their head driver and chef, pulling a 48 foot trailer converted to a kitchen to prepare
food for 180+ people on tour. This passion continued every sum-mer until 2007.
Throughout his lifetime, Eldon also owned and co-owned many other businesses in Gouverneur including the Gralyn Theater, Gouverneur Bowl, and Antique Emporium. In 1992, he joined the Greater Gouverneur Chamber of Commerce, for 25 years until 2017 as director, becoming an honorary lifetime director.
Eldon was very dedicated to the Gouverneur community and in-volved in a lifetime of projects, almost too many to mention. One of his recent achievements was his involvement in establishing a decades-long vision, the Gouverneur Community Center.
Eldon is survived by his stepsons Stephen and Michael Boprey, grandchildren Michele Boprey, Sean Boprey, Chelsea Boprey, Marshall Boprey, and Shannon Boprey, great grandchildren, many nieces and nephews, his brother Richard Conklin and wife Nancy.
He is predeceased by his wife, Eloise, of 50 years, his parents, sister Emma Conklin Wells, brothers Francis “Joe” Conklin, Rob-ert Conklin, and Howard Conklin.
The effects of his love and commitment will continue onward with the hope of inspiring others to dedicate themselves, too.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Chamber of Commerce, 53 Herm Towne Road, Gouverneur, NY 13642 in El-don’s honor, where a fund will be established to encourage and reward local entrepreneurship.
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