John E. Conklin, Sr. was born in Peekskill, NY on July 9, 1941, to Agnes Travis and George R. Conklin. His mother, a homemaker, and father, a mechanic with Standard Brands, raised him to work hard and live honestly. John grew up in Peekskill, NY attending public school where he excelled at football.
Mutual friends introduced John to Alice Diack at the Paramont Theater in Peekskill, NY in the spring of 1957. It was love at first sight. They were married a year later on April 3, 1958. They soon welcomed their children starting with John Jr. in the fall of 1958, followed by Cheryl, Robert, Jo-Anne, and a few years later Gary.
John worked days as an oil burner mechanic while Alice worked nights as a nurse. He was a member of the Teamsters Union Local 456. John spent his life working hard but he and Alice made time for fishing, hunting and fifteen years of bugle and drum corps. First with the Criterion’s bugle corps based in Newburgh, NY and then with the New York Skyliners Drum and Bugle Corps.
John played the soprano horn while Alice ran the Chuck Wagon. He and his family enjoyed the friendships and community of the drum and bugle corps. His children and grandchildren would follow the corps around the tristate area to see their Poppy practice and perform.
John and Alice bought their home in Brewster, NY in July of 1973. John expanded his skills as an oil burner mechanic to become a heating and air conditioning contractor. John and Alice owned and operated Quality Heating from 1983 to 2000 when they sold the business and “retired”.
John was blessed with a large family. He spent his childhood with his brother, George, and sister, Agnes “Dotty” Turner, and is survived by sisters Lillian Rose and Myrtle Meissner. Life comes with its ups and downs and John and Alice weathered the toughest of them together through the loss of their sons John Jr. and Robert (Julia Carlo). He is survived by his children Cheryl Dannucci and her husband Anthony Dannucci, Jo-Anne May and her husband Sanford May, and Gary Conklin and his wife Debra Conklin.
His grandchildren have fond memories of Poppy and Mema lovingly giving each other a hard time. From family road trips to Myrtle Beach where they spent days in the sand and nights joking on the back patio. To the boardwalk of Ocean City, Maryland with go-carts and arcades. Most recently bonfires and dancing at Waubeeka Family Campground, in Copake, NY. All the grandchildren; Christopher May (1981- 2018) (Teresa May), Jennifer Bongiovanni (Tim Bongiovanni), Steven May (Caetlin May), Erica Dannucci (Jared Nelson), Alicia Dannucci-Venables, Toni- Anne Dannucci (Timothy Peterson), Anthony John “AJ” Dannucci, Alexis Conklin, John Conklin (Brittany Santelmo), Ashley Conklin, and Robert Conklin received unconditional love and support from their Poppy and Mema.
John eased away on December 27, 2019, at the age of 78 knowing that his chil-dren and grandchildren would work hard and love the next generation as much as he loved them. The family continues with John and Alice’s great grandchildren Abigail May (12), Eliza May (8), Hayden Bongiovanni (22 months), Astrid May (15 months), Orren Christopher May (2 months), Jacob Venables (12), Carter Venables (8), Elizabeth Nelson (5), Ella- Reese Nelson (4), and baby Conklin to arrive in spring 2020.
A funeral service was held on Tuesday December 31, 2019, at 10:30 am at Beecher Funeral Home, 1 Putnam Avenue, Brewster, NY. Interment followed at Old Southeast Cemetery, Rt 22, Brewster. Visitation was held on Monday December 30, from 4pm-8pm at Beecher Funeral Home.