Cover photo for Mary  Elizabeth Conklin's Obituary
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Mary Elizabeth Conklin

August 25, 1940 — December 17, 2013

Mary Elizabeth Conklin


Mary Elizabeth Chittick Conklin led a long and interesting life before passing on December 17, 2013 at the age of 95. She was born in Thief River Falls, Minnesota on June 14, 1918. Her parents, Thomas H. Chittick and Blanche R. Chittick, moved to Oakland, California when she was 7 years old. She graduated from Berkley High School in 1936 and from the University of California at Berkley in 1940.

She married Howard E. Conklin on August 25, 1940. A year later they moved to Ithaca, NY so her husband could work on his PhD in Agricultural Economics. However, World War II interrupted that so she returned to Berkley, earned a teaching certificate and taught in Linden, California. Returning to Ithaca in 1947, Howard completed his degree work and was asked to stay as a Cornell professor. They bought a farm in Brooktondale and settled down to raise their family.

During the 50s and 60s she immersed herself in raising three children. She was active in 4-H, the Caroline Valley Federated Church, the Friends of the Tompkins County Public Library, gardening and doing a host of other things with Howard that helped her children grow and develop.

During the 70s she worked as a bookkeeper for several businesses in the Ithaca area. In the 80s and 90s she travelled around the country doing elderhostelling with friends and family.

She was preceded in death by her husband in 2006 and by a sister, Lorraine C. Watts in 1999. She is survived by her three children, Larry (Emily) of Longmont, CO; Glenn (Kathy) of Fremont, MI; Nancy Lou Brittain (Richard) of White River Junction, VT; 6 grandchildren; 2 great grandchildren; 5 nieces and 2 nephews.

In keeping with her wishes, there will be no calling hours or visitation. A memorial service will be held in the spring and will be announced at that time.

Memorial contributions in Mary’s memory may be directed to Gadabout, 737 Willow Ave., Ithaca, NY 14850


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