Mark Conklin, a plant utility engineer for physical facilities at Binghamton University, died unexpectedly on Thursday, Oct. 15 at his home in New Milford, PA. He was 57 years old.
Conklin grew up on his family farm in South New Milford, Pennsylvania, and helped with upkeep on the farm throughout his entire life. He was a member and Deacon of the South New Milford Baptist Church, where he touched many people according to his sister-in-law, Susan Conklin.
“Mark was a wonderful, Christian man,” Susan said. “He was an integral part of the church family.”
Conklin graduated from Blue Ridge High School in New Milford, Pennsylvania, and began his professional career by working for IBM as the Central Utility Plant operator. There, he was the lead mechanic for the cooling towers and condenser water systems at both the Endicott and Glendale facilities. Nearly a decade ago, Conklin began work at BU, where he was responsible for maintenance in Hinman College and College-in-the-Woods, ensuring that heating and hot water worked properly.
One of the things that stood out to Susan about her brother-in-law was his love for his family. She said she has very strong memories of his compassion for his four granddaughters.
“He was very loving,” Susan said. “He was a very, very kind grandfather.”
According to Susan, Conklin was an avid outdoorsman, with a passion for fishing, hunting and riding motorcycles. This love of the outdoors brought him on multiple trips to Colorado with his friends.
“That was something he always looked forward to,” Susan said. “He was a genuine steward of the land.”
Susan said he was extremely helpful and was always willing to lend others a hand. When one of her horses got loose a few years ago, Susan remembered Conklin didn’t hesitate to come over right away and help her take care of it.
”He was always available to help with anything,” Susan said. “If he didn’t have an answer, he would go and find it.”
According to Conklin’s supervisor Charles Paffie, another plant utility engineer, this eagerness to help out carried over into the work place.
“He was very conscientious,” Paffie said. “He had a good repute with the people he took care of.”
The reputation Conklin had with others is part of what made him the employee he was, according to Paffie.
“I’ve never had a complaint about him,” Paffie said. “He was always good to me. I respected Mark.”
Conklin is survived by his wife of 37 years, Charlotte, as well as his two children, Mitchell and Leslie.