Albert E. Conklin
Woodstock, Vt.. — Albert Conklin longtime resident of Woodstock died on Friday, June 6, 2014. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on July 12 at the North Pomfret Congregational Church.
Born in Sharon, Conn. to Brandt Bradley Conklin and Elizabeth Merwin Conklin on Feb. 21, 1919, Albert grew up in the town of Northeast, N.Y. on his grandparent’s farm. After graduating from Mt. Hermon School, (now Northfield Mt. Hermon) and the Stockbridge School of Agriculture at the University of Massachusetts, Albert embarked on a lifelong career as a dairy farmer by conducting a dairy cow feeding study for Standard Brands at the Gardner State Hospital dairy farm in Massachusetts, followed by a year’s stint as assistant farm manager at Medfield State Hospital’s dairy. He then returned to New York state and worked as the Dairy Herd Improvement Association (DHIA) Supervisor in Columbia County before entering a four year partnership in a dairying operation in Copake, N.Y.
In 1946, he married Jean Nelson and they moved to Vermont where he served as the instructor for the Veterans’ On the Farm training program at Thetford Academy. They purchased a farm in South Strafford where Albert began developing his herd of Registered Holstein cattle. In 1952, Albert and Jean moved their dairy operation to the Nelson farm, where Jean had grown up on Pomfret Road in Woodstock. During more than 40 years of farming Albert took special interest in the work of 4-H clubs encouraging young people in dairy clubs he organized to learn how to care for and show farm animals.
Throughout his farming career Albert was an active leader in organizations that shaped agriculture throughout New England and the Northeast. They included the Bellows Falls Cooperative Creamery, the Windsor County Farmers’ Exchange, the Windsor County Farm Bureau, the Pomfret DHIA, the New England and National Holstein Breeders Associations, and the Eastern AI Cooperative in Ithaca, N.Y. He also served 31 years as director of the Co-op Insurance Company of Middlebury. In his retirement years Albert continued his passion for agriculture as a docent at the Billings Farm and Museum, interpreting Vermont’s Agricultural Heritage especially for visiting school children.
Albert was a community leader, serving as a school director for both the town of Woodstock and the Woodstock Union High school boards and as a member of the building committee overseeing construction of the new Union High School building. He was also a long time director and Chairman of the Woodstock National Bank and for several years as a director of the successor organization Banknorth. A longtime member of the North Pomfret Congregational Church UCC, Albert served terms as both deacon and trustee.
Albert is survived by his wife, Jean; sons: Neil and wife Hilary Sheevers, Rockville, Md., Danny and wife, Andree, Milford, N.Y., Miles and wife, Jean, Haverhill, N.H.; grandchildren include Morgan Conklin, Flagstaff, Ariz., Carson Conklin, and her son Alder, Portland, Ore., George Conklin, Reading, Vt., Anna Conklin, Prescott, Ariz., and Clara Conklin, Boston, Mass.
Contributions in Albert’s memory may be made to the Northfield Mt. Hermon School http://www.nmhschool.org Gift Recording Office, Norton House, Northfield Mount Hermon School, One Lamplighter Way, Mount Hermon, MA 01354 or to the Billings Farm and Museum, http://www.billingsfarm.org Billings Farm & Museum, P.O. Box 489, Woodstock, VT 05091-0489
Arrangements are under the direction of the Cabot Funeral Home in Woodstock, Vt.