Gordon L. Conklin of Ithaca passed away at Cayuga Medical Center on December 27, 2016 age the age of 89.

Gordon was born June 8, 1927, a son of the late Monroe and Mabel (Nottingham) Conklin, and grew up on small dairy farm near Cuba, Allegany County, New York. Gordon’s early years were spent amidst what we would now call poverty, but his parents firmly believed that education was the primary key to a better life. With their encouragement, he took his assignments seriously at the one-room schoolhouse on Union Hill located a half mile from the farm. Centralized schools came to the area just in time to provide transportation to and from high school. He graduated at age 16 because skipping some grades was allowed in country school back then.

Gordon next enrolled in the then College of Agriculture at Cornell University, receiving a BS degree in 1949 and later an MS degree in Farm Management. After two years of employment at a bank in Delhi, Uncle Sam sent his greetings to serve in the United States Army. After an honorable discharge, he was employed for five years in the Extension Service working with farmers and other rural residents in Cayuga County.

One assignment there involved editing a monthly Extension publication where Gordon got printer’s ink into his veins. Eventually he interviewed for a job in the editorial department of a regional farm magazine called American Agriculturist and to his amazement he was hired.

For the next 32 years he worked for that publication as editor for most of those years. He hung up his pen of authorship in 1991. Over those years, Gordon met hundreds of people associated with agriculture and agribusiness. He deemed it a privilege to be a part of creating a more abundant food supply and often remarked how much he enjoyed meeting the salt of the earth folks.

His family had limited knowledge of the specifics about the honors he received from farm, non-farm, and agricultural organizations across the Northeast. Although always grateful for the expressions of encouragement and appreciation, Gordon was uneasy about saying much about them as he recognized that most accomplishments are the result of teamwork and not just an individual.

So his family will follow his request and skip his “honors pedigree.” Instead we’ll offer this quotation from our departed one, “Each generation must sort out its own priorities; much of what was considered important in my time is not so considered now. Remember me instead for whatever capacity I developed to love my neighbors constructively and compassionately – a priority that will remain relevant until the curtain is drawn at the end of the human saga.”

Gordon is survived by his wife, Onolee Conklin of Ithaca; children, Maureen Conklin of Interlaken; Lance (Jennifer) Conklin of Pittsburgh, PA; five grandchildren; sister in law Patricia Morris of San Diego, CA;; and many nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his siblings, Howard, Doris, and Cecile.

Memorial Services will be at the family’s convenience.

The family asks those that would like to make a donation in Gordon’s memory to kindly donate to a charity of one’s choice.