Thomasville Times Enterprise

November 20, 2013

Roger Elbert Conklin


THOMASVILLE — Roger Elbert Conklin, 87, of Kewanee, Illinois, and Thomasville, Georgia, passed away on November 17, 2013 at his home after a lengthy illness. Roger, an only child, was born on March 18, 1926 to the late Dorothy Berry Conklin and Roger Conklin in Highpoint, North Carolina. His family later moved to Staten Island and Roger graduated from the Peddie School in Princeton, New Jersey in 1944. He served in the American Field Service in Burma during World War II. After attending Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, Roger moved to New York City where he worked as a manufacturer’s representative and met his future wife. On February 23, 1952 he married Harriet Carrie Waller of Kewanee. From 1954 until 1969 he worked for the Boss Manufacturing Company whose headquarters were in Kewanee. He was appointed as Boss’s European representative and moved his growing family to the Hague, Netherlands in 1963, and then to Oslo, Norway in 1968. Roger and Harriet and their five children returned to Kewanee in 1969, where Roger worked for Boss until he started his own business as a global manufacturer’s representative for safety products. A world traveler who embraced small town life, loved the woods and lobsters of Maine, and valued education as the best preparation for life, Roger had a strong sense of fairness and ethic of hard work that permeated his every endeavor. He also had a wonderful sense of humor and was consistently kind and generous to those less fortunate than himself. His family and friends will miss his extraordinary originality, drive and determination, and independent spirit. Roger is survived by his wife Harriet, recently of Thomasville; his five children – Charles Conklin of Thomasville, Martha Conklin of El Cerrito, CA; Margaret Conklin of New York, NY; Alice Conklin of Bexley, OH; and William Conklin, of Hanoi, Vietnam; and his six grandchildren, Timothy and David Nassau, Claire and Alexander Sabel, and Nora and Charles Bales. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to a charity of the donor’s choice. The family will receive friends 2-4 pm on Sunday, November 24 at 223 Fairways Drive, Thomasville. Sign the register at – Whiddon-Shiver Funeral Home in Charge