Monday, March 17, 2014
4:00 PM to 7:00 PM EDT
Traverse City Life Story Funeral Home
Traverse City Location
752 Munson Ave.
Traverse City, MI 49686
A scripture service will be held at 6:30pm.
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
11:00 AM EDT
St. Francis Catholic Church
The family will greet friends staring at 10am.
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
The Friends and Family of Dominic and Margaret Conklin University of South Florida Health Byrd Alzheimer's Institute
Atten Holly Lisle; 12901Bruce B. Downs Blvd, MDC70
Tampa, Florida 33612
Charity of one's choice
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Margaret 'Peggy' Jeanne (Burns) Conklin was born on 10/31/1923 in Livingston County on a farm outside of Howell, Michigan to Raymond and Marguerite (McCluskey) Burns - she was the 2nd of 8 children. Raymond was a distant relative of Robert Burns, a famous author from Scotland. Marguerite McCluskey (Kinney) was the daughter of Irish parents.
In order of birth, Helen (Young), Margaret, James, Donald, Joseph, Bernadine (Fry), Janice (Darrow, now Hoffius) and David were born to Raymond and Marguerite Burns.
Peggy was of Scotch and Irish descent and was proud of her heritage.
Raymond and Marguerite were living in Howell, Michigan and Raymond was the foreman on the McPherson Farms which included dairy and agriculture - farming operations. They provided milk for the Dunn Brothers dairy for many years in Livingston County.
When Peggy was 8 years old on the McPherson farm, she jumped up on the back of the tractor with her father; but she fell off the tractor (with iron lug tires) when it hit a bump and her hip/leg was accidently run over after she fell. Miraculously, her leg was saved, although one doctor wanted to amputate. However, her parents insisted that her leg be saved and asked for a new doctor (Dr. Sigler) who was able to preserve her leg without any evidence of a limp or complications. Margaret was not able to attend school for an entire year.
When McPherson Farms ceased its operations, Raymond moved his family to Deerfield Township where he purchased a farm. While Raymond and his sons worked the farm together, Margaret and Helen took care of the chickens (there are stories about the chickens) and helped their mother cooking and cleaning and taking care of their younger sisters and brother. Margaret told us many stories about her picking and forking beans, shocking oats and wheat with her sisters and hauling hay into the barn and stacking bales of hay in the hay mound. Margaret recounted fond memories of picking wild huckleberries and swimming in the Shiawassee river with her brothers and sisters.
After a few years on their own farm, their farmhouse and barn were destroyed by fire, with no insurance. As a result, some of the children were split up as they were placed with relatives in the Ann Arbor area. Margaret attended junior high and the first 2 years of high school in Ann Arbor.
Raymond got a good job being the foreman for another farm outside of Pinckney and was able to unite the children in a house on Unadilla Street. As a result, Margaret attended Pinckney High School and became a star basketball player with Lois Lavey. During high school in Pinckney, on Saturdays, Margaret worked at Lyon's store in Howell, ME where she first met Dominic Conklin who lived in Deerfield Twp on a farm. Margaret graduated from Pinckney High School in 1942, yet she continued her basketball career with an independent basketball team which traveled to different towns in the area.
Peggy worked after high school as an office clerk for Michigan Bell and then for King Seeley in Ann Arbor. Dominic Conklin remembers picking Margaret up for a date from King Seeley.
Dominic Conklin, home on leave from the Army Air Corps, re-kindled his interest in beautiful Margaret by asking her out for dinner and dancing in 1943. During dinner, Margaret stated to Dom, "isn't it amazing that after all this time, you do not have a girlfriend and I do not have a boyfriend". Dominic was encouraged and continued to date Margaret during the next two weeks. And that was the beginning of their future together. On January 13, 1945, Dominic Conklin and Margaret Burns were married at Langley Field, Virginia. Helen Young was the maid of honor and Charles Conklin was the best man in a small ceremony attended by their parents.
One month later, 1st Lt. Dominic was issued orders to be stationed with the 5th Army Air Corps Squadron as a Navigator in the Philippines. Dominic continued his assignment flying as a Navigator on B-24s in the Pacific campaign with the Army Air Corps until March, 1946.
While Dominic was serving in World War II, their first child (Katherine Marie), was born on November 30, 1945. Margaret received love and support during her pregnancy from her parents and siblings, while her husband was serving our country.
After the war, Dominic and Peggy moved to a home for two years in downtown Pontiac while working as an hourly employee for Fisher Body. Dom and Peggy moved to White Lake, (phone number was Mutual 48847) outside of Milford in 1948. Dom and Peggy borrowed a boat to go fishing. Every time Dom dropped anchor and Peggy threw in her line and didn't catch anything, she told Dom that there were no fish here and insisted on moving to a new spot. Dom rowed all around the lake that day and they never did catch anything. Margaret explained the reason, "because there aren't any fish in this lake".
While living at White Lake, Donald Edward, Thomas Raymond and William Michael were born in 1948,1949 and 1950. In 1951, Dom built a house with the help of Peggy's brothers at 31925 Alameda in Farmington - phone number 1862M. Dom and Peggy with the help of Kay and Donnie worked together to unload bricks from a delivery truck. Constance Jeanne was born in 1953 at the Farmington home.
Dominic continued to be promoted within Fisher Body over the years as he worked with diligence and enthusiasm. Dominic was transferred to Grand Rapids, MI in 1955 as the head of the Engineering Dept. Peggy packed up the 5 kids and made arrangements to catch the train to Grand Rapids from Pontiac... she didn't say much as to how challenging that must have been.
Dom and Peggy moved to a home at 1450 Millbrook Street where Peggy loved the backyard. Peggy saw that she could plant many flowers in the terraced flower beds and the children recall how many days were spent weeding the flower beds and picking petunias - Peggy's favorite. On many occasions, the family could not leave for vacation or visit their cousins until the petunias had been plucked.
Peggy was a Cub Scout den mother for each of her sons and had her hands full with 5 children. When Connie started in the first grade, Margaret worked part-time at Jacobson's in Grand Rapids and the kids remembered receiving nice clothes. Margaret also volunteered in the school and in the church. Peggy packed the dishes and the household items again as the family moved from Millbrook to 2305 Plymouth St in Grand Rapids, where the kids could walk to school and the boys had a large paper route, and Connie helped out as she got older. Peggy was instrumental in modeling and encouraging her children to live a life of good character, manners, respect and responsibility.
A significant memory for the family came after Peggy had purchased her father's 1955 Chevrolet in 1962 and drove it beyond its life expectancy. The first instance occurred when she turned into the school/church and the wheel fell off the car and the axle was on the ground. In the midst of the excitement, the local priest pleaded with her to move that car as it was blocking the entrance. The second instance occurred while Peggy was driving and the two headlights fell right out onto the street. The police told Peggy: “It does not matter if it was your father's car, it's time you take it to the junk yard.”
Dom and Peggy cheered their sons and daughters while they played sports during their school years and participated in plays and dances. Of particular remembrance, Kay was picked for the annual church play (fund-raising event) in a major role where she danced the Charleston to the glee and joy of Dom and Peggy. All of the family attended for 3 straight nights to watch and "had to get dressed up".
The family recalls very fond memories of camping (from the U.P. to the Dakotas, to Quebec and many places in between), swimming and fishing together for two weeks of every summer in August while growing up in Grand Rapids. Packing the car, pitching the tent and getting the car unloaded and gathering wood for the fire, playing catch or pepper or "high-fly" were typical activities. While pitching the tent, Kay would always go into the canvas tent first with dad with the long center pole as Don and Tom and Bill would hold the sides. Everyone got to know the routine and then Don took over for Kay. On one camping trip to Canada, the kids remember Peggy kissing her last $20.00 goodbye to purchase groceries while on the road.
On Sundays while living in Grand Rapids, the family would spend the day at Holland State Park making brunch on the beach at tables along the channel. We would spend time watching the large motor and sail boats travel out and return from Lake Michigan. We would spend this time with Helen and Jack Young and their children. The families would swim, play pepper, throw footballs and go on walks in the sand dunes throughout the day. Many fond memories of watching Dom and Peggy cook breakfast, laugh, talk and walk together on hikes continue to this day.
Peggy had such a kind heart towards everyone. One example occurred when the magazine salesman knocked on her door, she purchased 2 subscriptions for magazines which she didn't really want. Peggy's response was, "well Dom I am sorry but I didn't know how to tell them no".
Another time, at church she heard a missionary from Africa ask for money to help the poor people in Africa. Peggy reached into her purse and took the milk money and after asking Dom, she gave it in the collection. She had to tell the milkman the following day that she could not pay him that week but that she would catch up over the next two weeks. Dom got a promotion that week and Peggy was able to catch up quickly.
Dom and Peggy were transferred by Fisher Body to Tecumseh, MI where they moved into a small house and 8 months later moved into the Sage house where they lived for three (3) years. Of course, Peggy did the packing of dishes, household items again to co¬ordinate the moves. (Have you been counting how many times Peggy agreed to move and had to orchestrate the move?) While in Tecumseh, Dom was promoted to Plant Manager. Thereafter, Dom was transferred as Plant Manager back to Grand Rapids where they moved into a house at 2655 Golfridge SE. (Another move)
Dom and Peggy were getting ready to retire so they built a house on Northboro St (another move which Peggy thought was her last) in Grand Rapids intending to live their golden years in this house. Fisher Body had different plans as they asked Dom and Peggy to move to El Paso, TX in order for Dom to manage the Fisher Body plant in Juarez, Mexico. They lived in El Paso for three years and moved back to Plymouth, MI where Dom finished his Fisher Body career at the Livonia plant after 43 years.
In May, 1984, Dom and Peggy moved to a house on Long Lake in Traverse City, MI where they lived until 1996. Many memories of swimming, fishing, boating as Dom and Peggy would take numerous pontoon boat rides with their grandchildren around Long Lake in the cool of the evening. Memories of playing cards on the porch and putting the dock in and taking out the dock would fill their house with much laughter.
In 1985 Dom and Peggy purchased a double-wide at Terra Siesta retirement community in Ellenton, Fl and lived each winter in Florida until 2009. Dom and Peggy shared much time and many memories with Tom and Nadja and many friends during their months in Florida each year.
In 1996, Dom and Peggy moved into their condominium in Cedar Creek Commons off Cherry Bend Road.
Dom and Peggy travelled together every year after their children were grown up and left the nest. They travelled to Ireland, Italy and France, Israel, Alaska, Yugoslavia, Mexico, and a cruise to the Yucatan Peninsula with all of their children and grandchildren for their 50th wedding anniversary. Recently, they travelled together to their granddaughter's wedding in Cancun, Mexico in 2009.
Margaret Jeanne (Burns) Conklin, age 90, of Traverse City, passed away peacefully on March 13, 2014, at Orchard Creek Supportive Care Facility in Traverse City, Michigan.
“Peggy” graduated from Pinckney High School in 1942 and married Dominic E. Conklin, on January 13, 1945 at Langley Field, Virginia. Margaret is survived by her loving husband of 69 years, Dominic. She is also survived by her five children: Kay (James) Conklin Beattie, Don (Meg Ashcroft) Conklin, Tom Conklin, Bill (Diane) Conklin, and Connie (Steve) Vorenkamp; 15 grandchildren: Kathleen, Jim, Don, Jeff and Craig Conklin; Corinne, Kevin, Kelly and Chris Vorenkamp; Nadja Conklin; Ryan, Caleb, Casey, Briana and William Conklin; and 15 great-grandchildren.
Margaret was the second of eight children. She was preceded in death by her parents and siblings, Helen Young, Bernie Fry, Janice Hoffius, Jim Burns and Donald Burns. She loved her family and spending time with each of them. Her faith and commitment to God brought her comfort and strength throughout her life. She will be remembered for her kindness, love, chocolate chip cookies and card playing by her family and friends.
Margaret was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s more than 17 years ago. The love and care from her husband, Dom, was so significant that Margaret was able to live at home with him for most of that time. Ann Gardner’s loving assistance in their home and the tender care that Margaret received from the staff at Orchard Creek Supportive Care Facility are deeply appreciated.
Memorials can be sent to the fund established for The Friends and Family of Dominic and Margaret Conklin at the University of South Florida Health Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute, Attention: Holly Lisle, 12901 Bruce B. Downs Blvd, MDC70, Tampa, FL 33612, or to an organization of your choice.
Visitation will be held 4pm to 7pm Monday, March 17, 2014 at the Life Story Funeral Home, Traverse City. A scripture service will be held at 6:30pm.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held 11am, Tuesday, March 18, 2014 at St. Francis Catholic Church. The family will greet friends at church one hour prior. Please visit Margaret's webpage at www.lifestorynet.com to sign the guest book and share a message or memory with her family.