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Scott D. Conklin Funeral Home opens in Millerton

MILLERTON — For almost a year, since the Valentine Funeral Home on Park Avenue closed in February 2011, Millerton was without a funeral home of its own. That changed on Jan. 1 when Scott Conklin opened a new funeral home in the former Valentine space, as the Scott D. Conklin Funeral Home. Conklin knows the area and the business well. He worked for 18 years as a funeral director for Larry and Katie House at the Hufcut Funeral Home in Dover Plains.Conklin said he plans to offer community members the same quality of service they received from the Valentine family, which owned and operated their funeral home here for a century.A lifelong resident of Dutchess County, Conklin (who is 38) began his career in 1993 when he entered the mortuary science program at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy. Since then, he has worked for Hufcut.On his birthday in March 2011, Conklin received a call from Dick Valentine, whom he knew professionally, asking if he would be interested in taking over his family’s business, which had been in operation since 1875. Conklin and his wife, Robin, were immediately interested and began the process to transfer the business.Conklin said he is pleased with the support that his former employers have offered during his transition to Millerton. He feels they are great friends, wonderful people and excellent funeral directors. He plans to continue to have a working relationship with them, supporting each other’s businesses as needed. Here in the Tri-state Region, funeral directors work cooperatively and help each other out when needed.Conklin said he has always wanted to own and operate his own funeral home. He has a professional interest in the science of the mortuary business, and he understands the importance of a gentle manner and the power of empathy when working with people at what is often a time of great sadness and stress.Conklin is there to offer support, coping skills and ideas for keeping busy in the days immediately following a death. Conklin is “always on call” through his cell phone, pager and answering service. Another aspect of availability is ensuring that the funeral home is in impeccable condition, at all times. He and his family have put much effort into updating the interior and exterior of the building. The result is a fresh, clean, warm and welcoming environment. Conklin is adding some modern technology to the business for making preparations and creating prayer cards and acknowledgment cards in-house. He also plans to launch a web page for the funeral home.Conklin’s devotion to the community and his profession is also evident in his many volunteer endeavors. He is a 22-year member of the J.H. Ketcham Hose Company in Dover Plains, serving as an interior firefighter, driver and executive officer. Professionally, he is a member of the New York State Funeral Director’s Association and the Dutchess/Putnam/Ulster County Funeral Director’s Association.Although Conklin and his wife live in Dover Plains, the new funeral director is looking forward to becoming an integral part of the Millerton community.“I want the community to have the confidence that we’re here for them, all the time. We’re just a phone call away,” he said. Call 518-592-1500.

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