Orrin LeVerne Conklin was born April 21, 1942, to Reverend & Mrs. Claude L. Conklin, in Huron, South Dakota. He was the second of four boys, growing up in a pastor’s home. The family lived and ministered in several different places throughout Montana and South Dakota. He graduated from high school in Sioux Falls, class of 1960.
He attended college for one year at North Central Bible College in Minneapolis, Minnesota where he met the girl that would capture his heart, Marjean. They spent a lot of time together with a group of friends, and developed a friendship over the years.
After his time at North Central Bible College, and then Sioux Falls College, he enlisted in the Army Reserves. Orrin completed his basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, and finished his six-year commitment in the reserves. To know Orrin is to know that he loved God, his wife and family, and his country. He considered it an honor to serve his country.
Orrin and Marjean married on June 4, 1966. In the early years of their marriage, Orrin worked as a natural gas pipeline inspector. This line of work required they travel from job to job, so they purchased a travel trailer. They welcomed a daughter, Carrie, and a son, Kelly, into their family. As the kids grew and began school, Orrin and Marjean decided to make a career change. They wanted to own some land and put down roots. In April 1980, they purchased a little country general store in Marion, Montana. The store was sold in 1986, and the family moved to Kalispell, Montana.
Church was very important to the Conklin family, and they found a church home at Kalispell Christian Center upon their arrival in Montana. Orrin worked construction for a period of time after the store was sold, and the job on which he worked was to build the current location of what is now known as Canvas Church. The family was very active in the church, and Orrin served as an usher, a board member, the Royal Rangers Senior Commander, and served on the building committee. He was also able to take several missions trips to Senegal, Africa.
After the construction project was finished, Orrin returned to pipelining, and traveled for work. The family in Kalispell so that Carrie and Kelly could finish out their schooling with stability. Orrin would make long road trips back to be with the family as often as he could. After Kelly graduated high school in 1993, Orrin and Marjean moved to Casper, Wyoming – a more central location for work.
Orrin will be most remembered for his faith, kindness toward all, compassion and love. He lived his life in such a way that Jesus’ love shone through to all whose path he crossed.
Orrin is preceded in death by parents Claude and Genevieve Conklin, brother Dean Conklin, sister-in-law Marlene Jacobsen, niece Kathy Boyd, and great-niece Karissa Bates, along with several aunts and uncles. He is survived by his loving bride Marjean, and two children, Carrie (Steve) Whitney of Olive Branch, MS and Kelly (Heidi) Conklin of Kalispell, MT; three grandchildren - Selah Grace, Jantzen Orrin, and Aliyah Joy of Kalispell, MT; two brothers, Morris (Jackie) Conklin of Bismarck, ND, and Kevin (Twila) Conklin of Sergeant Bluff, IA; and numerous nieces and nephews: Kaye Bates, Blane Conklin, Grant Conklin, Mason Conklin, Carter Conklin, Caleb Conklin, Zachary Conklin, Tiffany Mead, and Tasha Conklin.
Donations and memorials in honor of Orrin Conklin, in lieu of flowers, may be made to the Glacier Bible Camp by mail: c/o Montana Ministry Network, 2147 Overland Ave, Suite 100, Billings, Montana 59102, or online at: www.glacierbiblecap.org/give.
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