David Rolland Conkey
Conkey, David Rolland With sad hearts and a deep appreciation for a long full life, we share the passing of David Rolland Conkey of Edina, Minnesota. David died on June 14, 2019 at the age of 96 3/4. He was born on August 22, 1922 in Port Arthur, Canada to the late Charles Rolland & Esther (Seibert) Conkey, both U.S. citizens. The family returned to Minneapolis in 1924. David graduated from Washburn High School in 1940 and attend Colorado College. He graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor's in Mechanical Engineering in 1947, where he was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. David served in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - in the 363rd Regiment, Middle East Command in Iran from 1943 - 45. The regiment worked on building the road to Russia, which served as a supply route to Russia. He was selected for and stood guard duty at the Tehran Conference, the first strategy meeting held between Joseph Stalin, Franklin Roosevelt, and Winston Churchill from November 28th to December 1st, 1943 in Tehran, Iran. David married his college sweetheart Harriet (Wilcox) in 1947, and they made their home in southwest Minneapolis. David was a registered Professional Mechanical and Structural Engineer. Upon his death, he was the oldest and longest credentialed mechanical and the oldest and longest credentialed structural engineer in the state of Minnesota. He worked for Fegles Construction Company and General Mills. In 1956, he founded Conkey and Associates Inc., a consulting engineering firm. The business served industries in commodities, food processing, dust collection, materials handling, and construction review. His company, which designed projects on six continents, was sold in 1988, now absorbed under the Woods Group. David was an active member in professional organizations including being President and Director of Consulting Engineers Council/Minnesota, National Director of American Consulting Engineers Council, and Chairperson of City of Minneapolis Elevator Board of Review. Upon retirement, with the help and companionship of Harriet, he assisted the U.S. Department of Agriculture in evaluating ports in Ireland and Mexico. Later he joined the International Executive Service Corp (IESC) and gave assistance to international businesses as a volunteer executive. This work took David & Harriet to Nizhny Novgorod, Russia (1994), Kropotkin, Russia (1997), and Alexandria, Egypt (1999). David was a member of the Minneapolis Rotary Club #9 for 67 years and received multiple Paul Harris Fellow of International Rotary recognitions. He was a past President of the Minnesota Council of Liberal Churches, Prairie States Unitarian Universalist Conference, and the North Star Unitarian Universalist Conference. He was proud to be the PTA President at Southwest High School in 1970, the year the hockey team won the state tournament. David had an insatiable curiosity and was always learning something new. In a testament to his belief in the importance of life-long learning, David took his final continuing education course to maintain his Professional Engineer credentials in May of this year. David enjoyed gatherings with his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, staying in touch with relatives, and visiting with friends. He had a special love for the family cabin, owned since the 1930s, at the St. Croix River (Pearl Spring Camp). He loved his raspberry patch, crows, bald eagles, playing handball, golfing, traveling the world, fishing and hunting ducks and pheasants, monitoring the water levels of the river, and the family favorite, calling the Barred Owl from the end of the dock. David was preceded in death by his parents; his wife of 68 years Harriet; his brothers George Warren and Frank Conkey; his sister Margaret and brother-in-law Bill Goodwin. He is survived by his sister-in-law Audrey Conkey; four children, Gretchen Shanight (Tom), Martha Voorhies (John), David W. Conkey (Tom Blackmar), & Harriet Worker (Warren); eleven grandchildren, David (Aimee) Shanight, Amanda (Eric) Kuhl, Joel Shanight, Dan (Carilyn) Voorhies, Jill (Jeremy) Martin, Luke (Raeann) Voorhies, Jenny (Nick) Schmerler, Sarah (Sean) O'Brien, Dewey (Heidi) Worker, Ben (Kara) Worker, and James (Karina) Worker; 22 great-grandchildren; numerous cousins; and a boatload of special nieces and nephews and their wonderful children. There will be a gathering in David's honor at The Woman's Club of Minneapolis (410 Oak Grove Street) on Friday, June 21 between 5:00 and 7:00 p.m. In David's memory, donate to the library of your choice, the Edina Foundation or the Minneapolis Foundation, the Honor Flight Network, or another charity of your choice. Washburn-McReavy.com Edina Chapel 952-920-3996
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