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Harvey Conklin Harvey Conklin
Inducted: 2004 - Graduated:

Harvey Conklin’s name became synonymous with the

Nanuet Black and Gold Club. He joined the organization

in 1965,when his oldest son,Rich, transferred fromAlbertus

Magnus to Nanuet. These were the club’s formative years,

when Ed Berich, Matt Vaccaro, John Poletto, Ralph and

Mary Smith, Harvey Mellion, Frank Bria and others

championed support for athletic participation by Nanuet

male and female students in all sports, not just football as

was standard at the time.

HarveyConklin was, in his sonRich’s words, a “community

servant type of person. He had a wholesome interest in

young people and in sports, as a healthy alternative to

other activities kids might get involved in.” Of course,

Harvey was a big booster of his sons, Rich and Ed, both of

whom were excellent athletes in youth sports and in the Nanuet schools. But his connection with the community

went deeper.

Typical of that devotionwas his involvementwith theNanuet

Babe Ruth League. Over a 10-year period, he served as a

coach, manager, secretary, vice president and president.

He also reached the highest order of achievement in the

Knights of Columbus fraternal organization, becoming a

fourth-degree member and a grand knight in the Joyce

Kilmer Council.

Harvey wasn’t a bad athlete, either. He was a minor league

catcher in the New York Giants organization in the early

1940s, advancing to Double-A ball, butWorldWar II effectively

ended his baseball career.He served in theU.S.Army

during the war, stationed in the Presidio in San Francisco. 

Most longtimeNanuet folks remember Harvey as a person

who repeatedly brought stability to the Black andGoldClub

when it needed a guiding hand. He served as president for

four separate tenures from 1968 thought 1980, each time

spearheading the club’s return to financial health and a

solid base of support.

“He constantly answered the bell,” saysRichConklin. “His

organizational savvy and ability to motivate people helped

to right the ship and keep it afloat after several misvoyages.

He reorganized, rejuvenated and restructured the Black

and Gold Club, and helped it get back on its feet. And he

never lost sight of the fact that it was always for the good of

the kids.”

Harvey remained with the Black and Gold Club until

about 1983. Meanwhile, other stalwarts of the Nanuet

community came forward to maintain the Black and Gold

Club as a support pillar for Nanuet athletics, people like

Herb Johns, Jake and Shari Jacobson and, later, Jerry


Harvey never wavered in his support for Nanuet sports

and young people. In 1989, when he was ailing with a heart

condition, he got a boost of pride every fall Saturday when

the Golden Knights football team – coached by his son

Rich – would shut out another opponent en route to that

magical undefeated, untied, unscored-upon season. "That

team brought chills to him,"Rich remembers. "He couldn’t

fathomit. When I would come home after games that year,

he would ask me, ‘Did we do it?’ I’d say, ‘Yup,’ and he’d


Harvey instituted the concept of a point systemused

to determine Black and Gold Club scholarship

recipients, a system that remains (in modified

form) in place today. For all of his efforts on

behalf of the organization, the award was renamed the

Harvey J. Conklin Scholarship in his memory soon after

his death in 1991 at age 71.Hiswife, Lillian, died of cancer

in 1977 at age 58.

When Rich Conklin thinks about the impact his dad

had on his life, he can’t help but call to mind a

Shakespearean quote that Harvey would always

leave him with. Harvey’s version was in simpler language,

but the passage fromShakespeare’s Hamlet is rendered

as follows: This above all—to thine own self be true,

And it must follow, as the night the day,

Thou canst not then be false to any man.

Harvey’s legacy lives on in his children and their families.

Rich, 55, and his wife, Donna, live in Nanuet and have

four sons: Chris, 30; Sean, 27; Derek, 26; and Ryan, 22.

Ed, 49, lives in Port Jervis with his wife, Caryl, and three

children: James, 22; and twins Caitlyn and Justin, 18.