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F. DANIEL LARKIN, 1938-2015

Funeral Tuesday For Retired Provost,

Scholar, Administrator, Civic Leader

F. Daniel Larkin
F. Daniel Larkin

ONEONTA – The funeral mass for retired SUNY Oneonta Provost F. Daniel Larkin, 76, who died Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015, at Fox Hospital, will be at 10:15 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 6, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church.  Calling hours will be 6-8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 5, at the Lester R. Grummons Funeral Home, 14 Grand St.

Daniel Larkin, Dan to all who knew him, left this world a better place on Oct. 1, 2015. Dr. Larkin was born in Rome on Oct. 27, 1938, to Francis Larkin and Francis Pliniski. He spent his youth in Rome, on the banks of the Erie Canal, which would feature prominently in his future.

Upon graduating from Rome Free Academy, he began his long-term association with the SUNY College system. He took great pride in his BS in education from SUNY Brockport, his MS in Social Studies and his MA in history from SUNY Albany, where he also earned his doctorate in 1976.

In 1965, he began what would be a career of 50 years at SUNY Oneonta. Dan held many positions, but he was most proud of his title of professor. He began as a professor of history, teaching many courses including one in New York State history.

Beginning in 1981, he served as History Department chair for six years.  In 1987, he became interim associate vice chancellor for academic programs for SUNY System Administration in Albany.  In 1990-95 he again served as department chair. In 1995, he became SUNY Oneonta dean of academic support services.

In 1999, he was named interim provost and vice president for academic affairs, and was confirmed in that post in 2002.

While in administration he continued following his passion of teaching, winning the SUNY-wide rank of Distinguished Service Professor, the highest honor in the SUNY system.

He also published many books, including “John B. Jervis: An American Engineering Pioneer,” “New York State Canals: A Short History,” and “Pioneer American Railroads: The Mohawk & Hudson and Saratoga & Schenectady.” He also contributed articles to text books and other publications.

Dan also was a commentator for the History Channel Video about the Erie Canal and also for a PBS video entitled “The Natural Corridor: New York’s Transportation History”.

Dr. Larkin often contributed to his community and was the first treasurer and a member of the Board of Directors for SUNY Oneonta Children’s Center, Inc. He was a member of the state Board of Tourism commissioners, responsible for the original “I Love NY” campaign. He enjoyed teaching college-level history courses at Medical Coaches.

In his discipline, he contributed to many organizations, including the Albany Institute of History & Art, Canal Society of New York State, Greater Oneonta Historical Society, New York State Historical Association, Oneida County Historical Society and Society for the History of Technology.

When Dan wasn’t working he was an avid collector. He enjoyed collecting and showing antique cars. He took pride in his collection of guns and coins. He was an outdoorsman and continued to cut his own wood up until his illness stopped him. Dan had a wealth of knowledge and was always generous with it, with story after story. He was a loving husband, a wonderful father, and a proud grandfather.

He is survived by his loving, supportive wife of 50 years, Grace Larkin, his eldest daughter Katherine Larkin, her husband Steve Showers and children Molly and James and his youngest daughter Susan Gillette, her husband Brian, and their children Kendall and Peyton, his brother Richard Larkin, his wife Geri, and their children Robert and Kelly, and cousins Don and Cindi Pliniski.

During his illness he was supported by many close friends and colleagues, including his frequent visitors Alan Donovan and Art Dauria. Dan was grateful for all the years that he had and made the most of every opportunity! He touched the lives of students, colleagues, friends and family helping to encourage the best in every individual.

Following Tuesday’s mass, interment will be in Mount Calvary Cemetery, Emmons.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Dan’s memory to the College at Oneonta Foundation for the Dr. F. Daniel and Grace E. Larkin Scholarship, and mailed to the Office of College Advancement, SUNY Oneonta, 308 Netzer Administration Building, Oneonta, NY 13820.

Condolences to the family may be made online by visiting our website:

Arrangements are by the Lester R. Grummons Funeral Home of Oneonta.



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