Chemung County Remembers Connie Milliken
Written By: Renata Stiehl
Milliken Known for his Devotion to Community
ELMIRA (WENY ) -- The Chemung County community is mourning the loss of a well-known public figure today.
Legislative chairman Cornelius "Connie" Milliken died Monday. He served as Legistator of Chemung County's 7th district since 1973; the last nine years as Chairman.
"Community was important to him. And he believed that everyone should do something to make a community a better place to live, and he lived it," said Chemung County Executive Tom Santulli.
It's a word that's synonymous with the name Connie Milliken - community. And it's the community that's remembering the long-time legislator, volunteer, board member, arts supporter, and friend. A man who had a vision for his community, and a drive to consistently improve it.
"He always made community service a priority. And he was one of the early people that was involved in making the Elmira-Corning Regional Airport, which was then the Chemung County Airport, into what it is today," Santulli said.
Over at the Clemens Center, the news of Connie's death is also having an impact. He served on the Board of Trustees for several years, and forged a relationship with the current Executive Director that started with his job interview, and endured for 29 years.
"Connie was about the first person I met in this community. So my professional connection with Connie began at that meeting, and my personal connection with Connie began at that meeting," explains Clemens Center Executive Director Tom Weidemann.
Tom says without Connie Milliken and his vision for his community, the Clemens Center wouldn't be what it is today.
"He will be deeply missed. It's a sad day in a wonderful performing arts center that is wonderful because of Connie Milliken's dream for us all," Weidemann says.
"Connie made a difference. And I think that's the best thing you can say about anybody. Connie's presence in this community made a very positive difference," Santulli said.
Connie leaves behind his wife, Jean, eight children and 19 grandchildren. His funeral arrangements are being handed by McInerny Funeral Home of Elmira.