Leonard J. Konkol, 93
Leonard J. Konkol, born August 29, 1921, on the family homestead in the Town of Stockton, Portage County, Wisconsin, died Friday morning August 29, 2014, his 93rd birthday, at Portage County Healthcare Center in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. He was a resident there for the past 7 years.
A Mass of Christian Burial for Leonard will be held at 11:00 AM on Wednesday September 3, 2014 at St. Stanislaus Catholic Church. Rev. Thomas Lindner will officiate. Burial will be in the Guardian Angel Cemetery. Friends and family will gather to share memories from 5:00 -7:00 PM on Tuesday at the Shuda Funeral Chapel. A General Rosary will be prayed for Leonard at 7:00 PM at the funeral chapel. Visitation will also be from 10:00 – 10:45 AM on Wednesday at the church.
Leonard was the eighth of nine children born to Augustana (Stoltz) and Joseph Konkol. Leonard received his formal education a St. Mary of Mount Carmel Catholic School in Fancher, Wisconsin. Growing up in a strong polish tradition, he quickly acquired English language skills in the first few years of formal school. He advanced rapidly in learning so that he skipped third grade. Because of pressing family financial needs, his formal education ended with eighth grade graduation.
Leonard worked on the family farm for many years. He, along with his brothers became known for the ability to fix and repair both new and old machinery. This ability portended his engineer’s mentality of analyzing and fixing life’s challenges evident throughout his life.
Leonard’s varied employment included ice harvesting, factory work at Allis-Chalmers and truck driving. As a Teamster he drove truck for over thirty years for various companies including Dahlman Trucking, Moland Brothers and Glendenning Motor Ways (GMW), earning a recognition plaque for one million miles without an accident. Post retirement employment included seasonal work at Del Monte, maintenance work at Stevens Point Country Club and driving vehicles for local car dealerships.
Leonard married Regina Patoka on November 4, 1944 at St. Mary’s of Mount Carmel Catholic Church in Fancher. The newly married couple settled in Stevens Point, where he lived the rest of his life. They were blessed with seven children, fourteen grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Leonard was a devoted family man, gregarious and talkative, with time for many. For relaxation, he enjoyed fishing, and train-plane watching. He particularly relished pulling the perch from Lake Huron in Plainfield and hand-sized bluegills from the depths of their spawning beds in spring, as well as suckers from the Plover River and white bass from the Wolf River. He also made several trips with his sons to the Boundary Water Canoe Area Wilderness in northern Minnesota where he canoed, camped, and fished. Never venturing far from his farming roots, Leonard was an avid gardener. Every year, he faithfully tended a large produce and fruit garden. He raised many vegetables as well as strawberries, raspberries and blueberries, always sharing the bounty with family and friends. He also enjoyed picking blueberries in Dewey Marsh, blackberries in the Town of Stockton and cherries in Door County.
Leonard exhibited an inquisitive intellect throughout his life. He enjoyed discussing current events and geographical interests. His children’s achievements were a source of pride with a nurse (Diane), an engineer (David), a government innovator (Ron), an attorney (Robert), a successful business man (Mark), medical doctors: Richard MD & Gary MD. During his 7 year residence at the Portage County Home, Leonard warmed staff and visitors with a heartfelt greeting, a delightful smile, and an unmatched wit.
During his marriage and retirement, travel included trips to Mexico, Canada, Hawaii, Arizona, California, Oregon, Alaska, Arkansas, Michigan, Massachusetts, Florida, Washington D.C., Boston and North Carolina. He also fulfilled a long time dream and lifetime fascination with trains on an Amtrak train trip to the west coast.
Leonard is survived by his children: Richard (Sherry Angel), Portland, Oregon; Diane (David) Thiel, Racine; Ron (Deborah), Madison; Robert (Margaret), Stevens Point; David (Sally), Wausau; Gary, Hudson; Mark (Michelle), Stevens Point. 14 grandchildren: Jonathon (Meg), Margaret, Brad (Liza), Brian (Danielle), Emily (Chris) Youn, Carolyn (Dan), Aaron (Sarah), Anne, Kate, Leah, Aly (Dan) Pensinger, Tessa, Jack, and Eric, and 4 great-grandchildren: John David, Kate, Brady, and Addison Youn. His sisters and brother-in-law: Genevieve Shulfer, Lorraine Buza, Erwin Patoka, Marie Konkol, Jeanette Patoka, and many dear nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Regina in 2012, and siblings: Laura Glodowski, Edward, Agnes (Sister Juliette), Emily Glodowski, Lillian Sopa, Joan Patoka, Raymond and Alfred.
In lieu of flowers, memorials to St. Stanislaus Kostka Church Congregation are appreciated.
Leonard’s family wishes to express their appreciation to the staff at the Portage County Health Care Center for 7 years of wonderful care and friendship, faithful neighbors Ed and Pat Bohanski and family, and whoever else enriched Dad’s life.
Online condolences may be sent by visiting www.shudafuneral.com