Joanne J. Konkle, age 83, of Albion followed her husband in death on March 2, 2018 at their home, surrounded by her loving and forever grateful family.
Joanne was born on September 17, 1934 in Detroit to James Preston and Irene Marjorie (Beattie) Cunningham. Her family moved to the Albion area in 1941.
Joanne graduated from Albion Washington Gardner High School, the class of 1953. She continued her education attending Albion College receiving her Bachelor's in Sociology in 1970. She obtained her Master's Degree in Social Work with a Gerontology specialty from Western Michigan University in 1981.
On April 18, 1953, she married Theodore (Ted) Konkle at St. John's Catholic Church in Albion, enjoying a mutually dedicated 65 years of marriage.
Joanne had an active and tireless work history. She was employed with Win Schuler's Restaurant in Marshall from the early 60s through her college graduation. Post-graduation, she began her life of advocacy in social services. First with the Department of Social Services in Albion, moving to the Veteran's Administration in Battle Creek and then as the Administrator of Calhoun County Medical Care Facility (CCMCF). During her 19 years of service at CCMCF, Joanne was a very influential advocate in the creation, development and building of the Marian E. Burch Adult Day Care Center in 1990. Her unequaled standard of elder care was a model adopted by other nursing facilities; the staff at CCMCF knew her footsteps down the hall, determined advocacy for elder respect and care which led to the nickname, "The Little General". Joanne retired from CCMCF in November 2003 receiving a resolution in her name for her work. In anything and everything, Joanne gave it all and then more.
In her retirement, she was an active advocate Board Member of Kambly Living Center, Battle Creek, an untiring and dedicated volunteer with the Calhoun County Senior Millage Allocation Committee, Marshall, the Albion Forks Senior Center, as well as the Marian Burch Adult Day Care Center. In the 1960s, Joanne was a zealous activist for the Michigan Association for Retarded Children (Citizens).
Also in her retirement, Joanne enjoyed her annual family ski trip to Crystal Mountain, summers at Duck Lake, baking and lovingly delivering her baked goods to one and all. She was an avid mystery story reader and crocheted blankets, again, to one and all.
The family remembers Joanne as the matriarch, a loving wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She cherished her family Sunday dinners, all attending left with their own additional "to-go" boxes made with her love. Because of this, one of her great-granddaughters lovingly nicknamed her "Grandma Dinner".
She is survived by her three daughters, Kathi Konkle of St. Petersburg, FL, Kim Konkle of Battle Creek, Laura Konkle of Albion and a son, Lin Konkle also of Albion. She has 6 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren; a sister Marie Stevens of St. Mary's, Ontario, Canada.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Ted, parents, James and Irene, two brothers, Ron and James Cunningham, step-father Russ Miller, a granddaughter, Jesemy Hammontree and a great granddaughter, Hailey Gabriel Konkle.
The family will receive friends on Thursday morning from 10 AM to 11 AM at St. John Catholic Church, 1020 Irwin Ave, Albion, Michigan. A joint Memorial Mass will be held for Joanne and her husband, Theodore at 11 AM at the church with Reverend Fr. Joseph Gray officiating.
Joanne has requested, in lieu of flowers, those who wish to pay tribute to her life and continue her legacy, make memorial contributions to Kambly Living Center or Marian Burch Adult Day Care, both located in Battle Creek. Envelopes are available at the funeral home or you may visit the respective charity's website.To leave a personal message and sign the online guest book, please visit www.kempffuneralhome.com.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Joanne J Konkle, please visit our floral store.