Cover photo for Ronald Henry Konzak's Obituary
Ronald Henry Konzak Profile Photo
Ronald

Ronald Henry Konzak

d. June 16, 2008

74, "Bard of Bainbridge Island," died of cancer, June 16, 2008, peacefully and surrounded by family, friends, songs and prayers at his Island home.Ron was the son of Stephanie and Nicholas Konzak. He was born and raised within Detroit's Polish American community, schools and First Polish Spiritualist Church. He spoke Polish before English. After high school, he attended pretigious Henry Ford Trade School learning technical drawing and tool and die making. He studied architecture at Wayne State University and Lawrence Institue of Technology. He became a U. S. Air Force radio mechanic in charge of a radar homing station for a year in a Korean village learning Korean and Chinese.He married Rita Boutet in 1959 and with their son, Alex, moved to Bainbridge Is. in 1965. In 1968, as a folk musician, he toured Europe with Seattle's Koleda Dance troupe. He worked for architecture firms in Seattle commuting by bicycle - the only bike on the ferry at that time. Later on the Island, he worked with architect John Rudolph. Nobody took coffee breaks in John's office. They took music breaks! For many years, Ron and John led the Island's spontaneous Scotch Broom parades.In a 1969 resume, Ron described himself as a person "...who cultivates architecture, design, music, musical instruments, ethnomusicology, painting, woodworking, carpentry, electricity, plumbing, windmills and Eskimo kayaks - and nurtures his little boy, his bamboo patch, 0.6 acres of Scotch Broom, his mind, his soul, and his workshop ...under God, if he wants to...and by God, does!"Before Bainbridge Is. Television (BITV) or Bainbridge Broadcasting (BIB) for which he was once board chair, Ron began an effort to establish local public radio or TV. In the 1970's, he tried to bring KRAB-FM to Bainbridge to use the Navy's surplus 830'-high transmitter tower at Battle Point so, as Gandhi espoused, "... music of all cultures might flow into everyone's home."During the 1970's Boeing recession, Ron with architects Paul Pierce and Bob Dalrymple became "Pierymplezak," a classic rock band soon hired by Heidelberg Brewery to tour state festivals. When the geoduck industry was pioneered, he helped create "The Gooeyduck Song" recorded by the band in English and Japanese. Pierymplezak recently produced a CD, "Just Add Water."In the early 1980's, Ron formed the Irish folk trio, "Pratai' ("Potato"). Ron, wife Mickey, (they were married in Scotland), Seamus Wegner, T. J. and Charlie Faddis bercame "Islanders 5," specializing in Celtic music. Ron and Mickey performed Scottish and other ballads as "Foggy Notions" hosting an annual Bobby Burns Night celebration. He helped host annual Oktoberfest BIB fund raisers performing with wife, Mickey, and John Rudolph as "Katzenjammer," a yodelling trio. Konzak blessed many weddings, anniversaries and funerals with solos on harp and bagpipe.In north Seabold, be created a 24'-high harp Wind Harp. Another was created of aluminum in Missouri, first for the St. Louis, Science Center and now on a park trail for the visually impaired in Blind Boone Park near Kansas City. Konzak's design was selected for the Island's largest outdoor performance venue - Winslow Waterfront Park's "Ship Stage".Konzak helped create the shanty "Virginia V Song" and "The Mochi Song" celebrating the Island's Japanese New Year Mochi Tsuki. He wrote Lifegraph to help folks on a path of self-discovery, The Book of Ramen to teach folks how to use their noodle, Across Puget Sound, a tour guide of Kitsap and Olympic Peninsulas, and Prohousing, his unpublished ideas and designs for minimal housing. One such sits behind the Port Madison Lutheran Church parsonage.The Island landscape has many custom homes Ron designed and built . He specialized in traditional farm house designs, Japanese-style buildings, solar efficient contemporary homes, and miniature homes for every budget. His traditional Japanese house became Furinoka Futon & Breakfast and earned Ron and Mickey "Kitsap Innkeepers on the Year 2001."Most inspirational has been Ron's association with Bainbridge Island's Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist Temple. He designed and helped build it! He also designed a Peace Pagoda or stupa for the order who have built over 72 around the world including three on the U. S. East Coast. Ron returned to Asia and traveled throughout Japan researching Peace Pagodas and more recently, another in London's Battersea Park. He long dreamed of the West Coast's first Peace Pagoda atop Mt. Walker or on a Puget Sound headland such as Bill Point or Restoration Point. He knew that the most important monument to peace is each human heart.Ron's passion and enthusiasm for creativity in all forms inspired many.Ron is survived by his wife, Michele Ann "Mickey" Molnaire; his son, Alex Sebastian Konzak, Concord, MI; and a sister, Elaine Chalom, Lavonia, MI. He was preceded in death by his second wife, Betsy Pierson.Memorial services will be 2 PM, Thursday, June 19 at the Bainbridge Island Nipponzan Myohoji Temple, 6154 Lynwood Center Road. Friends will also host a celebration of Ron's life starting at 2 PM, Sunday, June 22 at Seabold Hall on Komedal Road north of Hidden Cove Road from Highway 305.Remembrances may be made to the Bainbridge Is. Nipponzan Myohoji Temple, 6154 Lynwood Center Rd., B. Is., WA 98110; Hospice of Kitsap County, PO Box 3416, Silverdale WA 98383; and BITV, POB 10449, B. Is., WA 98110.

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