Obituaries » W. Lee Konken

W. Lee Konken

June 3, 1953 - June 7, 2019

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W. Lee Konken, 66, a resident of Fort Myers, FL since 2012, formerly of Park Ridge, IL, passed away Friday, June 7, 2019 in Fort Myers, FL. He was born June 3, 1953 in Omaha, NE to Wendel Konken, now deceased, and Viola Weatherwax.

Lee was a gentle and kind-hearted man of the Lutheran faith.  He always tackled the next moment without fear.  No job was too big, but just another challenge to be met and seized.  He encouraged others around him to take risks, embrace opportunities and live life to the fullest.  Lee left a lasting legacy in his children, all four whom have grown up to be amazing people.  You can see his spirit in their dedication to their children, spouses, jobs and adventures.

Most of Lee’s early life was spent in Niobrara, Nebraska where his mother still resides.  He graduated from Niobrara Public High School in 1971 where he proudly still holds the record for long jump at 21’6”.  Lee eventually relocated to Park Ridge, Illinois where he met his devoted wife, Sandy, and started a career as a manager at Hines Lumber.  Soon after, he was able to accomplish his dream of owning his own business, a kitchen and bath design store in uptown Park Ridge.  His next venture, Konken Construction, utilized his skills in building beautiful, custom homes in the area.  One of his favorite projects was designing and building a home for his family on Murphy Lake.  He spent many great years there fishing, boating, ice skating and watching Fourth of July fireworks with his wonderful neighbors and friends.  When he wasn’t enjoying time on the lake, he was rooting for his favorite sports team, The Chicago Cubs, or traveling.  Lee’s favorite place to visit was Maui, Hawaii. Fate eventually led him to Fort Myers, Florida where Lee enjoyed the coastal lifestyle and founded Red Key Realty.  He always enjoyed mango season and the multitude of family and friends that came to visit him in the Sunshine State.

He is survived by his loving wife of 34 years, Sandra Konken of Fort Myers, FL; mother Viola Weatherwax of Niobrara, NE; four children, Andrea Spanier (Daniel) of Aurora, IL, Eric Konken (Mary) of Plainfield, IL, Kara Ackley (Greg) of Fort Myers, FL and Noel Konken of Fort Myers, FL; one sister, Patty McElhaney (Rick) of Waterloo, IA; two brothers, Bob Konken (Carol) of Patterson, NY, and John Konken (LeAnn) of Stockbridge, GA; one brother-in-law Terry (Karen) Schaefer of Winter Haven, FL; four grandchildren, Connor, Mia, Maggie and Kate; as well as many aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.

A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date during the month of July in Niobrara, NE and Park Ridge, IL.

In lieu of flowers Memorial Contributions in memory of W. Lee Konken are suggested to Hope Hospice of Fort Myers or the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge in Tampa Florida. Donations can be mailed to Hope Hospice at: 9470 Healthpark Cir., Fort Myers, FL 33908 Or made online at:  https://donate.hopehcs.org

Donations can be mailed to the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge at: 12810 USF Magnolia Drive, Tampa, FL 33612. *Checks should be made out to the American Cancer Society and memo should include: Restricted:  Tampa Hope Lodge.

Mullins Memorial Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Cape Coral, is entrusted with final care.