Editors Note: Although I never met him, John Konitzer was a east coast off road racing legend. His smile and friendly attitude was well known, as was his win over Walker Evans in ” a junkyard motor and half bald tires”. Farmer John will truly be missed in the short course racing world.
John A. “Farmer John” Konitzer, 72, Abrams, died Saturday, July 09, 2011 at St. Mary’s Hospital in Green Bay following complications from atrial fibrillation which happened at home four days earlier. The 2nd of 15 children, he was born October 2, 1938 in Oconto Falls to George and Irene (Van Haren) Konitzer. John grew up on the family farm in rural Oconto Falls where he attended St. Anthony Catholic Elementary School and graduated from Oconto Falls High School with the class of 1957.
On August 22, 1959 he married Carol “Cookie” Brokiewicz at St. Casimir Catholic Church in Krakow. Along with his wife, “Farmer John” farmed in the Abrams area for most of his life and was always willing to help out his neighbors. One thing that gave him great pleasure was working his land and watching things grow. John and Cookie adopted their three children as infants who were always loved and made their life complete. John participated in off road racing since the early 1970’s with many of his brothers and followed the series until the time of his sudden death. He also enjoyed fishing, hunting, playing cards, welcoming friends and strangers into his home and being involved in numerous capacities in the Abrams area, including serving as a town supervisor and on the fire department years ago.
Survivors are his wife, Carol “Cookie” Konitzer, Abrams; their three children and their families, Troy (April) Konitzer, their children, Paige and Quinn; Tim (Shannon) Konitzer, their children, Logan, Evan, Justan and Brendan; Amy (Don) Demeny, their children, Cole and Drew; all of Abrams; his 12 siblings, Chester (Barbara) Konitzer, Oconto Falls; Fred (Janice) Konitzer, Gillett; Georgia Grenke, Oconto Falls; Robert (Sherri) Konitzer, Lena; Gary (Cookie) Konitzer, Wausaukee; Norene (Gary) Vorpahl, Oconto Falls; Peter (Barb) Konitzer, Abrams; Blaine (Debbie) Konitzer, Stiles; Phillip (Cheryl) Konitzer, Sam (Cindy) Konitzer, Chris (Bert) Williquette, Curt Konitzer, all of Oconto Falls; two sisters-in-law, Rosie “Tootie” Konitzer, Popple River; Julie Konitzer, Oconto Falls; his mother-in-law, Lorraine Brokiewicz, Green Bay; Cookie’s two brothers, Jim (Mavis) Brokiewicz, Mountain; Charlie (Bonnie) Brokiewicz, CO; numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers, George on October 20, 1991 and Wayne on February 18, 2011, one brother-in-law, Arlin Grenke on March 28, 2011 and his father-in-law, William Brokiewicz.
The Konitzer family would like to thank their good neighbors the first responders, Ray Rybka and Sue Berg; and the entire ICU staff at St. Mary’s Hospital for their kind and considerate actions shown toward John and his entire family.
John will lovingly be remembered as a wonderful husband and father, an amazing grandfather to his eight grandchildren, and a good brother, uncle and friend to many who had a great sense of humor. Because of John’s pride in his family, many neighbors and friends heard the same stories over and over again but never complained!