Phillip Edward Konechne, 86, of Kimball, SD passed away Thursday, August 8, 2019 at the Sanford Chamberlain Care Center, Chamberlain, SD. Funeral Mass is 10:30 A.M. Monday, August 12, 2019 at St. Margaret’s Catholic Church in Kimball. A Committal Service with Military Honors will follow at St. Margaret’s Catholic Cemetery. Visitation will be held at the church from 5:00 – 7:00 P.M. Sunday, August 11, 2019 with a 7:00 P.M. Wake Service and Rosary.
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Phillip Edward Konechne was born on September 23, 1932 to Edward and Stella (Rybak) Konechne in Kimball, SD. He graduated from Kimball High School in 1950 and was drafted into the US Army in December of 1952. While serving his country during the Korean War in May of 1954, Phil was captured and held a prisoner of war until the armistice was signed. Following the end of the war, he was honorably discharged in September of 1954 and returned home to farm south of Red Lake and Kimball. Phillip was united in marriage to Maxine Mae Chmela on June 20, 1955 at St. Margaret’s Catholic Church in Kimball. They were together over 60 years, until her passing on December 7, 2015.
In 1961they moved into town and he began working for Luke Construction, the Brule County Highway Department and the Kimball Street Department. Phillip purchased a backhoe and trenching business, but then became the local Postmaster for the next 22 years until his retirement. Phillip also served Kimball as a part of the fire department since 1964, an EMT since 1979 and was involved with the ambulance for 36 years. He was a member of the Chamber of Commerce since 1973 and volunteered his time at Kimball’s South Dakota Tractor Museum.
Phillip was an active member of St. Margaret’s Catholic Church, serving as a lector, Eucharistic Minister and rosary leader. He was a lifetime member of the Knights of Columbus – a Fourth Degree Knight for 26 years and ST Officer for 14 years, also a lifetime member of the American Legion, VFW, DAV, Purple Heart and 40 & 8. Phil was a member of the South Dakota and National Korean Veterans Association, National POW and involved with the Special Olympics. He was a skilled mechanic, loved tractors and building things. Phil’s greatest joy in life was being surrounded by his grandchildren and great grandchildren during their visits.
Grateful for having shared in Phillip’s life: three children, six grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren: son, Maynard J. (Patti Lee) Konechne of Kimball, SD and their children: Edward (Samantha) Konechne - Anna Collins and Hattie, Joshua (Sarah) Burnett - Adrianna and Brooklyn, Helen (Cory) Eimers - Dawson and Maverick; daughter, Judy Konechne of Kimball, SD; son, Bill (Patti A.) Konechne of Kimball, SD and their children: Miranda (Chris) Vore – Madelyn and Brecken, Samantha (Ryan) Urban – Trace, Huntley and Rhett, Cynthia (Matt) Peckham – Colt and Lincoln; a sister, Dorothy Pulse of Salem, SD; two sisters-in-law: JoAnne Konechne and Joann Chmela; a brother-in-law, Loren DeJong; a niece, Sandi Warnke and nephew, Michael DeJong that were like grandchildren to them; along with many other nieces and nephews.
Phillip was preceded in death by: his wife, Maxine Konechne; his parents, Edward and Stella Konechne; two brothers: Ernest and Lester Konechne; three brothers-in-law: Duane Pulse, Marvin and Maynard Chmela; two sisters-in-law: Elaine Konechne and Karen DeJong; and a daughter-in-law, Darlene Konechne.
In lieu of flowers, memorials in Phil’s honor may be directed to: Kimball Senior Center, PO Box 255, Kimball, SD 57355 or Drips American Legion Post #130, PO Box 394, Kimball, SD 57355.