Sally A. Konnak
Sally Ann Konnak, passed away on April 30, 2022. She was born on February 20, 1934, Sally was the second daughter of Harold A. Konnak and Peggy (Mabel) Boltz Konnak; her older sister was Nancy Joanne Konnak Schofield.
Sally is survived by her nephew, Christopher Schofield and his family, her niece, Jennifer Schofield; her cousin, Ken Schmidt and his wife Carole Schmidt, and many dear friends.
The University of Wisconsin played both educator and employer to Sally, who graduated with a degree in German, then later worked in International Studies at UW La Crosse. Sally was fluent in German and researched for UW, the Friends Society and the Free Congregation of Sauk County. She wrote a 150-page manuscript entitled “The Boltzes of Bakertown” detailing the immigration of the Boltz family from Bavaria. Sally contributed to the Max Kade German American Studies at the University of Wisconsin for historical preservation of German culture in Louisiana, where she lived in the late 1970’s.
She loved Wisconsin’s marshes and the water fowl nesting areas; she was part of the movement to teach whooping cranes to migrate safely from Necedah in central Wisconsin behind ultralight aircraft to wintering grounds in Florida. Her 2006 Christmas card featured her hand-drawn artwork of two adult whoopers and their offspring, with the caption, ”First Family – the whooping cranes made it to Florida as a family on their own. Parents are from 2002.” Survival of the whooping crane as a healthy migrating species raised her to some of her most heartfelt artistic expressions.
Sally also had a lifelong appreciation for government and its power to change circumstances; she avidly supported the Democratic party. When she lived in Denver, Colorado in the early 1970’s, Sally worked for the Equal Housing Commission to ensure that housing was rented on an equal basis to all deserving applicants. Sally leaves behind a strong and creative community in the arts and conservation movements. She was also an avid fan of the Green Bay Packers.
Sally was a student of calligraphy, watercolor and pen and ink drawings, inspired by the natural world in Louisiana, California, Colorado and Wisconsin. She won first place at a UW poetry contest, with Traces, an excerpt:
Where in the thicket of memories
Of hawthorne, alder and willow trees
Backwater where the river hushes
Catbirds mewing among the rushes
From her time in Boulder, Colorado:
The moon popped up
In a red-orange dress,
Snagged on a pine,
catching here on a twig, there on a bough,
Tearing her gown. …
Then she disrobed
And leaped out naked across the sky,
The mountain white with her radiance,
And her perfect round reflection
In the dark eye of a deer.
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