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Konschuh, Harry John

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Konschuh, Harry John
Ann Arbor, MI
Age 75, died at home with his family present on Wednesday, November 26, 2008, after a two-year illness. Harry was born on June 16, 1933, son of Adam and Lydia Konschuh, on their farm near Cluny, Alberta, Canada. He graduated in 1959 with a B. Ed. and received a M.A. (Physics) for Teachers from Michigan State University in 1960. Harry pursued additional studies in higher education at the University of Kansas and Western Michigan University. Harry taught Physics and Mathematics at Red Deer Composite High School in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada, and at Lake Michigan College in Benton Harbor, MI. He served consecutively as Dean of Arts and Sciences, Dean of Instruction and Vice President of Instruction at Lake Michigan College before coming to Washtenaw Community College (WCC) in Ann Arbor, MI, in 1972. At WCC Harry served as Dean of Employee Relations for six years and Executive Vice President and VP of Finance and Administration from 1978 until his retirement in 1994. Harry's financial stewardship prepared WCC for the challenges of the 21st century. Harry participated in collective bargaining during his career, acting at different times as negotiator for the faculty and for the administration. At WCC, faculty so respected Harry as a fair and trustworthy bargainer for the college, they made him an honorary faculty member in 1994. After retirement Harry supported WCC as a member of the WCC Foundation Board and as an elected WCC Trustee from 1996 to 2000. From 1994 until 2007, Harry provided consulting and recruitment services to Michigan and Ohio community colleges with his firms Konschuh & Assocs. and Blain Recruiters. Harry was an officer for many state and national community college and labor relations professional associations from which he received several awards for his distinguished service, leadership, and exemplary contributions to public sector labor relations in Michigan. His desire to make education available to qualified students of limited means is evident by his establishment of scholarships at Washtenaw Community College, Wayne State University and Michigan State University. Harry continued his involvement with students in recent years by serving on the Board of the Ecumenical Center and International Residence where he enjoyed participation in community projects with foreign students at the University of Michigan. Harry's love of nature and the outdoors was expressed in many ways. He enjoyed hiking with his wife Del in the Canadian Rockies, snow skiing, cycling, wilderness fishing with his sons, grandsons, and close friends, boating, other water sports and cottage activities. Harry spent several weeks on Sierra Club Service trips in different regions of the U.S., building trails, bridges and camp sites. He planted over 200 evergreen trees on his Highland Lake property in Pinckney, MI, over the last 25 years. Harry was competitive runner and participated in several Dexter-Ann Arbor 10Ks and runs sponsored by community organizations. Surviving Harry are his wife Adella Blain, sons Byron (Lorraine) Konschuh of Lapeer, MI, Larry K. Konschuh of Ann Arbor, MI and Kerry (Stephanie) Konschuh of Chelsea, MI; step-daughter Shauna Scott (James P. Hall) of Wilmette, IL and step-son Andrew Scott of Santa Monica, CA; grandchildren Brandon Konschuh, Colin and Ethan Konschuh, Mackenzie and Maxwell Konschuh; and step-grandchildren Marissa and Riley Hall. Harry's sisters Evelyn Gish, Viola Stienke, Mildred (Arnold) White and brother Stanley (Haddie) Konschuh survive. Harry was a favorite uncle to several nieces and nephews. The extended Anthony LaRocca family of Ann Arbor, relatives by marriage, held Harry dear. Many will remember Harry's strong handshake and bear hug, his warm and welcoming hospitality, and his generosity. Harry will be missed for his enthusiasm and love of life, his keen wit, his loving companionship, his intellectual curiosity, and his adventurous spirit. A memorial service will be held on Sunday, December 7 at 2 p.m. at the Morris Lawrence Building at Washtenaw Community College. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Washtenaw Community College Foundation or the Ecumenical Center and International Residence.