WILLIAM JEFFREY KONCHAK
Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, May 24, 1947
Mother - Vivian Rhonda Magee
Father – William Daniel Konchak
Married - Robin Arnold, 1978 - Divorced
Married - Rhonda Joy Barg, April 1995
Children - Jamie, Krista, Mariah, Levi
When Jeff was little he would tell everyone that he was born on the 24th ‘to’ May. It was not only a National Holiday but it snowed that day. It was a very special day for the family and probably his sister Laurie’s earliest memory. When Jeff was a baby they would put him in his crib and bring it to the table and Jeff would entertain them at every meal with his cute and funny baby antics.
Jeff’s earliest memory is of his little red fire engine and his mom taking him down to the playground at Notre Dame Park. When it came time to go to school he wasn’t having any of it. The first day of school Laurie and his Mom took him to Kindergarten and left him in the room, Vivian went home and was working around in the kitchen when she turned around and there he was – he had decided he didn’t want to be at school. The next few days were a challenge to get him to school and make sure he stayed there. Laurie sat in the classroom with him for a few times to help him get used to it. He says today that he never liked change.
When he was 10 years old he joined the YMCA and met Bruce McLaughlin who became a life-long friend and basically a member of the family. They soon joined Indian Chiefs and Jeff says Bruce was the ‘Chief’.
He did well at school and in the fifth grade was put into the Major Work Class, which was a special class for children who needed more challenge. He stayed with the same Major Work Class through Principal Sparling School, Sargent Park School and in the 8th Grade the Major Work Class was moved to General Wolfe. Again he refused to transfer to the other school because he didn’t want to leave his buddies so he marched down to see the Principal. The Principal made a deal with him to try it for three months and if he still didn’t like it, he could return to the old school – but of course, everything was fine after the time was up and he stayed even becoming School President in Grade 9.
Most of Jeff’s memories of school are centered around Sports. He remembers playing all kinds of sports at the St. Edward’s Playground at the corner of the street and it was there that one of the neighbor kids who was continually bugging him went too far, Jeff finally gave him a shove and the kid fell and broke his arm. The kid’s mother was soon at the Konchak door telling Vivian about it and that Jeff was a ‘hooligan’ which in those days was really bad. He played Playground A Hockey at Principal Sparling, Bantam B at West End Memorials and Bantam A Hockey at Orioles.
He then switched to curling and basketball where he played on the school teams at Sargent, General Wolfe, three years at Daniel McIntyre High School and two years Varsity at the University of Manitoba. The University basketball was the most fun because they got to travel and flew everywhere to their games. They even played some of the American Colleges and did a sweep through the U.S. He also followed in his dad’s footsteps and played three years of football at Daniel. At Daniel he won the Joe Worbaneck trophy for outstanding athlete of the year. He also sang in the school Music Festival and has always had a great love of music.
He says summers were boring until the family bought a cottage at the lake, although he did have the opportunity to attend a Leadership Training Camp at Camp Gimli for a few years, one year being asked if he would like to stay on as a leader for the girls camp – he and his friend Glen Orris and 125 girls!!!!.....would he?...you bet!
During his years at High School and University he had begun singing with a group of guys who called themselves the “Talismen”. They entertained at a Club called The Fourth Dimension where singer Neil Young (who went on to gain fame with Crosby, Stills and Nash) was the M.C. His second year at the University of Manitoba he decided he had had enough and decided to work in Thompson, Manitoba so he could get a ‘grubsteak’ together and be able to go off and do some of the things he wanted to do.
In the summer of 1967 he headed for Toronto and with some friends had a singing group that entertained at local night spots. It was during this time he met Mitch Rider and the Detroit Wheels, who were famous for the song, “Good Morning Starshine” and ended up traveling with the group for a while on their concert tour. During this time he also met Bill Swaford who’s singing name was Oliver and who became popular with his song ‘Jean’. Bill offered Jeff an opportunity to join his singing group but Jeff turned it down because he was having too much fun with his buddies.
He and his friend Ken Dadsun bought an old car and drove 5,500 miles around the U.S. The car gave up and died in Baton Rouge when they were headed for Mardis Gras so the rest of the trip was by hitch hiking They visited Bill Swaford along the way. Next year he and Ken headed for California for eight months and ended up working for Cousin Louis Formanack who had a roofing business.
Jeff worked for a while for the Canadian Pacific Railway in the dining car between Toronto and Winnipeg and remembers that since he was low man on the totem pole he was given the four tables at the far end of the dining car (the kitchen being in the next car at the opposite end of the dining car). He had to be formally attired and on one trip didn’t have his black dress shoes so borrowed his cousin Peter’s shoes. It was a terrible trip because he basically walked all the way to Winnipeg in shoes that didn’t fit and ended up with shin splints and almost crawling home after getting off the street car at the end of his street.
The summer of 1970 was a hard one for him, his Dad died, his good friend Bill died and his girlfriend Patti whom he had met in California and who was going to come to Winnipeg to live decided to get married to someone else instead. For the next three winters he went to Europe. Summers he would work at Molson’s Brewery and spend every minute he could at the Lake. He lived in Switzerland where he and his friends rented a chalet and skied, bought a van with the guys and traveled all over Europe, living on beaches in Greece and in general having a great time.
In 1975 he and his friend Bruce traveled through the U.S. for the winter, then back to the Lake where he worked as a bartender and eventually started his own construction business. He and his friend Murray bought the Riding Stables at Falcon Lake and Jeff married Robin in 1978. In 1979 Krista was born and Jamie the following year.
The family spent their summers at West Hawk Lake and went to Invermere for the winter to ski, where Bruce was living. When Robin and Jeff were divorced the girls came to the Lake to spend the summers and finally in 1989 Jeff was able to sell the cottage and move to Calgary where he renovated a house.
The next year he moved to Invermere and began his present career as a Real Estate Appraiser. He married Rhonda (and daughter Mariah) in 1995 and in 1996 their son Levi was born. For all the adventures and traveling he has done in the past, he is now completely happy to be a dad and enjoy his family.
RHONDA JOY (nee BARG) KONCHAK
Born in Calgary, Alberta, April 9, 1967
Mother - Martha Wadell
Father – Peter Barg
Married - Jeff Konchak, April 1995
Children - Mariah, 1992; Levi, Feb, 1996,
Some of Rhonda’s earliest memories are of bareback riding her horse through the open wheat fields. She grew up in Grassy Lake, Alberta with her two brothers and two sisters. She went to school in a small rural school and rode her horse to school. The school was 15 miles away and she and her girlfriend would ride to school together, then at lunch time they would race their horses and have a lot of fun together. At school she participated in drama, school plays, played clarinet with the school band and from the time she was three years old took piano lessons.
When her dad got cancer the family sold the farm and moved to Lethbridge, Alberta. She attended Junior High School in Lethbridge and music and horse back riding were always important focal points for her. She played in the school band and did barrel racing on the rodeo circuit.
After high school she took a hairdressing course and was a hairdresser for two years. She also waitressed and moved to Calgary in 1986 where she worked as a hostess at the Calgary Tower which she enjoyed very much. As she had left home with only $40 in her pocket she worked three jobs at one time to try to establish herself. In 1987 she went to Banff where she worked at Georgios at night and skied all day. It was a lot of fun and after that she went to Calgary and worked for two Italian Restaurants during the Olympics in 1988. She had the opportunity to wait on Prince Albert and Princess Stephanie of Monacco which was really fun. She stayed in Calgary for 15 years and loved it.
Her daughter Mariah was born in 1992, one of the best days of her life. She was a single mom so it wasn’t easy but she and Mariah had a lot of fun together, especially at Moms and Tots and going to the Zoo. Mariah suffered from asthma, which has also made things difficult.
Then in the summer of 1994 she met Jeff on a blind date and moved to Invermere. They were married in April of 1995 and their son Levi was born in February of 1996.
She went back to school to start her nursing training. She spent six months on theory in Invermere and then 12 weeks of practicum (6 in the Cranbrook Hospital and 6 weeks in the Invermere Hospital). She graduated in June of 2002 and got a casual position at the Invermere Hospital in July. She loved it because she had finally found something that she loved to do. She enjoyed making her patients comfortable, working with the elderly and especially with Alzheimer patients.
She spent two weeks in the lock-down wards in Calgary and learned so much. She feels that if you give the patients something to do that they are accustomed to doing they will respond and feel a sense of connection. She observed one of her patients that was always picking things up off the floor and when she read his chart discovered he had been a janitor so she gave him a broom to push around and he responded. Another patient wanted to go on rounds with them and when she read his history found that he had been a guard so they were able to include him in the rounds and he opened doors for them and felt more useful.
She also enjoys skiing, horseback riding, giving dinner parties and filling her home with music and dancing. She has a passion for cooking which everyone can attest to because the benefits are very much appreciated by anyone in her vicinity.
She loves her involvement in her church and plays the piano for weddings, funerals and occasionally the pump organ at another church. She loves to play the accordion and sometimes plays up at the ski hill in the little hut.
She and Jeff recently moved to a nice, roomy home and she has enjoyed painting and decorating it. They have wonderful fruit trees in their yard and she is always busy picking and canning and making jams and jellies. She enjoys all the family activities like the bike rides, walks, trips to the hot pools, and the beach but mostly just being together.
She is now (2006) a stay at home Mom and really happy to concentrate on her home and family. It is a busy life but well worth the effort it takes to keep everything running smoothly.
Jeffrey Konchak and Robin Lee Arnold:
Krista (right) and Jamie (left)
Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, October 11, 1979
Father - William Jeffrey Konchak
Mother – Robin Lee Arnold
Krista remembers when she was really small that Peter and Patty came to Panorama to visit and she hid in the middle of the floor underneath her blanket because she was afraid that Peter was going to look at her teeth since he is an orthodontist.
She has always loved skiing at Panorama and remembers her hot dog skis when she was really small and that her mom and dad would leave her on the bunny hill where the lift operator kept an eye on her. And, of course, summers at West Hawk Lake where she spent many happy times. One time she remembers that was a little frightening was when they were in the boat and the battery was too close to the motor and caught fire. Because they were only going about 6 cottages away they didn’t have life jackets on and all had to jump into the water. She remembers her mom holding her and Jamie up.
During school she did a lot of gymnastics starting when she was five years old and continuing until she was 13 and after that teaching gymnastics. She was also good in track and field but didn’t like to do competitive things. She and Jamie enrolled in the Nancy Greene Ski Program and did a lot of downhill racing. When they weren’t racing they were skiing over the jumps. One time she painted her room candy pink and had enough paint left over to paint her ski helmet.
She always seemed to be in trouble. She was bored at school and skipped school a lot. She didn’t get caught until her dad went to school one day and asked to see the attendance card, and then that came to an end. High school was a difficult time for her and she just as soon forget that part of growing up. She graduated in 1997 and began working at the IGA.
In 1998 she started University at Mt. Royal College in Calgary where she spent three years before transferring to the University of Calgary. She graduated with her Bachelor of Commerce Degree in Accounting in the spring of 2003.
One of her life lessons was that playing things by ear can be a lot of fun but can also be very stressful. She has enjoyed the period of her life when she was just making things up as she went along but she feels now that she wants a solid base. During the years she was at college her job at KPMG (accounting company) provided that focus in her life. She worked part-time there during University and they offered her a full-time position after she graduated but she felt that she wanted to explore other options and returned to Invermere to decide on what was next for her.
She enjoys skiing, snow boarding, boating and going to the Lake. She has been working since she was 13 years old and has had a very active social life. She likes to keep up with her huge family and spends her spare time with family and friends.
In 2004 she started working in her dad’s real estate appraisal business and loves it. She is getting her certification and is already able to do some of the appraisals because of the credits from her degree. In 2005 she and her partner Galen bought a house and spent the next year fixing it up which they enjoyed very much. Towards the end of 2006 they decided to sell their home and buy a piece of property where they will eventually build their dream house. They will continue to live in a rental home while they design and then construct their new home.
Some additional photos are found here:
JAMIE KONCHAK (on left)
Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, July 11, 1981
Father - William Jeffrey Konchak
Mother – Robin Lee Arnold
When Jamie was born she was rushed to the hospital in Kenora because of problems with her delivery so had a very dramatic birth. She spent summers at the Lake and winters at Panorama. She went to school in Invermere in the winter and then, with Krista, flew to Winnipeg to spend summers with her dad at the lake.
In elementary school she was on the baseball team but soon began to focus on drama. Her first opportunity to perform came when she and her mom tried out for a production of the Pirates of Penzance. She was Lisal in The Sound of Music, she played in Oliver and was Miss Hannigan in Annie. One summer while staying at the Riding Stables at Falcon Lake she and her sister Krista watched the movie Annie every day so by the time she tried out for the part of Miss Hannigan she was a natural. She did lots of plays in High School. She also skied in the Nancy Green Ski School, and went beyond the racing team to the next level.
In elementary school she played the ukulele and one summer went to Sandpoint to perform with the Uke Group.
When she graduated from High School she went to the University of Calgary (1999) and she and Krista lived together for a year. It was a great opportunity for them to become closer as growing up they didn’t have a lot in common. The living together was a great bonding experience for both of them and they really got to know one another.
During University she continued to perform in various plays. She graduated in the spring of 2003 and auditioned for a play with a company that took her to England to perform in a castle for the month of May. She received critical acclaim (in the Toronto Globe and Mail) for her portrayal of The Devil in the University Production of Faust.
She performed ‘Shakespeare in the Park’ in the summer of 2003 in Calgary and decided to stay in Calgary after University to pursue her acting career. You can read more about Jamie’s acting career by going to the Internet and through Google typing in her name to read some of the reviews from her acting career.
MARIAH LYNN KONCHAK
Born - February 29, 1992
Father - William Jeffrey Konchak
Mother – Rhonda Barg
(Written in 2007) Mariah is really good in math and is also a very good athlete. She loves P.E. and has won several trophies for her running ability.
In February every year there is a special event where she gets all dressed up, and with lights on the stage like a real live performance she lip-syncs. Her best song is Cést La Vie by Bewitched. She likes to sing very much and her favorite singer is called ‘Pink’.
She snowed skied until she was 8 years old but now she likes snowboarding. She learned how to turn in a matter of five days! In the summer she likes wakeboarding.
She enjoys school and Math is her favorite subject. She also is a good speller and enjoys the challenge of spelling along with studying native cultures. She is in Grade 9 (in 2007) has lots of friends and enjoys her social life. She also works as a waitress and hostess at a local restaurant which keeps her very busy.
LEVI GRAYSON KONCHAK
Born - February 14, 1996
Father - William Jeffrey Konchak
Mother – Rhonda Barg
(Written in 2007) Levi likes water sliding, going out in a boat and especially driving it. His favorite song is Drops of Jupiter. He plays the guitar and the harmonica and makes up his own songs in his mind. He loves hockey and is a goalie.
He likes to help his dad work and sometimes he goes with him to Golden. Levi rides a mountain bike and in the wintertime he goes skiing. He likes school and participates in lots of school activities.