July 4, 1924 – September 1, 2022
Our mother, Elaine Marie Konopasek, 98, died peacefully in her sleep on September 1, 2022. A true Yankee Doodle spirit, Elaine was born on the Fourth of July in 1924 to Marie and David Greenwall of Wausa, a small farming town in eastern Nebraska. She was the second of five children. Her older brother Glen was born with significant disabilities that ultimately led to his passing in early adolescence. Following Elaine came three other daughters to Marie and David: Eva Mae, Ardythe, and Marilyn.
Elaine was especially close to her father and was certainly the apple of his eye. As a young girl she was always at his side, accompanying him regularly on trips to town for groceries or hardware or other necessities for the farm. Unfortunately, David passed away from cancer when Elaine was eight years old, leaving Marie to run the farm and provide for the four girls and Glen, who needed constant care until his death. It was a difficult time to be sure.
After high school Elaine met Eugene “Gene” Konopasek at a dance in a nearby town. The attraction was immediate and strong. The rest, as they say, was history. They were married in June of 1944 while Gene was on leave from the Pacific theater of war. After the war they settled in the Rogue Valley. They had three children: Joan, Dean, and Ann.
Gene and Elaine were an inseparable couple. They both worked very hard to provide a warm and comfortable home for their close-knit family. Family time was spent camping, fishing, boating, playing games, and generally enjoying company together. While Gene worked in the lumber industry, Elaine also worked at a variety of jobs. She was a server at Mon Desir in Central Point for a number of years.
In the late ’60’s they bought and ran Sir Loins Steak House on Stevens Street in Medford. The restaurant was very successful, resulting in them opening another in Klamath Falls.
In the late ’80’s they sold the restaurants and officially retired, allowing them to travel around the western U.S. by RV, enjoying fishing and sightseeing, until Gene began to experience health problems, which kept them closer to home. He passed away in April of 2008.
Elaine was a woman who was truly loved by everyone who knew her. She always had a kind smile, and was genuinely interested in other people, which drew them to her. She loved her family, which grew and grew. At the time of her death, she had seven grandchildren, twenty-one great-grandchildren, and nine great-great-grandchildren. Her death is truly the passing from this earth of an incredibly strong, kind, and gentle soul. She also had a deep faith and regularly attended the Calvary Chapel, Medford.
Elaine was preceded in death by her parents, her brother Glen, her husband Gene, and two of her sisters, Marilyn Hult of Wausa, Nebraska, and Ardythe Kornstad of Yakima, Washington. She is survived by her sister Eva Mae Music of Eugene, Oregon; her daughter Joan Novosad and husband Ray Novosad of Eagle Point, Oregon; son Dean Konopasek and his wife Kate Konopasek, of Anchorage, Alaska; daughter Ann Gressett of Medford, Oregon, and all her many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, the family is suggesting offering a donation to Providence Hospice Care. A memorial service will be held at 1:00 PM on September 24th at Calvary Chapel, 2005 Commerce Drive, Medford, Oregon.