Capt. Robert W. Konieczko ’73

Captain Robert W. Konieczko, 68, of Kingfield, passed away Tuesday, June 11, 2019. He was known to his loved ones as Bob, Wally, Uncle Bob, and Dziadzia.  He was born in Augusta, Maine on February 5, 1951 to the late Stanley and Mary Konieczko.

He grew up and attended school in North Monmouth, Maine. He graduated from Monmouth Academy in 1969.  He spent all summers in his youth on Echo Lake in Fayette, Maine at the family camps.  It was a place he loved to fish, boat, and be with his family.

After graduating from high school, Bob went on to attend Maine Maritime Academy in Castine, Maine.  He earned his degree in Navigation and Marine Science in 1973 leading to a 31-year career as a merchant mariner.  Bob achieved status of captain and navigated large ships all over the world.  Bob ‘s seafaring years were spent on ships such as grain carriers, oil tankers, container ships, and Ready Reserve Force ships that were part of the National Defense Reserve Fleet.  During those years he moved ready reserve ships in support of worldwide deployment of U.S. military forces during Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom.  He was known to chart the ship’s course along the world’s best fishing routes and often had a line or two in the water.

When not at sea, Bob’s life was full of family, friends, and projects.  He was known to never do anything small or simple and loved every minute of it.   Every seasonal project was noteworthy.  Bob was a carpenter and mason. His carpentry skills included the lost art of adzing hewn beams. He built a huge field stone Russian fire place and many barbecue fire pits for family camps and homes.  He always tapped trees for maple sugar in the spring.  He annually made Polish kielbasa, perfecting the art of smoking meats and fish.  He made many different kinds of wines, with Elderberry wine being his top shelf vintage.  He was always happy to share, and everyone was always happy to partake. With a love for the outdoors, Bob was an avid fisherman and hunter.  He loved fly fishing the local streams or trolling on Echo Lake. He was proud of his perfected filleting technique.  His prize hunting trophies hang in his home where he always loved to tell the story of the big hunt. Fifteen years ago, Bob’s life changed resulting in the use of a wheelchair.  He always made the most of it and remained busy. He created a Christmas tree farm, with over 6,000 trees.  It was not unusual to find Bob out in the field tending his trees.  Many Kingfield families have had one of Bob’s Christmas trees in their living rooms over the past few years.  He loved sitting and watching friends and family out the window, pick out their annual Christmas tree. Many people came in to play a game of cribbage at his kitchen table, since there was always a challenge extended to his many visitors all year round. Plus, he could not pass up a great game of poker.  Most of all, Bob greeted everyone with his big smile and a personality that always filled the room.

Over thirty years ago, he and his wife of 43 years, Robin, built a home in Kingfield and raised their three children Grady, Hillary, and Stasiu.  Bob was fully involved in all of his children’s childhood experiences from chaperoning all of their activities to making Friday night pizza, ending with a pancake feast for a house full of kids every Saturday morning.  He extended that same love to his seven grandchildren.  He was the dad and grandfather that everyone would want to have.

Bob was a wonderful person, who will be remembered by all who knew and loved him.  He is survived by his wife, Robin Konieczko of Kingfield; three children, Grady Dante of Lowell, Massachusetts, Hillary Dow and husband Adam of Lewiston, Maine, Stasiu Konieczko and wife Rachael of Madbury, New Hampshire; and seven grandchildren, Malek, Marek, Eva, Vieve, Tyler, Cila, and Sabine.  He is also survived by his five siblings: Peter Konieczko and wife Carol of Scarborough, Maine, Daniel Konieczko and wife Judy of Topsham, Maine, Judy Whitten and husband Howard of Roxbury, Maine, Lynne King of Oakland, Maine, and Julie Christensen and husband Peter of Snoqualmie, Washington.  His many sisters and brothers in-law, along with numerous nieces and nephews, will always remember and love Uncle Bob.  His family extended to his friends from Maine Maritime Academy’s class of 1973, with whom he had a brotherly bond that lasted throughout his life.

In honor of Bob’s wishes, there will be a private family graveside service followed by a Celebration of Life for Bob for all of his many friends and family. Everyone is invited to celebrate Bob’s life with a cookout at his home on the hill in Kingfield on Saturday, July 27th at 3:00.

Gifts may be given in his name to the Scholarship Fund at Maine Maritime Academy, c/o Development Office, Pleasant Street, Castine, Maine 04420.

So that Bob can have the last word, donations of money and time can be made to the Democratic Party of our country so as to preserve our nation’s democracy.