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Chapel of the Chimes Mortuary

7924 North 59th Ave, Glendale, AZ

OBITUARY

James Charles Konyha

March 27, 1953February 29, 2020
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Lt. Col. James C. Konyha, also known as “Jim”, died on Feb. 29, 2020 at Banner Thunderbird Medical Center. He was 66 years old. He was born in Battle Creek, Michigan on March 27, 1953. Jim is predeceased by his wife, Kathleen “Kathy” and his sister, Christine. He is survived by his two children: Leslie and Alex Konyha; and by his siblings Dorothy, Suzanne [husband: Steve], Carol, Ed [wife: Joan], and Dan [wife: Jen]. Being the son of a career Army sergeant, Jim lived in France, Luxembourg, and Germany from where he graduated high school. Jim attended the University of Detroit where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering and met his future wife, Kathy Black while in Air Force ROTC. Upon completion of his degree, he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Air Force. Kathy and Jim married on May 24, 1980, shortly after graduation and their first assignment together was in Gulfport, Mississippi. He had multiple assignments in his career worldwide, extending from South Korea to Germany during the fall of the Berlin Wall. During this time, he served as a navigator in the C-130 aircrafts, earned a Master’s in Engineering Management and commanded and mentored many airmen in his squadron. Jim served honorably from July 13, 1976 to May 27, 1997, when he medically retired. Jim would continue to his second career as a high school teacher at Trevor G. Browne once he completed his Master’s in Education from Arizona State University. For over 14 years he taught and mentored many, especially in Physics. Recognized as an exemplary teacher, Jim showed incredible passion for education and knowledge, best demonstrated through a group of his students who were awarded a MIT InvenTeams grant. Jim also was a charismatic and energetic wrestling coach for not only Trevor Browne students, but Bourgade Catholic students as well. Jim pursued many passions including hunting, camping, cycling, traveling and was also a recent volunteer to work with the teen group at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church. Jim truly believed in living the best out of life, no matter what cards he was dealt with. It is Jim’s wishes that in lieu of flowers, donations to the Wounded Warrior Project would be appreciated. Please join family and friends for visitation at 5:00pm and Rosary and sharing life stories at 6:00pm both on March 8, 2020 located at Chapel of the Chimes Mortuary, 7924 N 59th Ave, Glendale, AZ 85301. Funeral Mass to celebrate Jim’s life will be at 10:00am on March 10, 2020 at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, 5614 W. Orangewood Ave, Glendale, AZ 85301. Following Mass, please join us for light refreshments at Chapel of the Chimes Mortuary. Jim will be laid to rest with his wife, Kathleen on May 22, 2020 at 11:00am at the National Memorial Cemetery of AZ, 23029 Cave Creek Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85024. Please visit www.chapelofthechimesmortuary.com for more information or to share a memory of Jim, which will be published in his Life Remembered book.

Services

  • Visitation

    Sunday, March 8, 2020

  • Rosary Service & Memory Sharing

    Sunday, March 8, 2020

  • Funeral Mass

    Tuesday, March 10, 2020

  • Reception

    Tuesday, March 10, 2020

  • Graveside Service

    Friday, May 22, 2020

Memories

James Charles Konyha

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William Turner

March 10, 2020

So sorry about your dad. logistics prevented me from coming but know that your dad was one of my favorite teachers when i worked at TGB. i would always give him a hard time about being in the Air Force as i am a retired Marine. the last few years i saw him quite often at the gym and always would spend a few mins catching up. Will miss our talks together.

Maryann Macko-Mariani

March 9, 2020

Jim left a legacy like no other with his love for family, friends, students, travel, adventure and true zest for life. His memory will carry with us for our life time. My memories will always be those shared at Grandma and Grandpa's farm, the simple life , with so much joy and innocence. My thoughts and Prayers of strength to Jim's children and siblings (my cousins). May God bless you all.

Maria Gaffney

March 9, 2020

Jim is one of the kindest people I have ever met he will be dearly missed

Dani Gee

March 5, 2020

Memory eternal.

Andrew Konyha

March 4, 2020

I can remember writing Jim in his teens when he was in Europe with his family. Him sending me pictures of his wrestling days. I remember him on the Revesz farm, shooting his all bamboo crossbow Uncle Toby brought back from Vietnam. We shot at the side of the barn and the arrow went halfway through the wood plank. The rope over the creek where we could be like Tarzan! His marriage to Kathy, two wonderful children. Seeing Jim at family reunions. Adele and I had wonderful memories of our trip to Arizona in September of 2018. Eating at several restaurants, hiking, sightseeing. Jim planned our day perfectly.... one week of activity in one day. We will miss him so much.
Adele and Andy Konyha

C. J. (Thompson) Sayre

March 4, 2020

"Jimbo" was a remarkable human being who served his country, family and friends with a joyous heart. I had the pleasure of graduating high school with him in Augsburg Germany in 1971. He was a leader among classmates, the military and his country. I have been honored to call you friend for these many years. Rest in peace my dear friend. C. J.

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