1945 - 2012
Bill Konopnicki was born April 7, 1945 in Detroit, Mich. He was the oldest of three children. At the tender age of 5, Bill relocated with his family to Yuma, Ariz.
His family owned and operated Stan’s Grocery and Laundry in Yuma for more than 35 years. Following his graduation from Kofa High School, he attended Arizona Western College and later Arizona State University where he earned bachelor’s and master’s of arts degrees in business education from Arizona State University. He also received an education doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Arizona.
He worked for Tucson Public Schools, Pima Community College, the University of Arizona, Eastern Arizona College and the Arizona Department of Education. He served on Safford’s Public School Governing Board for 12 years.
Mr. Konopnicki was a successful small businessman, owning and operating nine McDonald’s Restaurants, seven radio stations and served as the chief executive officer of WSK Management.
He actively served in the Gila Valley community and the state of Arizona, working with the Boy Scouts, Ronald McDonald houses in Phoenix, Tucson and Albuquerque and the Boys and Girls Clubs. He served in the Arizona House of Representatives as chairman of the committee on financial institutions and insurance and was a member of the commerce and judiciary committees. He was a former member of the Mount Graham Regional Medical Center’s Operating Board and was a past president. He also served in various capacities in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints including stake president of the Safford Arizona Stake, bishop, Sunday school instructor and home teacher.
Mr. Konopnicki entered into eternal life, at the age of 67, on Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012, at his residence, surrounded by his loving family.
He leaves to mourn: his beloved wife, Cathy, of Safford; two daughters, Kristine and Sara, each of Safford; and two sons, Michael and David, of Safford; his sister, Becky, of St. Louis, Mo.; and 10 grandchildren.
Mr. Konopnicki was predeceased by his wife, Jan; his mother and father, Tina and Stanley Konopnicki; and a brother, Terry.
Funeral services will be conducted at 11 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 27 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Safford Stake Center, 501 W. Catalina Dr. in Safford, by Bishop Chris Bierman of the Safford Sixth Ward. Concluding services will follow in the Safford Cemetery.
The family will receive friends from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Friday, Oct. 26 at the Vining Funeral Home, 1940 S. 20th Ave. in Safford and from 10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 27 at the Stake Center Relief Society Room.
The family suggests donations be made to the William Konopnicki Communication Studies Scholarship at http://www.eac.edu/alumni/giving/gift.asp#Now or you may send a check payable to the Eastern Arizona College Foundation and mail to Eastern Arizona College, 3697 W. Church St., Thatcher, AZ 85552.
Online condolences may be offered at viningfuneralhome.com.
Arrangements are by Vining Funeral Home.