Patrick Konewko, 54, died Thursday, October 18, 2007 at his home on Upper Cormorant Lake. He was born on July 11, 1953 in St. Cloud, MN to Joseph and Edwina Konewko. He attended St. Cloud State University then received his Master?s degree at Mankato State University and his doctorate at the Florida Institute of Technology. He did his postdoctoral work at Braintree Hospital in Boston. Pat dedicated his life to the evaluation and treatment of brain-related problems in children and adults. He worked 23 years as a neuropsychologist at MeritCare Neuroscience and was a Clinical Professor at the UND Medical School. He led the development of the Brain Injury Program at MeritCare and also served as the Clinical Director of MeritCare?s Alzheimer?s Disease and Related Disorders Program. He was currently serving as a consultant to the Hi Soaring Eagles Ranch in Valley City and the REM Brain Injury Residential Treatment Program in Moorhead. He was also a Board member of the MN-ND Alzheimer?s Association. He organized numerous neuroscience conferences, resulting in enhanced skills for hundreds of health care providers. Pat was a lifelong learner and a voracious reader. He could talk intelligently on any subject a person could throw at him. His love of carpentry was also evident in his life. His remodeling projects were never-ending and he enjoyed the challenge of constantly honing his skills. Pat was a joy to be around. He had an unparalleled sense of humor and made everyone around him smile, even in his last days when was in horrific pain. He had a twinkle in his eyes and a mischievous grin that those who knew him will never forget. He was a loving and caring father, boyfriend and friend and was famous for putting everyone else?s needs in front of his own. He loved get-togethers with family and friends, always guaranteeing good food and even better conversation. He is survived by his mother, Edwina Konewko; brothers, Dennis and Tim Konewko, children, Shawna and Trevor Lavelle; his ?angel?, Colleen Carter and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father, Joseph Konewko and his brothers, Jim and Wayne Konewko. Although Pat had to leave this life before his work was over, he has left his indelible fingerprints throughout the community. He showed us incredible strength in the face of adversity. His kind heart and generous nature will be remembered forever. Memorials are preferred to the MeritCare Foundation Alzheimer?s Fund to assist in continuing his life?s work. Visitation: Monday, October 22 from 6-8 pm at Triumph Lutheran Brethren Church in Moorhead and one hour prior to the service on Tuesday at the church. Funeral Service: Tuesday, October 23 at 2:00 pm at Triumph Lutheran Brethren Church, Moorhead. Final Resting Place: Riverside Cemetery, Fargo. Arrangements entrusted to Boulger Funeral Home, Fargo.

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  1. Grand Rapids MN
    I just learned of Dr. Konewko’s passing. My sincerest sympathies to all of those who were close to him. I sustained a traumatic brain injury in 1985 at the age of 16 near Thief River Falls, Minnesota
    . My initial recovery was spent at St. Luke’s Hospital in Fargo under the expert care of Dr. Konewko and all of the other dedicated professionals at the brain injury clinic. Dr. Konewko continued to counsel me through some very difficult times and several months of metaphorical darkness. I am so grateful that he was my neuropsychologist. He had a major impact on my life. I’ll always remember his words to me as I struggled with the changes to my personality from the TBI: “You owe no one an explanation for who you are.” The art of neuroscience has lost a master. Rest in peace, Dr. Konewko.

  2. Salt Lake City UtahI heard this week about the passing of my mentor, my friend Dr. Patrick Konewko. Dr. Konewko had an instrumental influence on me early in my career as an Occupational Therapist (1985 to 1994 at Meritcare). I was very fortunate to learn from him the medical management of patients with neurological illness/injury, but much more importantly, Dr. Konewko taught me about the respect, caring and support that a truly successful professional offers to those patients and their families in times of need. I consider myself very fortunate to have known him, benefited from his extensive knowledge, and considered him my friend. He will be sorely missed. May he rest in Peace…

  3. Marion 58466Dr. Konewko will always hold a very special place in my heart, he was the ‘key’ to my sisters recovery after her car accident. He was a very kind and compassionate man, our hearts are so very sad that he is no longer in this world. His memory will live on forever!

    God Bless!

    Jeff & Kris Piehl and Family

  4. Fargo ND
    We had a workshop for Parish Nurses on memory loss and Dr.Konewko was our speaker.

    I had a question at one point during the afternoon and, when he had finished answering it, he said “I just read an article on this very question. When I get back to my office I will find it and send you a copy”.

    The very next day, in the hospital routing, the article came – with a note from Dr. Konewko telling me that if I had any more questions after I had read the article that I should call him. He even wrote his extension # under his signature so I wouldn’t have to look it up.

    This is the man I will remember. He took such joy in sharing knowledge that nothing was too much trouble if it meant passing that knowledge on.

    The world – and all of us at MeritCare – has lost someone special.

    God’s peace to you in your grieving.

    Pr. Sandy Larson
    Spiritual Care
    MeritCare Health System

  5. Wheaton ILIt was with a profound sense of sorrow that I learned of Pat’s death. I was honored to have had Pat as a postdoctoral fellow at Braintree Hospital. He was an excepetional fellow and was an excellent clinician. He had a gift for being warm, with a great sense of humility. In a couple of weeks the annual neuropsychology conference will be held in Scottsdale. I was looking forward to having dinner with Pat, as always at these meetings, to reminisce about the Boston days and to share our love of German cars. He had many admiring friends and colleagues, and I am proud to have been one of them. Please accept my sympathy on your sad loss.


    J. Preston Harley

  6. Minneapolis MN
    To Pat’s family — my heart goes out to you all and I grieve with your loss. Pat was a wonderful colleague and always so upbeat, as well as being such a smart and skillful neuropsychologist. It was always such fun to see him again at INS or the Boston Children’s conferences (I had trained there a few years earlier than Pat). He will be sorely missed.
    warm regards — Karen Wills

  7. Wellesley MAI met Pat during his post-doc year at Braintree Hospital.

    As I look back on that year, I remember a man with a crazy, wonderful sense of humor, beautiful heart and a gentle kindness one rarely encounters.

    When I lost my own father, someone said to me, “How lucky you are to have loved so much, that it hurts so much when he is gone.” I found a great deal of comfort in that statement. And, with time, have come to realize how very lucky I was. My hope for you all is that, in time, you will feel the same way.

    Pat was the best and those of us who knew him will honor his memory forever.

    Dale Broadbent

  8. Twin Valley MN
    Dear family and friends of Dr. Konewko:
    My deepest sympathy to all of you at this time. I’m shocked and numb at the news of his passing. I was unaware he was ill. He was my daughter’s neuro-psych at Meritcare after her daycare provider left her with Shaken Baby Syndrome at the age of 4 months. He filled me with such a sense of hope, that her world will someday be normal, and that she will be successful in all that she does. I admired him so much for his brilliance….I was selfishly saddened when he made the move away from children’s specialty to adult/alzheimer’s care. I felt so “taken care of” with him as her doctor. He always gave so unselfishly of himself. He always gave me 100% of his time and that meant so much. He reassured me that as a parent,I was doing an awesome job–which I so needed to hear on this journey of parenting. My husband and I, along with our chilren, send you are deepest condolences. God bless you all.

  9. Centerville OHI had the pleasure of working with Dr. Konewko when I was a professor at MN
    State University Moorhead. He was an incredibly talented man and a wonderful teacher as he shared his knowledge with teachers, parents, students, and colleauges. Many people benefited from his knowledge and genuine caring for people. I was quite saddened to hear of his passing. My condolences to his family and friends.

  10. fargo ndWe always enjoyed visiting with Dr. Konewko, it was a pleasure to know him!

    deb,cami, & missy
    the daily perk girls at meritcare

  11. Fargo ND
    My deepest sympathy goes out to the family and friends. Pat was such an awesome man and I knew through working at MeritCare and being a parent of children he helped. The patient and their needs always came first no matter what!! His kind heart and sence of humor will be greatly missed.

  12. Minneapolis MN
    Wishing all the best to friends and family. Shawna was a great high school friend- and I have nothing but fond memories of she and her family. My thoughts and prayers go out to all.

  13. Fosston MN
    Are heartfelt sympathy to all of you.We could never explain what Patrick Konewko has done for us threw the years.My son Nicholas was born early in life and suffered brain injury.Our lifes were turned up side down,with the help of Pat we learned to understand Nicholas and his life, what he could learn,and to focus on his abilitys.He made a trip to Fosston and explained to the school about children like Nicholas. He gave apart of himself to us.Always,there when we needed him.He took the time to explain to us when he became ill,that there are people there to help us,again worring about us when he was facing the biggest challenge of his life.Thank you for for sharing him with people like us and understanding his work threw the years.We will miss him dearly.

  14. Moorhead MN
    Pat will be truley missed. He always had such good things to say about Doggy Depot and the good care that we give his Sadie Girl. Pat always took the time to acknowledge all of my employees with a smiling greeting. At times he would bring us rolls in the morning and some days in the evening when picking up Sadie he would bring us Mike’s Hard Lemonade. Pat was such a unique humane being and will truley be missed here. We will be giving a memorial to the MeritCare Foundation Alzheimer’s Fund.
    Sincerely Becky Black and Doggy Depot Staff.

  15. St. Louis Park MN
    What a tragic loss of a great man. My condolences to all of those that loved and respected him. He will aways have a very special spot in my heart.
    Sandy Obermiller

  16. Fargo ND
    I am a transcriptionist for MeritCare Neuroscience and have been one of Dr.Konewko’s transcriptionists for many years. Whenever I questioned something about a report or had any kind of question, he would be so appreciative for pointing things out to him or asking about something on a report and made me feel like I was valued. There are so many fond memories of Dr. Konewko that I don’t know where to begin. He truly was one of the “good guys.” I will miss him. The obituary says it all…the twinkle in his eyes and the grin.

  17. West Fargo ND
    Our deepest sympathy to the family of Dr.Konewko. We have known Dr.Konewko for the past 21 years. He was one of our son’s many MeritCare Doctors who cared for our son after he was injured in a motorcycle accident at the age of 15. We spent 2 months at the hospital and Dr. Konewko was very involved in our son’s recovery. We relied on his knowledge of head injury and certainly his support at such a difficult time. We have had contact with Dro Konweko over the years and his kindness to our family and concern for our son was always evident even after all of the years. He was a special man and extrordinary doctor who always greeted us by name and always had time for our son whenever needed. He truly was one of a kind and our hearts are heavy as we join the numbers of others that he kindly affected over his career, with fond memories, deep sympathy and ongoing prayer. Sincerely,

    Tom & Nancy Boyle

  18. Fargo ND
    Pat was a wonderful man whose personality, class and professional skills will be greatly missed by the Mickelsons and Traynors (in-laws)


  19. Sauk Rapids MN
    I am sorry for the loss of such an amazing man. My heart goes out to the family and his “angel” Colleen. I am grateful that he had his partner at his side through this difficult time in his life.

    I knew Pat as a caregiver to his mother and a friend to myself. I remember that no matter what he had going on in his own life, even when he could barely talk from the cancer, he was always concerned with my wellbeing and would ask how everything was going in my life. Pat had a love of learning and always encouraged me to push on and pursue my education because he knew it would lead to good things for my future.

    Pat had a way of making me feel like part of his family, he was an extraordinary caregiver to his mother and I feel blessed to have known such a genuine and caring person. He has touched so many peoples lives and will be deeply missed. I will pray for you all that god will give you strength to get though this time of sadness.




  21. Sauk Rapids MnMy deepest sympathies go to the family of Pat. He was the most amazing person I ever met. It was my honor to have met him while working at his mother Residence. He not only cared dearly for his mother, but always had plenty of time to be concerned about the staff. He always arrived with flowers for Edwina and treats for all the staff members. He will be missed ever so much. May he find everlasting joy in Heaven. God Bless you Edwina, his children, and other family members.
    Claudia Kaeter

  22. Fargo North Dakota
    My sympathy to the family of Dr. Konewko. He was a god send to our family. My oldest son was diagnosed with Dyslexia in first grade, 15 years ago. Dr. Konewko helped Matthew to understand his way of learning. Dr. Konewko was probably more helpful to us, Matt’s parents, he helped us to understand what steps needed to be done in school and how to handle him in social settings. I Thank God for Dr. Patrick Konewko, it was great to know him and We all appreciate what he contributed to other family’s that had the opportunity to have his expertise in the field. Again, we are so sorry for your loss.

  23. Fargo ND
    Dr. Konewko will be sadly missed. He was a person who gave a lot to the head injured as well as those folks with learning disabilities. My thoughts and prayers are with the family.

  24. Moorhead MnDr. Konewko held a very special place in our hearts. He was @ the forefront when our daughter had her accident @ age 3. Pat has followed our family for 23 years providing us with his wisdom & knowledge.He showed so much understanding & had such a caring demeaner.
    God only loaned Dr. Konewko to us for such a short time. Our community was very fortunate to have such a caring, compassionate, knowledgeable DR. in it’s midst.
    We would like to extend our deepest sympathy & prayers to Dr. Konewko’s family at this time.
    Don, June & Megan

  25. Fargo N.D
    .I share the families sympathies for the loss of a person that had made a differance in alot of lives.Pat was a joy to work with.I had taken care of alot of his head injury children at Meritcare the last 19yrs.And Pat would always make you feel like you really did a good job and made a differance in the childs life.He was alot of fun to work with,you’d look forward to seeing him.I also went to all his neuroscience conferances and of course he was so knowlegable on the subject.He will truely be missed but his work and all his achievments will be never forgotten. Rest in peace Pat.

  26. Fargo N.D
    .I share the families sympathies for the loss of a person that had made a differance in alot of lives.Pat was a joy to work with.I had taken care of alot of his head injury children at Meritcare the last 19yrs.And Pat would always make you feel like you really did a good job and made a differance in the childs life.He was alot of fun to work with,you’d look forward to seeing him.I also went to all his neuroscience conferances and of course he was so knowlegable on the subject.He will truely be missed but his work and all his achievments will be never forgotten. Rest in peace Pat.

  27. Hawley MnI worked with Dr. Konewko from the standpoint of reimbursing him for his conference expenses which there were many. I will miss him calling asking how much is left in my CME. It was truly a pleasure working with him. May God Bless his family & friends. He will be missed.

    Vernelle Bradshaw
    Accounts Payable

  28. Casselton ND
    I share only a few precious visits with Dr Konewko my husband has ALzheimer’s disease and he was so kind to always answer any questions I had for him. He was a great teacher and filled with knowledge and was so caring about people with brain affected disorders.
    He will be greatly missed but what a joy in heaven for those greeting him!.
    God bless the family left behind.

  29. Fargo ND
    My condolences to all of Pat’s family and the wonderful Colleen Carter. I feel very blessed that I got the opportunity to work with him for so many years. It is such a loss for all of us at MeritCare and to those of us who were lucky to have him as a friend. I take comfort in all the happy memories I have of him over the years. He will never be forgotten.

  30. Verona ND
    Our deepest sympathies go out to Dr. Konewko’s family, friends and all who knew him.

    In 1994, my younger sister was in a terrible car accident and Dr. Konewko was her lead physician due to her brain injury. My sister went through a lot while she was in MeritCare those 2 1/2 months!!! Dr. Konewko always made sure the family was well-informed and understood the information he was presenting. My sister is 98% today, when during those darkest moments…she almost didn’t make it.

    Thank you Dr. Konewko, you have touched so many lives at MeritCare and elsewhere.

    God Bless you…and THANK YOU!!!!

  31. Aitkin 56431I had the honor of working with Pat for 6 years. He was compassionate and empathetic in his care for his patients. He helped me through some difficult times in my personal life and he always took the time, despite his busy schedule, to talk with me and ask how I was doing. I will miss his sense of humor and his passion for life. God bless you Pat and thank you for enriching my life.

    Mike Delfs

  32. Bismarck ND
    Pat was a colleague, a wonderful resource on Alzheimer’s/dementia issues and on working with physicians, and I also considered him a friend. We worked together on Alzheimer’s grant issues, physician education efforts, and we both represented N.D
    . on the Minnesota
    -ND Alzheimer’s Assocation Board (he from the east and me from the west). He was considered by many to be the best neuroscience educator in N.D
    . He will be greatly missed by me and by so many of his colleagues all across N.D
    . He and his family will be in my thoughts and prayers. My deepest sympathies to his family and co-workers.
    Rodger Wetzel, Director, Eldercare Program, St. Alexius Medical Center, Bismarck, ND

  33. Grand Forks ND
    I direct the neuroscience portion of the curriculum for first year medical students at UND, and for the last 10 years have had the pleasure of working with Pat. Pat demonstrated to my students the importance of every member of the healthcare team his neuropsychology lectures to students who were studying stroke and dementia were among the most memorable of their first year of study. Pat demonstrated very clearly that he loved what he did. What he communicated most clearly was his care and compassion for people…students knew that he cared about their learning and could see very directly from how he interacted with patients and families that he cared very deeply for them as well.

    Pat’s enthusiasm as a teacher has been an inspiration to all of us who have known and worked with him. I was blessed to have had the opportunity to know him and work with him. He will be missed.

  34. Fargo ND
    Pat always had a smile and greeting even when he was struggling with his cancer. Through his work at MeritCare, his dedication to learning and bringing in conferences, and his advocacy for services for his patients, he will be remembered and sorely missed. Ryan

  35. Fargo 58104My sympathy is with the entire family.

    Dr. Konewko was my doctor during my 10 year recovery from a traumatic brain injury. He was such a kind doctor and he helped me in more ways than I can explain.

  36. Pat,

    I will never forget the kindness and attention you showed me every day. You have shown me strength that knows no bounds. I will greatly miss your bright smile, soothing voice, and great hugs. I hope that through knowing you, I have learned more about what it means to care for others selflessly. I will always keep you in my heart. Your Friend Always,


  37. Green Bay WisconsinI am shocked and saddened to learn of Pat’s death. I did not know him terribly well but I did have some interactions with him. I admired his knowledge and his passion for people with brain injuries and with dementia. I am now sorry that I didn’t take a job with MeritCare where I could have worked directly with Pat. His passing is a great loss for his family, his friends, and for the North Dakota
    medical community he will definitely be missed.

  38. Sauk Rapids MN
    I did not realize Pat was so ill. Know that you are all in my prayers.

    Pat was a dear friend of many years. I wish I would have had the chance to visit with him more in our “adult’ years. I only saw him a few times since high school. But those grade school and high school days were great fun and Pat was a big part of those great times! We ‘hung out’ together most days and moved in a group. Pat was always a good friend that I could talk with and confide in.

    We spent our summer days at Grand Lake sking and tubing behind the Konewko big yellow boat. They were the best days!

    And one funny story … Pat had just gotten his driver’s license and he picked me up to go tooling up and down Germain. He was not supposed to have anyone in the car with him, however, he did not tell me that. We were waiting at a stop sign to cross Germain when all of a sudden Pat put his hand on the top of my head and pushed me down to the floor. He nervously said, “Stay down, my parents are driving by and I’m not supposed to have anyone in the car with me!” Sorry, Edwina, but we did laugh about that one later.

    Again, you are in my thoughts and prayers during this most difficult time. I am sad to have lost a good friend. So many memories have been flooding back to me. Pat was a truly good person and friend to many.


    Karen Pflepsen Meinz

  39. Cummings 58223I was so sorry to hear of Pat Konewko’s death. I had the privilege of coordinating several educational assessments from the Mayville area with Dr. Konewko. He was a vast cut above most doctors I dealt with. His knowledge, quick wit, caring attitude, and willingness to really explain things clearly were exceptional. I repeatedly watched him give parents information that would forever change their lives in such a straight forward yet caring manner that they were able to accept it and move forward. I will never forget the phrase, “keep it short and simple….”. Again, I am very sorry for your loss. Our prayers are with his family. Joan Sedivec

  40. Pelican Rapids MN
    We were fortunate enough to meet Pat through mutual friends about 3 years ago. In the few times we visited with him he always sent us away saying, “What an incredibly intelligent and genuinely nice person!” We did not know Pat well but we were, however, very aware of how respected he was in his field and how admirable he was as a friend. It is so unfortunate he was taken from this world too soon as he had so much more to offer to everyone’s lives he touched.

    Our thoughts and prayers are with Pat’s friends and family in this very difficult time.

    God Bless

  41. Minneapolis Minnesota
    To Pat’s Family and Friends,
    I was so sad to hear that Pat had died and it sounds like he was very ill.
    I send my very deepest sympathy to you all. The obituary was so beautifully
    written and it describes Pat much like
    I remeber him when I knew him in
    St. Cloud. We missed him at the last
    few Cathedral High School reunions. I
    always wondered if he would make it
    so that we could catch up with him.
    He was a special person to all of
    his friends in high school and college
    and I will greatly miss him.
    With love,
    Beth Stockinger

  42. St. Cloud MN
    I wish to extend my deepest sympathy to
    Pat’s family. We were classmates at Cathedral High School. He will be missed.

  43. Cambridge MN
    Dr. Konewko will forever be remembered by my family and I lift his family and friends up in prayer. My son has been a patient of Dr. Konekow’s for the last 17 years. My son, Roberleigh, has cerebral palsy. There have been times throughout my son’s life, when Dr. Konewko was the only person who truly understood what Rob was going through and facing, and he was always encouraging and steadfast in his support for Rob and our family. While I am sure there are other fine neuropsychologists out there .. we are going to be hardpressed to find someone as caring, compassionate, encouraging and knowledgeable as our physician and friend, Dr. Patrick Konewko. With deepest sympathy, Anne Roberts

  44. Casper 82604I had the honor of working with Dr. Konewko a lead transcriptionist at MeritCare. I was always honored at how much respect he showed me and I enjoyed his daily phone calls. It was a honor to work with him. He was inspiring and motivating and knowing him made me a better person.

    God Bless him and his family. He will be missed.

  45. Crookston MN
    Dr. Konewko’s support and vision was a driving force in REM’s development of residential services to people with brain injuries in northwestern Minnesota
    . He cheered us on, he taught our staff, and he knew all the people we served and helped us a great deal in understanding them and doing our work well every day. We will miss him keenly. We share your grief in losing him, but we will also be grateful for the time he spent with us.

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