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Kirk Alton Konkel, 74, of Portage, passed away Friday, Dec. 14, 2018, unexpectedly at his home.

Kirk was born Aug. 27, 1944, in Shawano, son of the late Alfred and Phyllis Konkel. He graduated with a bachelor of science in civil engineering from University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1967, and then joined the State Department of Transportation and worked there for 36 years, primarily in the Division of Highways. Kirk’s tenure at the Department of Transportation included many years as district area supervisor responsible for the budgeting and maintenance of the state highway system in Dane, Columbia, Dodge and Sauk Counties.

Kirk didn’t stay retired for long as he served in various city and county planning roles. It was in 2010 that he began serving as Columbia County Board supervisor until his death. He was best known in recent years for his chairmanship of the county board’s Ad-Hoc Building Committee where he oversaw the design and construction of the largest building project in Columbia County history. The project’s cost was more than $46 million and included new administration and health and human services buildings and a remodeled courthouse. In addition, Kirk was a member of numerous city of Portage organizations and was active in several local charities.

Throughout his life he was dedicated to public service and thoughtfully spending the money of the public while constantly questioning to make sure things were done right. He leaves behind many friends including Tim and Nancy McGee of Sauk City and Vern Gove of Portage, the Columbia County Board chairman. All will no doubt miss his insight, experience, kindness and desire to make sure things were done right.

A celebration of life service will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019, at the Columbia County Administration Building, 112 E. Edgewater St., Portage. Fellowship and a light lunch will follow the service. In lieu of flowers, donation to one of Kirk’s favorite charities is appreciated, Wyocena Community Helping Hands Pantry at 165 E. Dodge St. Wyocena, WI 53969.

Swedberg Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements (

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