Ann Lee Konneker
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Konneker, Ann Lee

Ann Lee Hancock Konneker was born and raised in Olean, New York to Robert and Ada Hancock. She graduated from The Ohio State University in 1945. While there, she joined the Chi Omega Sorority - an organization that she remained active throughout her life. She was Chair of the Chi Omega Women's Self-Government Association, and was a finalist in the Miss Ohio State contest. She married Wilfred Konneker, and they had one daughter, Barbara.

Ann Lee's family, including her older sister, Jane, spent summers at nearby Chautauqua Institution (NY), a place that remained important to her all her life. She loved sharing stories of her younger days with Jane at Chautauqua. She and Will purchased a summer home there and continued to enjoy many summers with their daughter, and later, their grandkids. They would load up the luggage and the Doberman, and make the drive from St. Louis to Chautauqua, often stopping to visit dear friends in Ohio.

Ann Lee and Will moved from Ohio to St. Louis when he attended Washington University and obtained his Ph.D. in Nuclear Physics. It was in St. Louis that Ann Lee and Will really blossomed into the philanthropic life. Ann Lee was involved with The Center of Contemporary Arts (COCA), Dance Saint Louis, as well as the Missouri Botanical Garden, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, the Saint Louis Symphony, The Sheldon Concert Hall, St. Louis Art Museum, Missouri History Museum, and a host of others along with her dedication to Chi Omega, serving on the Chi Omega Foundation Board. They loved the St. Louis Zoo and have been strong supporters for years - you can still walk the Konneker Hippo Trail. Ann Lee loved her golf cart tours of the Zoo later in her life, and she loved hearing about the new things they were doing there. She and Will loved music as well, enjoying many performances at Opera Theatre, the Saint Louis Symphony and The Sheldon. They especially loved traveling to Santa Fe, New Mexico to attend the Santa Fe Opera.

Ann Lee took on the project of restoring the Grosvenor House at Ohio University in Athens (Will's alma mater) after she and Will purchased it for Ohio University to use as an alumni center. She and several others traveled extensively, locating period furnishings and decor to restore it to its early 1900's origins of Greek Revival Design. The Konneker Alumni Center is still a vital part of Ohio University today.

Ann Lee and Will's pride and joy in later years (besides their daughter and grandchildren/great-grandchildren) were their Cutler Scholars, coming from both Will's high school, McClain, in Greenfield, Ohio, and Ann Lee's Olean High School in New York. Ann Lee continued to enjoy hearing from these 'kids' and learning of their educational experiences, adventures and life after college.

One of Ann Lee's last accomplishments was helping the vision of a new Zeta Alpha House at The Ohio State University become a reality. Chi Omega has begun construction of the new house in Columbus, Ohio, which is hoped to be completed by Spring 2021.

Ann Lee joined her beloved Will on Tuesday, July 14, 2020, and we know he was there with open arms waiting to escort her to heaven. They will celebrate their 75th anniversary together in heaven next Spring. 'Together at last, may Ann Lee and Will rest in peace.'?

Ann Lee lived a full life to the age of 95, and is survived by her daughter, Barbara, her grandchildren, Cara (Drew) and Trey (Shannon), her great-grandchildren, Michael, Levi and Naomi, and her nephew, Jeff. She and Will were blessed to have Will's Executive Assistant, Sue Winter, who started in the office with Dr. K in 1977, along with great caregivers who helped them enjoy life in the later years.

In lieu of flowers, donations for the Primate Canopy Trail at the Saint Louis Zoo would be a wonderful gesture of your love and friendship for Ann Lee.

Services: Due to COVID restrictions, we will only have a small immediate family celebration of her life.



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Published in Post - Dispatch from Aug. 2 to Aug. 9, 2020.
Memories & Condolences
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6 entries
August 31, 2020
Deepest sympathy to the Barbara Konneker family.
With gratitude for the Konneker Alumni Center and the many ways her parents have enhanced Ohio University for generations to come.
Tracey Lynn
August 12, 2020
The Konnekers. What an amazing couple and such an asset to St. Louis for so long. When I was discharged from military service in 1969, having a goodly number of college chemistry hours, I was able to wangle a lab tech job at Mallinckrodt Nuclear making small batch nuclear medicines in a "hot' cell using remote manipulators. Dr. Konneker, who had founded and sold the company to Mallinckrodt Chemical, would occasionally tour through the lab and review what was going on and I was able to meet him as well as Harold "Hap" Thayer who was the CEO of Mallinckrodt Chemical. I later returned to college and with some of my earnings, got a business degree, and eventually became a partner in one of St. Louis's largest firms. My eternal thanks to Dr. Konneker and his spouse, Ann Lee, who helped make that possible!

These people were giants and it is so fascinating to learn the details of Dr. Konneker's wife, Ann Lee's, civic leadership. God bless them both.
Alan T Wright
Coworker
August 6, 2020
My Dear Friend of over 25 years - We laughed so hard at times we wondered if those around us thought we had "lost IT" LOL I loved her beyond words - I am so Happy Knowing she is at REST and with her Beloved Will - I was Blessed to be able to call her "MY FRIEND
Janet R McArthy
Friend
August 3, 2020
Ann Lee and Will were truly a couple meant for each other. The picture in this obit clearly shows their devotion. Both were soft spoken, intelligent, caring and generous. Ann Lee was easy to know and like. She was genuinely interested in people, nature, and in the arts . Ann Lee and Will made tremendous contributions to Ohio University, not only in donations but in time and genuine care for the students and programs. Their wise counsel and wonderful smiles are deeply missed
Jeanette g brown
August 3, 2020
I knew Ann Lee through her relationship with Ohio University. She and Will were exceedingly generous, in so many ways, to the University, and they were wonderful, caring people in every way. No one ever did more for Ohio University's research capacity and success than Will, and Ann Lee was always gracious and a delight to be with. May she rest in peace and in satisfaction for a life fully and well lived!
Robert Glidden
Friend
August 3, 2020
I was blessed to have know Ann Lee through the 20 years I worked at Ohio University (13 of them at the Konneker Alumni Center). I was in awe of her and Will --their dedication and generosity was inspiring. They had a keen interest in the students, faculty and research initiatives that they supported at OU and elsewhere. I was a 24 year old new Ohio employee when I first met Ann Lee and probably stammered--but she couldn't have been sweeter then and throughout the time I knew her. Rest in Peace Ann Lee
Rick Harrison
Friend
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