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Celebration of a Life

Joseph A. Koncick (1917-2009)

One Manhasset-Lakeville fireman will not be marching in the Memorial Day Parade this year. Joseph A. Koncick, who was born in Manhasset in 1917, passed away last November 2009 at the age of 92. His long life was spent in Manhasset with his family and friends, he was an employee with Munsey Park School for 50 years, and served as a volunteer fireman for 70 years.

Joseph had many experiences in life, including working in the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s building the Blue Ridge Parkway. In the 1930s, Joe decided not to join the French Foreign Legion and instead enlisted in the U.S. Army and served as a guard at the Statue of Liberty before the advent of the war. When World II began Joe Koncick enlisted again and served in the Army Air Corps. He flew as the top turret gunner and engineer on B-17s, flying missions in North Africa and Italy. Often, he chalked “To Hitler, From Manhasset” or “From Munsey Park School” on bombs. He was part of the revered group of Americans referred to as the “Greatest Generation.” Throughout his combat service to his country in the far reaches of the world, he wrote to his beloved wife, Agnes, every single day.

Not only did Joseph work for 50 years as head custodian of Munsey Park Elementary School in Manhasset, he helped to build the school in the 1930s. Always known to the teachers and students as “Mr. Joe,” he was loved by one and all for his smile, willingness to help and positive attitude. The library at the school is dedicated in his honor, and is the Joseph A Koncick Media Center because when lightning struck the original library, Mr. Joe was there to save the books from damage. He began a tradition of making a pancake breakfast for the staff every holiday season, and was known to carry children with broken legs or disabilities up the stairs.

Joe served his community as well. He was a volunteer fireman with the Manhasset Lakeville Fire Department, Company 2, for over 70 years. In 2009, he was named Honorary Chief for his long service to the company.

For Joseph, his family was the most important and cherished part of his life. He married his sweetheart, Agnes, in 1941 and they built a home on Mitchell Place. They had five children, Cynthia, Nancy, Janet, Joseph and Teresa. Sadly, they lost Cynthia to cancer in 1958. However, he made certain that his four children went to college by working overtime and taking extra jobs. He was so proud of the success and happiness of his children. And he always told Agnes how much he loved her, every single day.

As a family, the Koncicks were always together. Whether visiting their relatives on the farm in Massachusetts or in Tennessee, or just having barbecues in the back yard, there was always fun when Joe was around. Everyone who ever knew Joe Koncick loved him for how special he was. He was a smart and intelligent man who was respected and admired for all the help and sage advice he so happily offered to one and all. He was always kind and had a terrific sense of humor, bringing smiles to everyone’s faces. And he treated everyone with respect. Joe will be long remembered and will remain in the hearts of all of us.

Submitted by Teresa A. Koncick, daughter of Joseph Koncick