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Michigan Hall of Famer Joe Konen dies

September 12, 2016
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Joseph Konen,of Croswell, Mich., died Sunday, Sept. 11, at his home surrounded by loved ones. He was 82.

A member of the Michigan Harness Horsemen's Association, Mr. Konen was inducted into the state's harness racing Hall of Fame in 2003. He was also a member of the U. S. Trotting Association and was in the Cros-Lex Sports Hall of Fame.
 
Mr. Konen was born March 23, 1934, in Grosse Pointe, son of the late Arthur and Gertrude (Turk) Konen. He and Kathleen Carter were married April 23, 1954, in Mt. Clemens.
 
Mr. Konen was a member of Ave Maria Parish/St. Patrick Church. He was a real estate salesman for 30 years, and owner and auctioneer of the Croswell Stockyard at that time. He owned Moore & Carter Lumber as well as Wolverine Racing Stables for 20 years where he bred, owned and trained Standardbreds, including several state champions.
 
Mr. Konen's biggest year came in 1990 when he won three Michigan Sires Stakes championships. His trio of winners included the 3-year-old filly trotter Super Noni, the 2-year-old colt trotter Christopher R, and the 2-year-old filly trotter Jeff's Sister.

Among Mr. Konen's other top horses were trotters Jeff's Playboy and Darvin, both former track record holders at Hazel Park. Jeff's Playboy earned $360,000 on the racetrack, while Darvin, Michigan's top 3-year-old trotter in 1983, earned more than $300,000. As a stallion, Darvin's progeny included Christopher R.

Other top-earning horses owned by Mr. Konen over the years include Crashland, Super None and Wolverine Avenger.

Mr. Konen is survived by his wife, Kathleen; daughters, Doreen Reynolds, Cheryl (Loren) Clarkson and Rebecca (David) Jaglois; sister, Clara Smale; eight grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his sister, Therese Zebley.

Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 15, at Ave Maria Parish, St. Denis Catholic Church, Lexington. Rev. Donald Eppenbrosk will officiate. Burial will be in Elk Twp. Cemetery. Visitation will be from 2-8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14, in the Pomeroy Funeral Home, Croswell and at the Church from 10-11 a.m. Thursday.
 
Memorial contributions may be made to the Church or Donor’s Choice.
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