Thursday, 21 July 2022

Frank Wm. Konken, 94 (1927-2022)

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One of the early times I learned of Frank was when we published this article in The Inquirer, February 1956: 'The Capacity Crowd Thrilled by Choir', News from British Columbia by John J. Chernenkoff —

On January 13 a capacity crowd saw the Grand Forks Youth Choir (Union of Spiritual Communities of Christ) put on a concert at the K. P. Hall [Knights of Pythias Hall, Salmo, B.C.].

Frank Konken, master of ceremonies and director of the 30 voice mixed choir, introduced the numbers in both Russian and English. The first part of the program consisted of hymns and spiritual numbers while the second part took on a classic and romantic vein.

Choir members John Novakshonoff, Peter and Lucy Gretchen urged the strengthening of Doukhobor faith and the promotion of better understanding between peoples.

For decades I periodically kept in touch with my friend, singer-musician Frank Konken. Our last call was a few days before he died on December 10, 2021. In a letter to me January 6th, 2022, his wife Ruby wrote: 'Frank always had great admiration for you and looked forward to talking with you.' Below is a list of publications about his productive life.

Condolences to Ruby and children Frank Konken Jr , Stefanie Zaytsoff, Jamie Konken. Sadly, daughter Dominca 'Damanya' Sweet died in 2020.

In Memory

'A Tovarischi' Adventurous Performer' (PDF), from my 2002 book: Spirit Wrestlers: Doukhobor Pioneers' Strategies for Living, page 252.

Frank William Konken, Obituaries, Iskra, January 2022, No. 2170, pages 37-39.

Frank Konken, Obituaries, Grand Forks Gazette and Castlegar News, December 10, 2021

Folksinger Frank Konken dies at 94, by Greg Nesteroff, My Kootenay Now, Dec. 21, 2021; copied on Facebook: 102.3 Juice FM (radio).

Frank Konken, 10 Dec 2021 (aged 94), USCC Sion Cemetery, Find-A-Grave.

Trail Blazers: Renowned musicians Frank and Ruby Konken: From country to Russian tunes, the Konkens are instrumental players in the world of recorded music, by Sheri Regneir, Rossland News and Trail Times, Apr. 22, 2021.

Tovarischi (Comrades): Frank Konken, William Saliken, Fred Zibin,

Frank & Ruby Konken,, 1999

The Tovarischi collection,, — "...the largest contribution [of] music with intrumentation ... Beginning in 1954, a total of 21 records (42 sides) ..."

Frank and Ruby Konken: Russian Folk Songs — 10 audio files uploaded by 2019 on

Tovarischi [Hits: 23803] Label of Canadian Doukhobors. 42 songs recorded 1954-1955+ on 21 45-RPM records, from

Вечная память! Vechnaya Pamyat! Eternal memory! Rest in peace, Frank.

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