Kristin Lynn "Kristie" Konsoer, age 51, peacefully returned home to God on Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021, after living over nine years with breast cancer.
I was born on May 30, 1970, in Madison, the daughter of Donald and Carol (Christensen) Konsoer, and grew up in Middleton, Wis. I loved Sunday visits with grandma on the farm outside of Wisconsin Dells. School was also one of my favorite places. I loved learning so much that I would often play school when I got home each day. I was a lifelong reader, writer, and learner.
Over the years, I was fortunate to have traveled widely throughout the U.S. and visited 26 countries. Family vacations held many favorite memories for me. Disney World, national parks-Yellowstone in particular-and Fish Creek in Door County are forever in my heart.
After graduating from Middleton High School in 1988, I went on to UW-Madison where I received my B.S. in elementary education in 1993, and my M.S. in curriculum and instruction in 1999. As part of the Portage Community School District, I taught split grades for nine years in Endeavor, Wis. One of those years was spent teaching in Edinburgh, Scotland, as part of the Fulbright Teacher Exchange Program. In 2002, I was hired to teach in Middleton-Cross Plains. I taught at West Middleton and my alma mater, Elm Lawn, for 14 years before I needed to choose a very, very early retirement. Over my 23 years as a teacher, I was blessed to teach grades 1-4, and roughly 543 students.
I loved being a teacher. It is what I always wanted to do and thankfully what I was able to do for many years. One of my friends once told me that the skills and abilities I gave my students would stay with them beyond the classroom. I hope I played a small role in forming individuals who can think and be kind to another.
I loved nature and walking on trails shrouded by trees. They offered peace and energy to my soul. Gallistel Woods at the UW Arboretum and making the trek to the top of the hill at Pheasant Branch were favorite places to relax, where the journey itself was every bit a part of the destination. Birdwatching was another favorite hobby of mine. Chickadees, cardinals, and the tiny but strong voiced wren always made me smile.
I would be remiss if I didn't mention my love for Badgers football. Badgers are very special fans, as were my Badgers companions. I was lucky to span over four decades of games cheering on the team with my father, then my mother, and finally my sister. Go Badgers!
Throughout my years living with cancer, it was very important to me to change perceptions about those living with metastatic cancer. More people are living stronger and better than ever before with cancer. Live in a future built on hope, resiliency, and positivity. I appreciated every ounce of support I ever received, but I saw it as my responsibility to create a mindset geared toward surviving and thriving. I was not going to be put in a box of medical timelines and what others expected or told me I could or could not do.
If you are someone reading this who has cancer, politely make it very clear to anyone who gets in your way that you are living in a space of wellness. You have moved beyond the medical classifications of your health and do not accept discussing your health in unhealthy or disparaging terms.
I hope I am remembered as kind and giving. Some may remember me for my chocolate chip cookies and brownies, and that is fine and good. I want to take a moment to say giving is one of the truest joys in life. Whereas it's tradition to receive gifts on your birthday, many of us may be missing the opportunity to take this day as a chance to give back. My birthday was one of a couple days per year that I would quietly donate to a charity that was important to me. I would like to pass this tradition on to whomever it appeals. You are here on purpose.
I am preceded in death by my parents and survived by my sister, Julie (James) Ackerman, as well as many extended family and much-loved friends.
I would like to express my gratitude to Dr. David Hei, Dr. Kari Wisinski, my angel nurses, and the entire staff at the UW Carbone Cancer Center. I am also very thankful to Dr. John Ewalt and Associated Physicians for a lifetime of healthcare.
I survived many things in my life, most of them good. I believe I will also survive my death. Rest assured, right now I'm doing really, really well. Yes, I would rather have stayed here to laugh more, make more of a difference, and enjoy life, but leave all those things for you to do and to do them well. God bless.