INMAN, Kan. (KSNT) – The family of a Buhler teacher who was killed in a car crash earlier this month is using the man’s love for art to keep his legacy alive.
Jory Konrade coached many sports over the years and was an art teacher at Prairie Hills Middle School.
“He was a quiet leader, but he had such a strong presence,” said Nikki Mihm, family friend.
Police said Konrade died in a crash on K-61 in Reno County when he lost control of his truck and was hit by a semi after it crossed the median. Weather conditions were likely to blame according to state troopers.
Now, Konrade’s family is sharing his passion for art while receiving some surprises of their own.
“Anything he touches with his hands is just made better,” said Jason Konrade, Jory’s brother.
Not only did he impact the lives of hundreds of students and athletes, but his artistic abilities were also undeniable.
The Konrade family says Jory’s talent was obvious at a very young age.
“We’d sit down to draw as kids,” said Jason. “You’d be working on your little thing and be proud of what you did and he’d still be working. You’d compare and realize, ‘Wow, I need to go back to work.’ No matter how hard I tried, I could never match what he created.”
Because of the outpouring support from the Inman and Buhler communities and beyond, a Facebook page called Jory Konrade Art was created so others could share pictures of the pieces Jory created for them.
One family is even traveling several hours to Inman to give Jory’s wife and kids the artwork he created years ago.
The Konrade family said Jory would often bring back trinkets or pieces of nature back from trips and turn them into works of art.
As his family leans on faith during this difficult time, they said knowing Jory left behind a legacy that many dream of is what keeps them going.
“I had no idea the number of people he’s touched,” said Jason. “We’re just gonna stick together and get through each holiday, each new day together. We will cherish these memories and moments.”
Jory’s funeral is on Wednesday (Nov. 27) at 11 a.m. at Cross Point Church in Hutchinson. The visitation is Tuesday (Nov. 26) night from 6-8 p.m.
The Konrade family welcomes anyone to share their photos of artwork created by Jory on the Facebook page.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to assist the Konrade family at this time.