Noben-Trauth, Konrad age 61, died March 12, 2021 at his home in Lake Park of glioblastoma brain cancer. Konrad August Trauth was born September 9, 1959 in Herxheim Germany, the second of four children to Erhard and Elfriede (Knecht) Trauth. His parents described Konrad as a quiet child who served as a church altar boy and helped his grandparents in their vineyard. He studied Latin and Greek in Eduard Spranger Gymnasium and learned to play chess on the train ride to school. From 1978-80, Konrad was a Jesuit Novice at the Rupert-Mayer-Haus in Nürnberg. After leaving the Novitiate, Konrad worked as a nurse then studied Genetics and Microbiology at the University of Heidelberg, and as a Heidelberg Scholar at the University of Kentucky, graduating in 1990. He continued his studies at the Max-Planck-Institute in Freiburg and received a Doctorate in Molecular Biology in 1994. It was at the Max-Planck-Institute in the Black Forest city of Freiburg that Konrad met Nancy Noben, who was on a postdoctoral fellowship. They were married April 7, 1994 in Freiburg and changed both of their last names to Noben-Trauth. The couple then continued research in the United States at The Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine. Konrad's work led to the discovery of an obesity gene, and he received the first of four U.S. patents. From 19972012, Konrad headed an independent research laboratory at the National Institutes of Health near Washington, D.C. Using mouse models, his laboratory discovered human disease genes causing hearing loss. He published over fifty papers in high-impact journals and was nominated for the NIH Distinguished Mentor Award. Restless for a new intellectual challenge, Konrad entered the William Mitchell College of Law in Saint Paul, Minnesota. He graduated magna cum laude in May 2016 and was employed as a law clerk with Schwegman, Lundberg, & Woessner in Minneapolis. While living in Saint Paul, Konrad reconnected with his Jesuit roots and found prayer groups and close friends with the Ignatian Associates of the Twin Cities. Konrad played several instruments including classic guitar, flute, and saxophone. He knitted sweaters and scarves, biked, went canoeing, followed Bayern Munich soccer, and had a passion for Mephisto shoes and German desserts! His signature cake was a Hazelnuss Kirsch Torte that he baked every Saturday for many years. Konrad and Nancy were members at Zion Lutheran in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. Konrad was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in September, 2016. He chronicled his four-year journey at sevendeafmice.com. His life was extended in part to the exceptional care at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis. Konrad's perseverance through multiple surgeries and hospitalizations was a quiet testimony to his unwavering faith. He is survived by his wife, Nancy Noben-Trauth; brother-in-law, Chris Noben, both in Lake Park, MN; his family in Germany, mother Elfriede; brothers, Franz and Bernhard; sister, Susanne; niece, Christina; nephews, Benedikt and Philip. He was preceded in death by his father Erhard who died in 2018 at the age of 87. A funeral service, officiated by Rev. Bruce Noennig of Zion Lutheran Church will be held Friday, March 19, 2021 at 1:00 at Wright Funeral Home in Hawley, Minnesota. A livestream of the service will be available on Konrad's obituary page at wrightfuneral.com where a guestbook and video tribute may also be found. Burial will be at Immanuel Lutheran Church Cemetery, Audubon, Minnesota.
Published on March 17, 2021