Mary Elizabeth (nee Maria Elisa Wegner) Knuettel, 1507 Smith Street, went to her rest on October 27, 2011. She was born in Billings, MT on March 24, 1922. She was first generation American of ‘Germans from Russia’ parents who emigrated to the U.S. just prior to the Bolshevik Revolution and World War I. She was baptized through the Missouri Synod church. Due to post-war anti-German sentiment, Maria became Mary by the time she started school. The family survived the Depression only to lose their Dad and farm along the Stillwater. Stories of backbreaking work in the sugar beet fields was balanced with country vs. city life remembrances. Mary graduated from high school in 1940 and attended Eastern Montana Normal School. She worked domestic, then clerical jobs before and after the outbreak of World War II, including Hart Albin and International Harvester. She spent most of the war years at the Navy shipyards in Bremerton, WA. She treasured many photos of the big ships that were launched in ever-increasing frequency. Following marriage to Eugene (Gene) A. Knuettel in 1952, the couple eventually moved to Wisconsin. They lived in and around Iola for almost forty years. Mary was a hard worker, devoted wife and mother. She was an accomplished cook and shared many recipes with her six daughters, including the ethnic favorites passed on from her relatives. Tea parties were often and holiday tables were memorable. She loved flowers, especially iris, lilacs and tea roses. For years she maintained a large garden, canning the excess vegetables. Day trips to Door County resulted in hundreds of jars of cherries and applesauce as well. Mary gave above and beyond to the Iola Nursing Home, working there from 1969 to her retirement in 1984. She kept a list of those who had passed and spoke of them often. Her daughters were all in Girl Scouts and spent many hours at the home entertaining the residents and decorating doors, rooms and the occasional wheelchair. Mary’s volunteer work included serving as Troop Leader and as Unit counselor at Camp Vic-to-Rae outside of New London. As a member of the VFW Ladies’ Auxiliary she spent many hours at the Wisconsin Veterans’ Home in King. In later life she enjoyed traveling out west to revisit her youth or pursue old-time music with Gene who played accordion for 60 years. Mary loved the big band sound, especially Glenn Miller. Following the death of her husband, Mary moved to New London in 1996. Despite the many trials in her life, Mary’s innate fortitude kept her going only to succumb to years of degenerating Alzheimers. Besides her husband, she was preceded in death by her parents, four sisters, four brothers and one daughter (Lornette). She is survived by five daughters –Janine, Jolene, Kim, Marla and Lite; one brother–Edward (Isabel); one sister-in-law-Sharon; three grandchildren — John, Amy and Beth; and numerous nieces and nephews. Following cremation, a private service will be held at a later date. Any memorials will be given to the Lutheran Hour Ministries. The family would like to thank the many caregivers and friends who helped Kim and Marla in taking care of their Mom for the last fifteen years, especially Jenny and Shirlee. They would also like to thank: Theda Care hospice and home health staff, especially Paula, Debbie and Marie; Jernegan’s HealthMart; the American Red Cross of Waupaca; and Pastor Matt Rausch of Trinity/Grace in Bear Creek.
“I Know That My Redeemer Liveth” Cline & Hanson Funeral Home, 209 W. Cook St., New London 920-982-3232 www.clinehansonfuneralhome.com