Donna L. Knepple, 91, of Vandalia

Published 3:34pm Sunday, August 18, 2013

Donna Louise Knepple, 91

Born: Aug. 1, 1922

Died: Aug. 16, 2013


Donna Louise Knepple, 91, of Vandalia, died peacefully Friday afternoon, Aug. 16, 2013 in the presence of her family.

Donna was born Aug. 1, 1922, in Vandalia to Edward and Alma (Filley) Haines. She lived most of her life on Donnell Lake and was born in one of only three houses on the lake at the time.

Today, the sixth generation of her family continues to live on the lake that she loved.

She married Don Knepple in September 1946 in California, where Don was in the service. He preceded her in death in June 1998.

She was also preceded in death by one brother, Edward “Bud” Haines.

Donna especially enjoyed spending time outdoors, enjoying nature. She loved walking in the woods, hoping to spot deer, birds and seasonal wildflowers. She also found pleasure in walking around the lake, with an eye out for blue herons and swans.

For 20 years, Donna and her husband, Don wintered in Florida, where they boated on Lake Okeechobee, where catching a glimpse of alligators or exotic tropical birds made her day.

When she was no longer able to hike, Donna enjoyed pontoon boats on Donnell Lake and ATV rides through the woods and around the lake with her son-in-law, Paul. She also enjoyed watching deer and birds out the window of her living room.

She kept track of the hummingbirds and when her favorites missed a day or two, she was certain one the neighbors hijacked it.

Donna was an accomplished knitter and quilter. She made beautiful quilts for each of her children and every winter, the grandkids and great-grandchildren were supplied with plenty of hats, scarves and mittens.

Donna will be greatly missed by family and friends. She is survived by: two daughters, Judy (Paul) Rutherford of Vandalia and Sharon Evans of Cassopolis; one son, Scott Knepple of Cassopolis; five grandchildren, Lisa (Sprague) Fitzsimons of Vandalia, April (John) Schneider of Vandalia, Kanisha Evans of El Paso, Texas, Zeke Knepple of Cassopolis and Sierra Knepple of Cassopolis; five great-grandchildren; one sister, Dolores Morse of Vandalia; three brothers, Ron Haines of Vandalia, Jack Haines of Ocala, Fla., and Dewayne (Irene) Haines of Monett, Mo.; and one sister-in-law, Joyce Haines of Niles.

Family and friends will gather Monday from 5 until 8 p.m. in Connelly Chapel Wagner Family Funerals, 202 N. Broadway St., Cassopolis. Services will be Tuesday at 11 a.m. in Pleasant View Church of Christ, 66650 Crooked Creek Road (corner of M-60), Cassopolis, with Pastor Larry Settle officiating.

Mrs. Knepple’s remains will be laid to rest beside her late husband in Birch Lake Cemetery, Vandalia.

The family prefers memorial contributions to Hospice at Home, 4025 Health Park Lane, St. Joseph, MI 49085 or Birch Lake Cemetery Association, in care of Keith Carter, 63474 Union Road, Vandalia, MI 49095.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Connelly Chapel Wagner Family Funerals, Cassopolis.

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