Kate Knowles passed away Saturday April 8, 2017. Kate lived a fabulous, full and fun 87 years!
Her daughters, Ellen (Larry) Mathein and Meg Knowles, MD were at her side to help ease Kate’s passage to Heaven.
Kate was born in Chicago, Ill. to Thomas and Ellen Quinn. She had a brother, John, who preceded her in death.
Kate married Leo Knowles on December 28, 1958. Ellen and Meg found a trunk full of “love” letters between Kate and Leo “Tiger” which Kate had saved; they were so genuine and wonderful– you could feel the love they had for one other. Kate and Leo were the best parents, setting great examples for their daughters and their grandchildren, Jeremie (Samantha), Ed (Joy), and Tess.
Kate taught first grade in the Chicago Public School System for over 40 years. She was a celebrated educator and Golden Apple Award Finalist. The yearly first grade musical plays (written in verse and choreographed by Kate) were like Broadway productions.
Leo (Dad) passed away in April 2008. At that time, Kate moved up to be near Meg and Ellen and Larry in the great Northwoods. She lived independently, cooked gourmet meals, baked (her Irish cake was famous), gardened, made friends (Jenn), entertained, read mysteries, sat out on the porch (while Larry grilled) and enjoyed life to the fullest.
Kate’s daughter, Meg has always rescued every stray animal that comes her way. Kate made great friends with Meg’s cats and her rescued burro, Burrito. The kitties slept on mom’s bed as she went to be with Dad last night.
About a month ago, we took this photo of mom and Burrito. Burrito had been used for calf-roping practice and badly abused for many years before he was abandoned. Her back legs are badly crippled as a result. Together, mom and Burrito formed a bond. Mom’s legs were crippled as well, but they leaned on one another and walked together. Burrito had been given a new lease on life through Equine Voices Rescue and Sanctuary (and was subsequently adopted by Meg). Together, Mom and Burrito reveled in what a great life they had, able to be loved and to trust one another.
We will miss Mom tremendously but know she in Heaven with Leo, enjoying the company of all who have gone before (both persons and pets), guiding us—and likely baking Irish cakes.
No services will be held for Kate. We know Kate would like to be remembered through donations made to Equine Voices (Burrito’s rescuer) in her honor. You may read more about Equine Voices and make a donation at equinevoices.org.
Ellen, Larry and Meg wish to express gratitude towards Aspirus Hospice (especially Donna, CNA), Dr. Cortte and John Krueger of Krueger Family Funeral Home. And to thank all who helped make Mom’s journey Home easier. (Krueger Family Funeral Home and Cremation Services)