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Grace L. Knop
(January 24, 1933 - October 10, 2011)

Surrounded by her family, Grace Lorene Knop, age 78, of Stewardson, passed away at 6:15 p.m. on Monday, October 10, 2011 at Heartland Christian Village in Neoga.

Grace was born on January 24, 1933 in Ash Grove Township, Shelby County, Illinois, the daughter of Edward John and Mildred Grace (Huffmaster) Spannagel.

Grace was baptized at home, confirmed in March of 1947 and attended St. Paul’s Lutheran Grade School in Strasburg. She attended Strasburg High School and was a graduating member of the class of 1951, the first class to graduate as a consolidated Stew-Stras class. Grace was a huge sports enthusiast and a diehard Cub fan. She played girls fast pitch softball for many years herself and then later married a coach. She always felt that was an ideal situation as in later years she could be spectator instead of a player – especially when her kids and grandkids played. Grace also bowled for over 30 years and held various offices in the EWBA. She was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church, Trinity Ladies Aid and she was also the church and school secretary for many years. Grace worked at various Effingham businesses including the Effingham Daily News, Burkland’s Greenhouse and Effingham Ambulance. She served as Prairie Township Assessor for 20 plus years and also was self employed in the cake making business for many years.

She married Kenneth George (Skip) Knop on June 7, 1953. He died on June 19, 2001. Born of that union were five children: Glenda (Keith) Burgh of Marion, IA, Kenna (Dennis) Wirth of Gays, Kevin (Donna) Knop of Forsyth, Kim (Glen) Webb of Stewardson and Kyle (Michelle) Knop of Strasburg; thirteen, grandchildren: BreAne (Josh) Hampsher, Brenna (Dustin) Miller, Adrienne Wirth, Mitchell (Melissa) Wirth, Mackenzie Knop, Glen Webb, Jr., Eric (Debbie) Webb, Justin (Frances) Webb, Juli (Nathan) Mietzner, Jamie Beals, Kacie (Brandon) Pankau, Kayla (Josh Nichols) Knop and Kendall Knop; and ten great grandchildren: Fiona, Raegan, Caden, Megan, Madison, Taylon, Tavion, Kayden, Kaylee and Laynee Grace. They all survive. Also surviving are two brothers, Lloyd (Wilma) Spannagel and Glen (Betty) Spannagel both of Strasburg; two sisters, Ruth (Bob) Kohnert of Effingham and Donna (Larry) Schultz of Stewardson; sisters-in-law, Betty Albrecht of Greenville, Lucy (Bub) Best of Glen Carbon and Carol (Charlie) Selfslaughs of Ellijay, GA; brother-in-law, Jim Knop of New Douglas; three God-children, Dianna Gibson, Ralph Albrecht and Mike Schultz; and many other nieces and nephews.

Grace was preceded in death by her parents; beloved husband, Kenneth; brother, Clarence Spannagel; and dear grandson, Kellan Taylor Knop.

Grace was a devoted and extremely dedicated mother and grandmother. The hours that both she and her husband dedicated to not only their children and grandchildren, but to numerous children in the Stew-Stras area, will not soon be forgotten.

The Service of Thanksgiving and Celebration of her life will be on Sunday, October 16, 2011 at 2:00 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church in Stewardson with Rev. Richard Bremer officiating. Visitation will be held at the Trinity Lutheran School Gymnasium from 4:00-8:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 15th and one hour before services on Sunday in the church. Burial will be in Stewardson Cemetery. Memorials are suggested for the Knop Athletic Scholarship Fund, Trinity Lutheran Church or the American Cancer Society. Howe and Yockey Funeral Home in Strasburg is in charge of arrangements.

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