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Donald R. Knoll

Donald R. Knoll

January 24, 2018

Heaven has gained a much-loved, special man. Donald Raymond Knoll passed away, Wednesday, January 24, 2018, at Sacred Heart Hospital, Eau Claire, WI, after a valiant struggle with cancer.  Don was born February 17, 1943, in St. Paul, MN, to Clarence Knoll and Marjorie Anderson Knoll. 

Don was a strong, hard-working, honest man, a beloved example for his grandsons and nephews. By involving them in his carpentry and remodeling projects, he inspired them with his strong work ethic.  Grandpa Don loved and encouraged his granddaughters as well.

Don loved fishing, camping and sitting by the campfire; he liked to repair things, and he enjoyed seeing his building and remodeling projects come to life.  Don built two large houses from the ground up by himself, and he remodeled many houses; he meticulously thought through each project, big or small.  He worked for many wonderful customers, some of whom said that Don made it possible for them to stay in their homes, sometimes repairing things on short notice.  After Hurricane Katrina, Don and grandson Joe traveled to New Orleans to do repair work, and Grandpa and grandson Mike traveled to Alabama to work and to fish in the Gulf.  At one time, Don owned a heating business in the Cadott area.  He also did concrete work, installed appliances, and much more.  Before becoming self-employed, Don worked at Sterling Pulp & Paper and Uniroyal.  From his desk chair, Don coached the Packers and Brewers, and to his delight, he spent several winters in the South with his brother, Jim.  Don and Judy loved to take fall color rides and other “driving” vacations.

In 1961, Don found his lifelong love, Judy, while shopping in a grocery store in Greenwood, WI.  He was behind her in a checkout lane.  Judy didn’t notice him because she had rollers in her hair and was trying to remain obscure.  On November 17, 2017, Don and Judy celebrated 55 years of marriage.  There are a few significant 17s in their life: Don’s birthday, Judy’s birthday, their first date, and their wedding day.   He didn’t want to pass away in 2017 - he waited.

Don will be welcomed to Heaven by his stepmom Mabel and dad Clarence Knoll, his mother Marjorie Anderson, Judy’s parents, Irene (Ley) and Robert Englebretson, brother John Juris, brother-in-law Terry Belden and nephews Russell Dresdow, Brian Jennings, Tony Knoll, and niece Diane Schuneman.  Many dogs will greet Don and come running for treats…Scarlet, Lady, Lady II, Ginger, Midnight, and Buddy.

Don is survived by his wife, Judy, daughter, Tammi (Tim) Herrick, who at a month old was specially placed in their love and care through adoption.  Tammi added joy to their family with seven grandchildren, Brandon Pember, Joey (Candis Spindler) Knoll, Mike Miller, Nicole (Zac) Bertsch, ,Thomas Goss, Marji Goss, and Kaleigh Herrick.  He is also survived by three great grandchildren, Connor Bertsch and  Lucy and Keldon Pember.  His brothers Jim Knoll and Rich Knoll, and sisters Laurie Schuneman, Cheryl (Todd) Holt, Verena (Howie) Jennings, and Judy (Rick) Moelter Miller also survive, as well as sisters-in-law Karen Englebretson and Patti (Dave) Ledlow.  Several nieces, nephew, great nieces, and nephews survive; however, a special thank you to nephew Chad Belden for all his help; Don would want to thank Bobby and Tina for holding him dear.  Also Don had some very caring friends, Larry, John, and Vic, who will miss him.   A special thank you to dear Peg who sent a cheery card to Don every week during his illness.

Don thought funerals are too sad so he chose to not have one, but when emotions are less raw, the family will hold a Celebration of Life for Don because we love his big heart!!

Thank you to Dr. Delmastro, the angel nurses, and reception folks at Marshfield Cancer Center, to Dr. Steinmetz, other doctors at Sacred Heart Hospital, angel nurses Gail and Carol, and the other Oncology nurses, CNA’s, and staff.  Their loving and caring help through this journey assured us there are angels on earth.  Thank you to the chaplains at Sacred Heart Hospital, and to the pastors of Trinity Lutheran Church who visited and shared prayers with us. 

Memorials may be made to the family who will donate to Don’s favorite charities.