Renota “Ronnie” Martha Wepner Knaack, age 94 passed away peacefully late morning Monday, September 21, 2015 at Pine Manor Health Center.
On February 23, 1921, Renota was born in Marion, Wisconsin to the late Frank and Emma (Weber) Wepner. Renota was raised and lived the majority of her life in the Marion area where she grew up on a farm, surrounded by three brothers and two sisters. Most people have not had the chance to meet a person named Renota in their life. Renota and her sister Lucinda had their names passed down to them from a previous generation, these names were of Renota’s Mother’s sisters. She attended grade school at Pioneer School (Marion School District) where she was awarded a diploma from the 8th grade. Following schooling, Renota married Carl Louis Albert Knaack on June 9, 1942 in Marion at South Dupont Lutheran Church. Carl was a man that Renota once said, “if I could not marry Carl, I would not marry anyone.” Renota worked with Carl and his family on the homestead for many years. Carl and Renota raised two children Ruth Ann (Born) and Joan (Shepard). For several years, Renota was very active at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Marion, teaching Sunday School. Aside from working on the homestead, teaching Sunday School, and raising a family; Renota worked at several different area businesses including: The Riviera Grill, Hortonville Toy Factory, Marion Plywood, Model Dairy, Baker’s Canning Factory, and the Clintonville Community Hospital. Renota received further education at Fox Valley Technical College (Institute at the time) to become a registered Dietician. Renota was very talented and she was self-taught on crocheting. She made several crocheted blankets for family and friends, and enjoyed crocheting clothing for babies at the hospital. Renota’s husband Carl passed away in 1981 after a battle with cancer. Renota returned to work at the Clintonville Community Hospital working in the kitchen for a few more years. Renota sold the Marion homestead in 1992 to her relation, Kelly Zillmer, and then moved to a home on 8th Street in Clintonville, which was previously resided in by her Grandfather many years earlier. Lucinda (Renota’s sister), noticing that Renota was experiencing heath problems, took her in for a period of time and they also maintained the residence at the 8th Street Clintonville address until 2004. Renota later experienced a tragic fall down a flight of stairs, which also revealed the beginning of a battle with dementia, and as a result of associated health problems, was moved to Greentree Health Center, Kindred Hearts Assisted Living, and finally Pine Manor Health Center.
Renota is preceded in death by her parents: Frank and Emma Wepner, her husband Carl Knaack, and her daughter Ruth Ann Born. Her siblings preceding her in death include her brothers: Victor Wepner and Martin Wepner, a sister Lucinda Hintz. Brothers and sisters in-law preceeding her in death include: Art Brown, Milton Hintz, Elna Wepner, Alice Wepner and Mildred Brown. Survivors include: a sister Ruth Heling, a brother Ervin Wepner, a daughter Joan Shepard, a brother in-law Gerald Heling, four Grandchildren: Jackie Korch, Todd Stevens, John Shepard and Robin Shepard. Renota also has four great-grandchildren: Erik Anderson, Jennifer Anderson, Richard Korch and Caroline Korch.
A visitation will be held Saturday, September 26 at 9:00 a.m. until funeral services at 11:00 a.m. at Eberhardt-Stevenson Funeral Home in Clintonville with Pastor Christian Burg presiding. Burial will be in the family plot at Roseland Cemetery in the Town of Dupont, Waupaca County. A meal will be served following the funeral services at Mathew’s Supper Club in Clintonville. The family wishes to extend a special thank you to Doctor Cynthia Egan, Pastor Christian Burg, ThedaCare Hospice, the staff at Green Tree Health Care, Kindred Hearts Assisted Living Residence and Pine Manor Health Center; for their care, kindness and fortitude. We also wish to extend a thank you to Eberhardt-Stevenson Funeral Home and Mathew’s Supper Club for their assistance.
Crocheting, playing the piano, speaking two languages, gardening, hard-worker, excellent cook, home remodeler, these are all fitting descriptions of Renota, and her friends and family surely can add a lot more adjectives to this list.