Viola was born on June 27, 1918 to the late Henry and Mathilda (Uhl) Laabs in the Town of Fremont. She was united in marriage to William Asa Kneip on September 30, 1939. Viola was a member of St. Peter Evangelical Lutheran Church in Weyauwega her entire life. Her faith sustained her through some difficult days, but she always saw the light that was before her. She is now with Jesus in a room in His house that He has prepared especially for her. Viola graduated from Weyauwega High School in 1936 and was a lifelong learner. She was always reading a book, doing crossword puzzles daily and had an amazing vocabulary. Viola enjoyed her complete independence until the age of 96. She loved getting in her car and going to church, grocery shopping, or just going for a ride. She lived and farmed for her entire life – first with her parents in the Town of Fremont, and then after her marriage to William on their Weyauwega farm where she lived for 76 years. She loved watching all the deer, turkeys and birds and particularly enjoyed nature, the flowers and watching the crops grow. For many years, she enjoyed gardening and teaching her daughters canning and cooking. Viola was an active member of the Weyauwega community for many years as a member of the Sew & Sew club; playing card games like canasta, sheepshead and golf; bowling and many bus trips with family and friends. She was wonderfully talented with knitting, sewing, cross-stitching and crocheting many family heirlooms. She also enjoyed cheering for the Green Bay Packers. Her greatest joy came from her family. She loved Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, where the family always gathered at her home. Everyone in the family received hand-knit slippers and hanging hand towels that she made throughout the year. She always gave everyone a hug when they came in and again when they left – she enjoyed sharing hugs. She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister and aunt. Her face would light up whenever her family visited. She was always there with support and encouragement for her daughters, sons-in-law, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Her family will forever be thankful for the many years we were blessed to share with her. Viola was the cornerstone of her family and extended family. She leaves a legacy of love and understanding that continues with her family.
She is survived by three daughters: Jean (Lester) Ponto, Greenville; Nancy (John) Boyce, Menasha; and Patricia (Christ) Brogaard, Waupaca; grandchildren: Lynn Borchardt, Jill (Chris) Robbins, Susan (Jason) Weis, Kimberly (Brandon) Becker, Brian Brogaard, Holly Brogaard, and Aaron (Janel) Brogaard; great-grandchildren: Matthew and Ben Borchardt, Andrew and Ryan Robbins, Melanie Weis, and Dane and Landon Brogaard; nieces and nephews: Charles (Karen) Beaman, Gary (Jean) Laabs, Judith Harriman, Susan (Larry) Albright, Bob (Jean) Missall, Kathy (Don) Demke and Sister Dorothy Dunbar. She will also be missed by her extended family and friends. She was preceded in death by her loving husband William Asa Kneip and her son William Henry Kneip Jr and her parents. She was the last surviving of nine brothers and sisters – LaRoy (LaVal) Laabs, Irene (Charles) Beaman, Melvin “Buster” Laabs, Alan “Bud” Laabs, Ruth (Harvey) Missall, Luella (Kenneth) Larson, Margaret (Hap) Hogan and Geneva “Nevie” Freiman.
Visitation for Viola will be held on Friday, May 26, 2017 at St. Peter Ev. Lutheran Church, 312 W. Main St., Weyauwega, beginning at 9:00 a.m. until the funeral service, which will be held at 11:30 a.m. with Rev. Dennis Lemke and Rev. Newlin Schafer officiating. Burial will be in Oakwood Cemetery, Weyauwega. The Cline Hanson Dahlke Funeral Home in Weyauwega is serving the family.
Viola’s family would like give a heartfelt thank you to the staff of Bethany Pines Assisted Living for their outstanding care and love for Viola for the past two years. We would also like to thank Rev. Dennis Lemke for his spiritual guidance while Viola was living at Bethany and especially during her stay in hospice. We want to thank the staff of ThedaCare Medical Center- Waupaca Hospice unit for their care of Viola in her final days. We were blessed to have such compassionate end-of-life care provided for Viola and for the care for her family.