Knipper, Donna Mae
Donna Mae Knipper, 75, of Dyersville, passed away peacefully at home on Dec. 26, 2010, following a lengthy illness. Friends and relatives may call from 2 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 30, at Kramer Funeral Home in Dyersville, where a parish Scripture service will be held at 8 p.m. A funeral Mass will be held at St Francis Xavier Basilica in Dyersville at 10:30 a.m. Friday. Officiating at the mass will be the Rev. Daniel Knipper, with the Rev. Dennis Quint concelebrating. Burial will follow the mass at St. Francis Xavier Cemetery in Dyersville.
Donna was born May 25, 1935, near Worthington, Iowa to Albert and Julia (Vaske) Dingbaum. In 1938, she moved with her family to Dyersville. She graduated from Xavier High School in Dyersville in 1953. Donna attended St. Mary’s School of Nursing in Madison, Wis., and graduated with a RN degree in 1956. She pursued a career in nursing for six years in Minneapolis. Donna returned to Dyersville in 1963 and continued nursing for over three years at Delaware County Memorial Hospital in Manchester.
On Aug. 24, 1963, she married Joseph Gerald “Jerry” Knipper at St. Francis Xavier Basilica in Dyersville. Together they had three children: Karla Jo Knipper (Mitchell McCoy) of Des Moines, Karen (Curt) Espeland of Kingsport, Tenn., and Kurt (Kathy) Knipper of Dyersville.
In addition to being a loving and dedicated wife and mother, Donna was a member of the nurse’s auxiliary committee that was formed to establish and build a hospital in Dyersville, now known as Mercy Medical Center. She was chairman of a fundraising dinner for the hospital and volunteered both her time and creative talent to several hospital bazaars over the years. Most recently she worked as a volunteer in the hospital gift shop.
Donna was a member of St Francis Xavier Parish, where she served as a general circle chairwoman responsible for the formation of the parish circles and as a circle leader planning events like the Blue Sonata Ball. She volunteered her time at the parish rectory and at Beckman High School.
Donna was a long time member of Catholic Daughters of America and St Jude’s Mother’s Club and she was a Girl Scout leader for 10 years.
She enjoyed playing cards, bowling, and golfing and was especially proud of making a hole-in-one. Her hobbies included quilting and tracing her family genealogy. Donna loved to travel and was grateful for all her many friends who enriched her life along the way.
Donna is survived by her loving and caring husband and children; eight grandchildren, Nicholas, Aaron and Lucas Knipper, Zachary, Bennett, Matthew and Marcus Espeland and Isabella McCoy; and two stepgrandchildren, Annemarie and Elizabeth McCoy.
She is also survived by two sisters, Betty Lois Koelker of Manchester and JoAnn McCauley of Dubuque; sisters-in-law, Norma (John) Cassidy of Bettendorf and Anna (Bernie) Manternach of Monticello; brothers-in-law, Larry (Katie) Knipper of Dyersville and the Rev. Daniel Knipper of Lansing; and many nieces and nephews.
Donna was preceded in death by her parents; mother-in-law and father-in-law, Theresa (Bruggeman) and Andrew Knipper; a brother and sister-in-law, Merald and Doris (Schueller) Dingbaum; a sister and brother-in-law, Kathleen and Robert Mohr; brothers-in-law, Louis Koelker and Michael McCauley; and a nephew, Peter Knipper.
A Donna Mae Knipper Memorial Fund has been established.
Online condolences will be accepted at www.kramerfuneral.com