Patsy Ann Knaffle, age 87, of Cheboygan passed away Sunday, November 3, 2019 at Hiland Cottage in Petoskey. She was born February 19, 1932 in Fort Wayne, Indiana, the daughter of Charles and Eloda Gilpin. On October 20, 1951 at St. Thomas Church, Patsy married Robert Knaffle who preceded her in death on March 1, 2018.
Patsy was an avid reader and enjoyed reading about history, music, travel, nature, and religion, and as a deeply devoted Christian, she read the bible and prayer books daily. Patsy loved singing, playing the piano, playing the pipe organ, growing flowers in her yard and enjoyed working with her husband growing vegetables in her garden to cook for the family. She especially enjoyed baking pies, cakes, cookies, and sweets for friends and family using the apples and pears grown in her yard.
As a Cheboygan High School graduate, she was a pianist, a member of the Glee Club, a member of the band, a pianist for the “Forty Niners” boys quartette, and the class Treasurer, and also a pianist at the Opera House for several plays and high school graduations. A long-time member of the St. Thomas Lutheran Church, she served as one of the primary organists, a pianist for the choir, and a member of the choir, along with being a substitute organist at many churches across Northern Michigan. Patsy’s many accomplishments included being a member of the Rebekah Lodge #90 serving as pianist, Noble Grand, and past Noble Grand, the Vice President of the first organized PTO of Black River School, Treasurer of the combined Black River and Inverness PTO, a member of Northland Conference serving as the Secretary of Stewardship and board member from 1981 to 1997, Vice President of Cheboygan Snowmobile Club, Vice President of Tip of Michigan Organ Society, a member of Church Member United, a member of Eastern Star #183, and the Professional Business President of Theta Rhodes, Secretary of Stewardship. One of Patsy’s greatest accomplishments, however, was being named Mother of the Year at St. Thomas Church in 1993.
Patsy was employed at Michigan Bell Telephone Company as a switchboard operator. She attended RN school of nursing but left the program before graduation to come home and care for her parents that had cancer. She worked at Community Memorial Hospital in several different positions and also worked as a private nurse for Little Traverse Hospital and Munson Hospital, along with working on the “Ireland Ambulance” when it was the only ambulance with service to U of M Hospital, Ford Hospital, and hospitals in Ohio.
Survivors include her son, Roger (Karry) Knaffle of Gaylord, a daughter, Kay Needham of Cheboygan, daughter-in-law, Barb Knaffle of Wyoming, MI, grandchildren, Chris (Brenda Barr) Knaffle of Nevada, Sarah Knaffle of Stanwood, Trisha Knaffle of Indiana, Jessica (Josh) Traver of Roscommon, Melissa Knaffle of Royal Oak, Bob (Alisha) Needham of Maple City, Greg (Brittany) Needham of Traverse City, and Holly (Chris) Seaford, also of Traverse City, great grandchildren, Kylie, Brayden, Ryder, Drake, Brynn, Layla, Gianna, and Leland, brothers-in-law Ray, Allen (Jean), and Lonnie Knaffle, sisters-in-law Alice (Jack) Shields and Sally (Wally) Daniels, nieces Diane (Kevin) Price of Webberville, LeeAnn (Terry) Estes of Wisconsin, and Sherri Bowman of Fowlerville.
Besides her husband of 67 years, Bob, Patsy was preceded in death by her son David Knaffle, son-in-law Al Needham, brother Robert Gilpin, baby grandson Robert A. Needham, and nephew Mike Gilpin.
The funeral service will take place at St. Thomas Lutheran Church on Saturday, November 9th at 11:00 a.m. with family greeting friends one hour prior to the service. Burial will take place at Pinehill Cemetery in the spring. Memorial contributions may be directed to St. Thomas Lutheran Church’s Piano Fund, Hiland Cottage Hospice House in Petoskey or the Cheboygan Hospice House.
Arrangements are being handled by the Nordman-Christian Funeral Home.
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