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Lee Knodle

January 12, 1948 - July 21, 2017

Memorial Service - Friday

July 28, 2017
- 11:00am

Our Savior's Lutheran Church

Visitation - Friday

July 28, 2017
10:00am - 11:00am

Our Savior's Lutheran Church


Wildeman-Boulger Funeral Home, Hillsboro

Lee Knodle

January 12, 1948 - July 21, 2017


Lee passed away on Friday, July 21, 2017 at Sanford Palliative Care Hospital in Fargo, surrounded by her loving family, at the age of 69.

Leona “Lee” Wells was born on January 12, 1948, the daughter of Richard Randall Jr. and Edna (Hansen) Wells in Martinez, CA. She grew up in her early years in California but moved with her family to England while her father served in the United States Air force. After Richard’s passing the family moved back to the United States to be closer to family in Texas. Lee finished her schooling in Texas and graduated from Weslaco High School. She was united in marriage to Vern Knodle in March of 1966 and they moved to West Fargo, ND where they started their family. Lee graduated from St. Luke’s School of Nursing in Fargo in October of 1973. In 1979, Vern and Lee moved to Caledonia, ND where they raised their family until moving into Hillsboro in 1996.

Throughout her career, Lee touched many lives working as a nurse for St. Luke’s Hospital, St. John’s Hospital, Manorcare Nursing Home, and the Hillsboro Medical Center. The position that she loved the most was working during her retirement at the Halstad Living Center as a cook. She loved the opportunity to visit with the residents every day and brought joy to their lives and to her own.

Lee was a loving mother and proud grandmother. She treasured the times spent with her family and was affectionately referred to as “Gram Gram”. Lee had a love for all animals throughout her life, especially horses. In her younger years she rode in rodeo’s and barrel races. She was an avid reader, enjoyed crocheting and finding treasures at rummage sales, and played hours of Nintendo. Lee was very close to her mother-in-law, Grandma Alva Knodle and loved the time with her visiting and playing scrabble.

Lee is survived by her husband, Vern of Hillsboro; her children – Stephanie Williams of Palm Bay, FL; Robert Knodle of Hillsboro; and Heather (Tanner) Jacobson of Hillsboro; her beloved grandchildren – Cassidy and Kara Williams, and Madison and Mason Jacobson; her siblings – Richard Randall (Anna) Wells III of El Paso, TX and Catherine (Kevin) Harrison of Austin, TX; and several nephews and a niece.

Her parents; and her grandson, Randall Jacobson, preceded her in death.

MEMORIAL SERVICE: 11 AM Friday, July 28, 2017 at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Hillsboro

VISITATION: one hour prior to the service in the church

BURIAL: Caledonia Cemetery in Caledonia, ND


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16 responses to “Lee Knodle”

  1. Janet Hansen Neuman says:

    Dear Vernell and family,
    I am so sorry to learn of Lee’s passing. The last time I saw her was when she made the long trek to Weslaco for a class reunion. She stopped by my mom’s house (her Aunt Polly Hansen) and we all had a good visit. Since then we had kept up with each other through email and she always let me know the news she had about any of our other Hansen cousins. Last year Lee was very helpful when I wanted to create a family recipe cookbook for my niece Kathryn Hansen (her cousin Dale’s daughter) as a wedding present. I am really going to miss Lee. God bless you all.

  2. Renee Muhonen says:

    Vern and Family,
    Please accept our sympathies in the loss of Lee. I have so many found memories of working with her at the Hillsboro Hospital. She was so calm and was a terrific night nurse. She so loved being a nurse and she so loved her family!!……………In sympathy…. Mark and Renee Muhonen

  3. Darrell and Joyce Dahl says:

    Our prayers are with you all! Sorry for your loss!

  4. Lillian Leach Cooper says:

    Lee was a warm and kind person, whom I met in high school. We reconnected at our class reunions and I could tell she loved her family very much and her nursing career, too. The last time I saw her, we were having a Mexican dinner with my husband and Gina Allen Menzies, another classmate. We had a wonderful evening reminiscing, just the four of us. Needed to get back to the hotel so she could pack and get to bed early. Lee said she had to be back home so she could bake cookies for her friends at the retirement home. Said they loved her baking and would be very disappointed if she wasn’t there. Lee had a big heart and I know she will be dearly missed by all who knew her.

  5. Jeremy Magnuson says:

    Heather Rob and Steph.
    Words cannot describe my thoughts and feelings. Vern and Lee have always been the most awesome people to me and I have a very special place in my heart for both of them as if they were family. I love you both Vern and Lee.

  6. Maureen Sharpe says:

    Heather, Rob and Stephanie, so sad to hearing about your Mom and Dad
    I have so many wonderful memories of both! Oh the fun stories we could tell!
    You have been truly blessed to have wonderful parents and so much love.
    Keeping everyone in my thoughts and prayers.

  7. Mary Skalet says:

    I am so sorry to hear of Lee’s passing. I worked with Lee at St. John’s Hospital years ago and enjoyed her so much! She was so caring and gentle and made working fun! Years after, we met up again at the Halstad Nursing Home when my brother was a patient there. She always made you feel welcome with a cup of coffee, bar, whatever. She was a very loving, caring person- the world has lost a great soul.

  8. Kathy Mickelson says:

    So sorry for your loss, so many fun memories of your Mom, she will be missed by so many.

  9. Dede Lee says:

    I can still see Lee in some of my favorite scrub shirts cooking at Halstad Living Center. When I “retired”, she inherited many of them and we laughed together many times thinking of which residents liked which shirts the best! What wonderful memories of such a beautiful and loving lady! Vern used to bring their puppy when he would come to get Lee after work in the winter and it was a necessity to go out and greet that lucky puppy who cherished both of them as much as they did her. Lee and Vern are together forever as they were always meant to be! I will hold all of you in my thoughts and prayers and thank God for sharing these two people with me. Blessings to you all!

  10. Trudy A. Sullivan says:

    We had such great times as teenagers. Liked to run the streets of Weslaco, and liked to act like we were from England. Talking with our Texas slang trying to be British. We loved The Beatles !!!! She was always so sweet and I loved the letters, and thoughts during all our trials. Look forward to the next time we meet in the heavens, because no doubt she’ll have a place reserved for all those she loved.
    Trudy Sullivan

  11. Rita Menzies Vaughn says:

    I was a classmate at St Luke’s Hospital School of Nursing in the 70’s. Nursing school was intense and I was amazed that Leona was able to be in school and be a wife and mom as well. Those were intense times with school classes and clinicals. I am sure she blessed many through the years with her nursing skills and her family too. My sincere sympathy to all family and friends.

  12. Nancy Dickhoff says:

    We will remember your parents as always fun people to run into and visit with! Good memories made. Our sympathies to you all ! Wayne and Nancy Dickhoff

  13. Tom Harwell says:

    Lee made a difference in our families’ lives in so many ways. She helped people deal by healing their health, their spirit, and their attitude. Lee made a difference by giving so much to her friends, patients, family, and loved ones. May you rest in peace.

  14. Barbara Hansen says:

    Sending my condolences on the loss of Lee. I have so many memories of the time I spent working with her in the Hillsboro Hospital. She was such a loving, caring person. Sending prayers to all the family.

  15. Lori Hansen Etter says:

    Lee was my older cousin and then she moved so far away, so I don’t have many remembrances of her. I mostly remember her from our annual Hansen beach trips and at Aunt Polly’s house at Christmas. It seemed she was always smiling or laughing and was a master story-teller. She could cheer anyone up. Vern worked for my father, Hans Hansen, at Hansen’s Electric Motors. Dad wasn’t generous with compliments, but he praised Vern and Vern’s work highly. I am praying for you, Stephanie, Robby and Heather, at the unfathomable loss of both your parents in such a short period.

  16. Scott and Julie (Johnson) Ferry says:

    Our deepest sympathies on the loss of both Lee & Vern. I worked with Lee in Public Health over 25 yrs. ago and knew your Dad too. She was an excellent nurse who cared deeply about the clients served by public health. Treasure those wonderful family memories to help you through the sadness.

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