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Jane Margaret Knickerbocker

March 22, 1924 ~ April 30, 2018 (age 94)


Jane Knickerbocker, 94, died of natural causes April 30, 2018, at the Northwest Health Center in Kalispell, after a few days’ hospitalization.  In lieu of tearful farewells, two days earlier she beat both her daughters in a last game of North Dakota rummy. 

Jane was born to Selma and Otto Wollerman at LaMoure, ND, March 22, 1924.  She grew up there and at nearby Grand Rapids in a family of 7 full-siblings and 5 half-siblings.  Of this family only her youngest sister Helen remains.  In December of 1943 Jane married Charles “Chuck” Knickerbocker, also from the LaMoure area, who at the time was a Lieutenant in the US Army Air Corps.  To this marriage were born two daughters, Karen (Ron) Rude of Plains, MT, and Sandy (Frank) Boyd of Kalispell. 

Jane and Chuck were married for 57 years; Chuck preceded her in death in 2000.  They lived at various times in LaMoure, in Redlake MN, Frazee MN, and Kalispell MT, as Chuck found work as a shop teacher, carpenter, and heavy-equipment operator.  They retired to Bigfork MT and built a home there overlooking the Swan River.

Like many of her generation, Jane made a full and admirable life out of almost nothing. She was the only one of her siblings to graduate from high school during the family’s almost desperate years of the Great Depression.   She was a master of both vegetable and flower gardens.  She was also a master cook, whether for the family or for the steady train of visitors throughout her life.  Food was always fresh, tasty, copious, and served in a gracious manner in a meticulously-kept setting, in locations that varied from a mountain cabin at the Flathead Mine, to several homes which she and Chuck built or renovated, to a Kalispell townhouse.

She also mastered the art of finding a good deal on valuable antiques; she decorated her home with them and made a small business out of dealing in fine furniture and glassware.  She and Chuck loved travel and did so from Alaska to Texas, including most of the Western states between, sometimes in an RV and sometimes camping.  She took a solo trip to Europe in the late ‘60’s to visit her daughter Karen there, and even after Chuck’s passing, she continued to travel as recently as three years ago. 

Jane’s life was defined by her deep and unwavering faith in Christ, her witness to others of the Christian life, her generous contributions to churches she attended, and her membership in AGLOW.  It is safe to say she was overjoyed to finally meet the Lord, but The Place had better be clean.

Jane enjoyed the company of family whether they were toddlers, teens, or adults, and was universally acknowledged as the family matriarch.  She is survived by her two daughters and their husbands; by grandsons Josh (Chris) and Jason (Cheryl) Boyd, grandsons Steve (Tanya), Jeff (Brittany), and Mark (Jeannie) Rude; by 11 great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild. 


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