Christina Knippling 1945-2012
Christina “Chris” Knippling, 67, of Sioux Falls, S.D., died Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012 at the Heart Hospital, Sioux Falls. Mass of Christian Burial was held Friday, Jan. 4, 2013 at St. Joseph Cathedral, Sioux Falls. Interment was in the St. Michael Cemetery, Sioux Falls.
Christina (Chris) Wilkinson Knippling, was born October 28, 1945 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, the tenth child of Wilfrid and Thelma (Ryan) Wilkinson. She attended St. Rita’s grade school, Puis X H.S. and then graduated from the Montreal General Hospital’s Nursing School as a R.N.A.
Following graduation she spent a year in Desmarais, Alberta, serving as a missionary, working with young Cree children. She then moved to London, England, for ten months to help her sister, Carole. Upon her return she worked at the Montreal General Hospital.
A visit to South Dakota in 1971 changed her life completely, when she met Lambert Knippling. They were married August 14, 1971 at Immaculate Conception Parish, in Stephan, S.D.
Although they had no children, many summers found Lambert’s grandchildren and Chris’ nieces and nephews from Canada and England visiting.
Lambert died March 5, 1985. After his death, Chris moved to Chamberlain S.D. where she worked at Mid Dakota Hospital. She completed foster parent training, and spent the next 10 years opening her home and sharing her love with 42 children, three of whom she adopted.
She earned a degree in food management and worked for the Chamberlain High School and later for the Chamberlain Nursing Home and Assisted Living Home.
Chris’s health required her to move to Sioux Falls in 2009, where she lived with her friend Yvette Geraets. On December 10 she had heart valve repair surgery December 10, and died December 26 from complications of the surgery.
Chris had a deep faith and served God well. She taught Catechism for years at Stephan, served on parish councils, was an active member in Altar Society, and sang in the choir. She was especially appreciative of beauty in nature and enjoyed capturing it with her ever-present camera.
Chris is preceded in death by her husband Lambert; her parents; three brothers-in-law, one sister-in-law, and a niece and nephew.
She is survived by her siblings: Ursula (Jean) Lafontaine, Wilfred (Joan) Wilkinson, Gerry (Frank) Legrove, Carole (Tom) O’Neill, Tommy (Audrey) Wilkinson, Frank (Cynthia) Wilkinson and John (Claire) Wilkinson, all from Canada, and Sr. Eleanor Wilkinson OSSR of St Louis, Mo.; 36 nieces and nephews; and numerous grand and great-grand nieces and nephews.
Happy to have lived close enough to share daily life and special moments with Chris are Mary and Allan Knippling and their ten children, and her very close friend, Yvette Geraets.