Margaret Ellen Knippling 1922-2013

Posted April 16, 2013 at 4:55 pm

Margaret Ellen Knippling 1922-2013

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Margaret Knippling, 91, of Gann Valley, S.D., died Thursday, April 11, 2013 at Avera Hand County Memorial Hospital, Miller, after a brief illness.

Mass of Christian Burial was held Wednesday, April 17 at St. Placidus Catholic Church at Duncan, rural Gann Valley, with Father Jim Friedrich, celebrant. Burial followed at the church cemetery.

Margaret Ellen Lobban was born on March 14, 1922, to James and Ruby (Fawcett) Lobban at their farm home in Cedar Township, south of Ree Heights. The attending doctor came from Miller, with no nurse to assist. Margaret’s parents and her family were members of Cedar Church in the Cedar community. Her parents made sure that the children attended church services and Sunday school.

Margaret attended Cedar country school in south Hand County with her siblings and neighbor children. They traveled to school in the winter in a bobsled. Their mother heated bricks to keep their feet warm during the four-mile trip. When the weather was warmer, they rode in a covered wagon pulled by two horses or they walked the four miles. During her time at grade school, Margaret earned awards and a certificate for her excellent penmanship. Margaret did housework and outdoor work, such as milking cows, for neighbors and relatives. At the time, the wages were $2.00 to $2.50 per week. Later she kept house for her parents until she was married.

On November 20, 1948, she married Paul Knippling at Immaculate Conception Church in Stephan, S.D. They lived on Paul’s family ranch in Buffalo County, where they raised two sons and two daughters.

In October of 1991, their youngest son, Kenneth, died from cystic fibrosis at the age of 35. Margaret had been Ken’s caregiver throughout his childhood. Paul, Margaret’s husband of 47 years, died in September of 1995 from non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. After his death, she continued to live on the ranch with family members close by. She enjoyed living in the country where she could see the sun rise and set.

Margaret was a seamstress, sewing for her family and as a hobby. She made many quilts for her children and grandchildren. Other hobbies were bird watching, crocheting, embroidery, and working crossword puzzles. She was the Elm Creek News correspondent for the Miller Press, True Dakotan and Central Dakota Times for nearly 20 years. Margaret was a regular on the election board in Arlington Township for many years.

Margaret and Paul were members of the Immaculate Conception Church in Stephan and later St. Placidus Catholic Church at Duncan, in rural Buffalo County. She was active in the altar society as a member of both churches.

Grateful to have shared in her life are her daughters, Kathy (Chuck) Yost, Gann Valley and Kay Goodall, Sioux Falls; son, Karl (Connie) Knippling; 10 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; siblings: Nellie Jager, Huron, Alex (Leona) Lobban, Longmont, Colo., Ruth (DeWayne) Sivertsen, Ree Heights; James (Irene) Lobban, Lakewood, Colo.; and brother-in-law, Gene Smith, Miller.

Margaret was preceded in death by her parents, James and Ruby Lobban; husband, Paul; son, Kenneth; three sisters, Edna Hasart, Christina Smith, and Allie Lobban; a brother who died in infancy; and brothers-in-law, August Jager and Thomas Hasart.

Reck Funeral Home of Miller has been entrusted with Margaret’s arrangements. Visit

(Paid obituary)