Bessie Lois Knopp, known to many simply as â€śBetty,â€ť died on Monday, June 4, 2102, following a difficult ordeal with breast cancer. She was 84,
Bessie was born in Jasper, Ark., the oldest of 10 children in a dirt poor migrant family immediately before the Great Depression. After a difficult marriage, Bessieâ€™s mother and father divorced near the end of the annual cotton, vegetable and fruit harvest in 1942. Bessie, her mother and siblings moved to California where they remained until moving to Powell in 1946.
Bessie married Harry Knopp, beginning a marriage of almost 66 years. She is survived by her husband; sons Allan (Jo Ann) of Powell and Gary of Billings; seven grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren; four sisters and two brothers. She was preceded in death by her daughter, Diane Marie Knopp, mother Inez Reichel and father Thomas Holt.
The single most important thing in Bessieâ€™s life was the assurance of eternal life through her Lord and savior, Jesus Christ. She joined Immanuel Lutheran Church in 1950 and remained a faithful member until her death. She was a Sunday School teacher, assisted with vacation Bible school, served as a member of the Ladies Aid Society and assisted with the annual Christmas program. There was no task Bessie would shirk in order to ensure the dignity of her place of worship and serve her follow believers.
Bessie would help anyone in need. She taught herself to knit and will be remembered for knitting and crocheting, making many heirloom pieces for her children, grandchildren and others. Many of her sweaters and afghans are still in use. She was an exceptional cook, a skill that seemed almost inborn. She loved to bake, especially pies, monster cookies, peanut butter cookies, cream puffs and fruit cake. Her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren were always sure to find goodies in her freezer.
Bessie also lived to fish and read. Besides playing duplicate bridge, in which she excelled, few things gave Bessie more pleasure than sitting on the bank of Buffalo Bill reservoir with a fishing pole in one hand and a book in the other.
Bessie was an extremely hard worker: she worked as a cook at Northwest College, a dispatcher for the Powell Police Department; and owner and operator of a motel with her husband. She also cleaned houses and washed and ironed clothes for numerous familiies; and drove beet trucks. She considered no type of work below her dignity.
Bessieâ€™s formal education was limited to completing eighth grade. She later attended classes and earned a GED, of which she was very proud.
Visitation will be from 6-7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 7, at Thompson Funeral Home. Funeral services will be held at Immanuel Lutheran Church at 10 a.m. Friday, June 8 with burial at Crown Hill Cemetery. A reception at Immanuel Lutheran Church will follow the interment.
A visitation is planned for Thursday, June 7, 2012, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. at Thompson Funeral Home. Funeral services will be held on Friday, June 8, 2012, at 10:00 a.m. at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Powell.
A full obituary will follow.