At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Robert E. Knoll Memorial Scholarship Fund
Holland, MI 49424
C/O West Ottawa High School
Life Story / Obituary
Lois Knoll was a strong and fiercely independent woman, who found the greatest happiness in the presence of her family. She cherished them with all her heart, caring for them in times of need and celebrating with them in times of joy.
The Roaring Twenties were a fantastic period in our nation's history, when the sounds of progress could be heard in every village and city across America. It was the birthplace of jazz, the golden age of industry. Lois entered this bustling world on September 18, 1925, in the city of Holland, Michigan. She was one of five children born to Edwin and Susan (Speet) Plaggemars.
Lois grew up in a loving home on 14th Street in the company of her two sisters, Shirley and Fern, and two brothers, Gordon and Ed. Her father owned a service station in town, which is where Lois learned to drive a car at a young age, and how to work on them too. After the cars were done, she would drive them back to the customer and run all the way back to the station. But that didn't bother Lois; she grew up in a neighborhood full of kids and they spent all their leisure time running around together, playing tag and other childhood games. As a teenager, Lois and her best friend, Betty Nelson, would teach boys how to dance on her front porch. In the summer, after Lois finished her babysitting jobs, she would head to the beach for some fun and sun with friends.
It was obvious from a young age that Lois was a bright and tremendously determined girl. One very cold, wintry day when she was 11, she proved to her parents once again she was a force to be reckoned with when she had her mind made up. It happened that Lois was supposed to receive a Bible for her perfect attendance at Sunday school but because of the huge snowstorm, her family could not drive to church and decided to stay home. Lois was determined to get to church to collect her award, and the only way to get there was by walking. Resolute, Lois walked all the way there only to find that no one else made it to church that day!
Lois met her future husband, Bernie Knoll, at his homecoming party thrown by his parents when he returned home from the military. Bernie's sister Phyllis was Lois's friend, and invited her to the party. Lois and Bernie took a liking to each other right away, and while he was home on furlough, they had their first date. Bernie flew her from Holland to Grand Rapids in an airplane, where he had arranged for a cab to pick them up and take them to the Pantlind Hotel for dinner. He was trying to impress her and it worked. It wasn't long before Lois had the opportunity to impress Bernie when they got a flat tire while out on a date. It was pouring rain out, but Lois insisted on changing the tire herself, despite Bernie's protest; she did a great job and was very proud. Hopelessly in love, the sweethearts eloped to South Bend, Indiana, where they were happily married in 1946.
The newlyweds settled into married life together in Holland, and welcomed the birth of their first child a year later, a son they named Robert. A short time later, the family of three moved to Owosso, where Bernie opened an Army surplus store. Lucky for Lois, Friday nights were dance night in Owosso, which was something she loved to do. Over the next few years, Lois and Bernie completed their family with the births of three beautiful daughters, Jennifer, Margie and Valerie. After 14 years in Owosso, the couple moved their family back to Holland in 1962, settling in a house on Home Avenue amongst family and friends they had both grown up with.
The darkest hour in Lois' life was the loss of her son Bob in Vietnam. Lois channeled her grief by setting up a packaging area in her basement where she sent the remaining members of Bob's platoon food, socks and foot powder until every last one of them left Vietnam. Four of Bob's fellow soldiers made the trip to Michigan to thank the Knoll's for all of the good chow and dry socks that were sent to Vietnam that made their lives just a little easier in the most difficult of circumstances.
Lois was deeply committed to her family, and always gave selflessly to enrich their lives. She fully supported her husband Bernie in all his business enterprises over the years, helping him to make them a success. As a mother, Lois made sure her kids were always well cared for. It was said she was a "Maverick" when it came to eating healthy, and would travel an hour and a half just to get to a health food store. In the summer, the neighborhood kids would catch frogs at Pine Creek and they'd store them in her freezer until summer's end. Then she'd cook them up and they'd all have one big feast of frog legs. When it came to family vacations, the Knolls enjoyed camping on various lakes throughout Michigan. She enjoyed motorcycling, water skiing and snowmobiling with family and friends. With her kind and generous heart, Lois often stepped up to help someone in need. When her nephew needed chemotherapy treatments in Ann Arbor for his rare cancer, Lois volunteered to drive him and his mother there every Tuesday. Helping others was its own reward for Lois.
Lois and Bernie were traditional snowbirds who spent their winters in warmer climates. They took their motor home to Texas and Florida for many years, and after Bernie "semi retired" in 1980, the couple bought their first mobile home in Port Charlotte, Florida, where they continued to enjoy winters with the many friends they made over the years. From motoring down the Peace River in their aluminum fishing boat to bicycling with friends in their "biker gang" - Lois and Bernie were very happy there. Sadly, Lois lost her beloved husband Bernie on October 23, 2009. It was only three days later that Lois passed away at Holland Hospital after a brief illness with family and friends by her side.
Lois will be lovingly remembered for her generous spirit, her independence, and her unconditional love for her family. She will be greatly missed.
Lois Knoll, age 84, of Holland, MI died on Monday, October 26, 2009. She was preceded in death by her husband, Bernard Knoll; a son, Robert E. Knoll, in 1968, who was killed in Vietnam while serving his country; and a sister, Shirley Dykema. Surviving are her children: Dr. Jennifer Knol of Holland, Margie (Calvin) Knoll-VanTatenhove of Zeeland and Valerie (William) Nichols of Holland; grandchildren: Carrie VanTatenhove, Bret Vandenbil, Amanda (Dan) Martinez, Lisa (Beth) Hill and Jeremy (Becca) VanTatenhove; great grandchildren: Tucker, Tally and Tia Martinez, and Emersyn Hill; brothers, Gordon (Viv) Plaggemars and Ed (Marlene) Plaggemars; sister, Fern (Jack) Klaasen; in-laws, Jim (Cork) Dykema and Shirley Steketee; and nieces and nephews.
Funeral services are scheduled for Thursday, October 29, at 12 noon at the Northwood Chapel, Dykstra Life Story Funeral Homes, 295 Douglas Avenue, Holland. Burial will be in Pilgrim Home Cemetery along with her husband. Visitation is scheduled for Thursday, from 11 a.m. until the time of the service at the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made to the Robert E. Knoll Memorial Scholarship Fund, c/o West Ottawa High School, 1138 136th Avenue, Holland, MI 49424. Please visit Lois's personal memory page at www.lifestorynet.com where you may share a memory or photo with her family or sign her online guest book.