Mary Lou Knickrehm joined her loved ones in heaven on May 19, 2022. She was the youngest of seven children born to Cornelius and Suzanna Friesen on April 11, 1926, Mary Lou grew up in the Lostwood, North Dakota area before moving with her parents and several siblings to a farm outside of Butterfield, Minnesota. She graduated from Butterfield High School and attended St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN for one year. Mary Lou married Harold John Knickrehm on July 31, 1947. They had two daughters, Julie and Kristine. Harold and Mary Lou lived on a farm south of St. James where Mary Lou helped with all of the chores and fieldwork until Harold retired from farming in 1987. In 1974, they built a beautiful home on Long Lake where they lived together until Harold's death in 2003. Mary Lou continued to live on the lake, caring for her beach and lawn. She could be seen driving her big lawnmower around her property at a good clip. She worked at The Fabric Store, S Marie"s, and the Encore. She lived alone on the lake with her cat, Miss Daisy, until 2019 when she moved in with her daughter, Julie, who lived in Red Wing. Mary Lou moved to Pleasant View in St. James in 2021 where she died.
Harold and Mary Lou had many interests besides farming. They were avid square dancers for many years. They attended all of Kris' high school and college track and cross country meets. They also attended all of the plays that Julie directed at Shattuck-St. Mary's School in Faribault, MN. Travel was another of their interests. They went to Hawaii, San Antonio, Albuquerque, Florida, Nebraska, and Europe. One summer, they took a family trip from Minnesota through North Dakato, Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, and California. Mary Lou and Harold were known for the intricate wooden figures which they gave to family members each Christmas. Mary Lou was an excellent seamstress, making all of her kids" clothes. She also loved to sing, embroider, draw and paint. She would do New York Times crossword puzzles in ink. She was a voracious reader, often having two or three books going at one time, Mary Lou was known for her caramel rolls, rhubarb cream pie, "green dessert" and gingerbread men.
Mary Lou is survived by her daughters, Julie (Brent) Maxwell from Red Wing, MN and Kristine (Robert) Oleson from Omaha NE.; her sisters-in-law, Lorraine Sawatzky and Elaine Henze, as well as numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, siblings Anne, Ted, Susan, Cornelius, Jake, and George and her husband, Harold. Memorials can be made to the Friends of St. James Library, the American Cancer Society, and the Animal Humane Society. Mary Lou will be interred at Fort Snelling National Cemetery where Harold is buried. No plans have been made for a celebration of life as of yet.
Arrangements are with the Sturm Funeral Home in St. James, Minnesota. Online condolences may be left for the family at www.sturmfh.com.