Joan Knickel Malson, 90, of Fond du Lac, passed away Thursday, August 22, 2019 at her home in Fond du Lac.
She was born on December 13, 1928 in Campbellsport, the daughter of Martin and Lazetta (Schaefer) Knickel.
Joan married Robert “Louie” Malson on December 28, 1954. They were an inseparable couple and friends say they could always find them together, on their motorcycle, at races, with friends at the lake, or just hanging with family. They loved and lived life fully. Louie passed away on August 14, 1972.
Joan served most of her career as Executive Secretary to Superintendents of Schools in Fond du Lac. First, Superintendant Mr. Jerry Strupp and Interim superintendent, Mr. Elwood Bilse. And later, Superintendents Dr. William Halverson and Dr. Alan Osterndorf. Her first “boss” in 1956, was Mr. R.B. Woodworth, followed by Mr. Frank Sabish. Joan retired from the Fond du Lac School District in 1990 after 33 years of service.
Joan spent the next almost 30 years living life fully. She traveled often, and loved anything that involved new experiences. Joan was everyone’s favorite Aunt. She loved children, and found any excuse to pick them up and go to the park, hike the Kettle Moraine, go for a ride for Ice Cream, or anything a kid would like to do.
Joan always knew the best and most “fun” things to do. She loved playing and vacationing with them. She loved them all, and they knew it.
She never grew “old”. She carted her nieces and nephews around, and when they were too old to play, her “great” nieces and nephews, and in recent years, her great- great nieces and nephews. And if they were all busy, she found children and grandchildren of friends to have fun with. She was Aunt Joan to them all. She had boundless energy.
Joan had many dear friends. She kept in touch with high school friends from Campbellsport and her college friends from Lakeland College. She traveled extensively with many of them. She had many more friends from her years with the School district.
She loved family and genealogy, and regularly spoke with her cousins scattered around the country. Her great niece Kristina and Joan spent hours going over family trees and photos, and contacting relatives for more information. Joan knew it all and could remember everyone.
Joan loved being with her extended family. They spent every Sunday afternoon golfing and Sunday evening dinners together for most of their lives. Joan lost her friend and sister-in-law, Jean, just a few weeks ago, and now she was the last of her generation of the Knickels and Malsons.
Joan is survived by her nieces and nephews, (Bruce and Jean’s children) Mark Knickel (Mark’s wife Elizabeth deceased) of Fond du Lac, Steven (Barbara) Knickel of Campbellsport, Jill Wagner (Scott Koerwitz) of Fond du Lac, Nancy (Gary) Bindas of Campbellsport; her great-nieces and nephews, Kristina (Knickel) and Mike Meilahn, and their children Alayna, Aydan and Aydryan. Katrina Knickel of Campbellsport; and Michael Wagner (Jennifer Karpinsky), and Stephanie (Chad) Kraus and their children Gabriella and Lucas.
She is further survived by Louie’s nieces and nephews and their families, (Mabel and Victor Treffert’s children) Patricia, Richard, Geraldine, Thomas, William, Barbara, Kathleen; (Delphine and Ray Schmitz’s children) David (JoAnn); (Phyllis and Harold Erickson’s children) Michael and Judy (Jim) Feyen; and (Bernard “Benny” and Olga Erickson’s children) Jon (Kay) and Joey (Amy).
Several of the Malson nephews have pre-deceased Joan.
Joan was preceded in death by her parents, Martin and Lazetta Knickel, Louie’s parents, Peter and Mary (Schmitz) Malson, her husband, her sister, Joyce Knickel, in 1969, her brother and sister-in-law, Bruce and Jean Knickel. She is also predeceased by her brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law and their spouses.
The family would like to thank Joan’s dear friends, Bob and Jane Shirek and their daughter, Annie, for their love for Joan, and the support and special care they showed for Joan and her family in Joan’s last weeks.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to nurses and staff of Agnesian Hospice of Fond du Lac. Their expert care and concern allowed Joan to remain in her home to the end. Also a special thank you to Dr. Strong of Agnesian clinic whose loving care and concern for Joan made her transition peaceful.
A Memorial Service will be held on Thursday, August 29, at 5 p.m. at Church of Peace UCC, 158 S. Military Road, Fond du Lac. Rev. Jack Kraaz will officiate and inurnment will be at a later date in Union Cemetery, Campbellsport.
Visitation will be Thursday, August 29, from 3 p.m. until time of service at the Church of Peace UCC.
Twohig Funeral Home is serving the family with condolences and guestbook at www.twohigfunerals.com.