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Lill-sie M. Knower

September 20, 2012


Lill-sie M. Knower



Lill-sie Margit Knower of Bishop passed away unexpectedly on Sept. 13, 2012 in Reno, Nev. at Renown Medical Center.

Lill-sie, also affectionately known as “Bean,” was born March 24, 1936 in Port Washington, N.Y. on Long Island Sound. Her parents were John Robert Russell and Signe Maria (Widestrand) Russell, both of Sweden. Her early childhood was spent exploring beaches and shipyards, fishing with her dad and playing music. A child prodigy on the piano, she went on to be a classically trained concert pianist. As a teenager, her family moved to a beautiful farm in upstate Massachusetts where she raised 500 chickens and had a thriving egg business. Life on a farm was hard work but she appreciated the experience and the skills that she learned. She also attended the Northfield School for Girls.

On Sept. 1, 1956 she married Robert Earl Knower in Westminster, Mass. They celebrated 53 years of marriage before his death July 31, 2009. Robert worked for the Defense Department so they found themselves transferred many times all over the country. Lill-sie loved it – the adventure, learning about regional foods and customs and history. She attended UCLA and was the assistant to the Dean of Education while living in Pasadena. Another move brought them to Sacramento where they started their family.

She is survived by her daughter, D. Noël Knower of Bishop; son, Mark Weston and daughter-in-law, Heather (Stanford), of The Woodlands, Texas; and son, Bret A. Knower of Bishop; grandchildren, Kristian R. Weston, Nathan J. Weston and Saige E. Weston, also of The Woodlands; cousins, Anita (Rosell) Papp, Lisa (Papp) Terifay and Penny Rosell of Connecticut; and numerous cousins throughout the United States and Sweden; and sister and brother-in-law, Jennifer and Nick Arqueta of Texas.

She truly believed that we all have a mission in this life and that it is to be kind to one another; to listen to each other; to live a useful life of service to each other. Always quick to smile, laugh and hug, to reach out to anyone – stranger or friend – who was in need. Our memories of her are ones of joy. She genuinely loved people, animals and life. As a mom and grandma, she was the best and will be sorely missed.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, Sept. 22 at 4 p.m. at the First Southern Baptist Church, 251 Sierra St., Bishop, where Lill-sie played the piano for church services. A celebration/reception will be held at 6 p.m. at 453 Arboles Dr. Gary Naron will officiate.

Be curious. Be kind. Be happy. And as Lill-sie would say, “Have fun, kids!”

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