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Gladys M. Knewitz

Our loving mother, Gladys May Knewitz (nee Haier), 89, was welcomed into the arms of her Savior on November 9, 2022. Her path was difficult at the end, but she lived a full life and now is, thankfully, at rest.

Gladys was born in Belleville, Illinois, on May 21st, 1933 – the daughter of Fred O. and Esther Haier (nee Baue), of Okawville, Illinois, who preceded her in death.

Gladys married John P. Knewitz, known as Johnny, on October 4, 1952. Johnny passed away in 2007. Gladys has now been reunited with him, and her granddaughter, Jaclyn (Jackie) Knewitz, who passed away in 1998.

Also preceding her in death were her brother, Dean Haier, her sister Martha Schuessler (nee Haier), and her brother Fred (Fritz) Haier. Surviving her are her three children, John M. Knewitz (Arlene) of Burlington, Illinois, Cindy Varnum (Ray) of Smithton, Illinois, and Jessica Jensky (Robert) of Carpentersville, Illinois, six grandchildren (Shannon Kowal, Ryan Jensky, Patrick Varnum, Andrea Patterson, Dan Knewitz, and Scott Knewitz), eight great-grandchildren, a sister-in-law, and many nieces and nephews.

Gladys was raised on a farm in Okawville. Her father also owned the Wander Inn Tavern, and the family’s home was eventually moved, by trailer, to town – directly across from Okawville High School. She attended Immanuel Lutheran Grade School and Okawville High School where she was a cheerleader for the Rockets. After graduation, she spent one year studying nursing in St. Louis before meeting and marrying Johnny and moving to Belleville where they raised their family.

Gladys worked as a dental assistant and then as a unit secretary in the surgical department at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital for many years. She also owned a convenience store with Johnny. After retirement, she did volunteer work with Family Hospice.

Gladys was a wonderful cook and a meticulous housekeeper. She enjoyed bowling, gardening, and, most of all, reading. She would often read as many as five books per week, and continued her enjoyment of reading right to the end. She was also a lover of nature.

Visitation will be at Valhalla-Gaerdner-Holten Funeral Home at 3412 Frank Scott Parkway West in Belleville, Illinois from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 19th, 2022 followed by a short memorial service at 11:00 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, a donation can be made in her name to Zion Lutheran Church in Belleville or a charity of your choice.

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