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Leola Darlene Knecht

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July 5, 1934 - September 3, 2023

Leola Darlene Knecht was born July 5, 1934, in Whittemore, the daughter of Ferdinand and Elizabeth (Schafer) Ostwald. She grew up in Whittemore graduating from Presentation Academy. Leola married Wilbur C. “Buzz” Knecht on May 31, 1956, at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Whittemore.

Leola and Wilbur raised their family on a farm near Whittemore. They retired from farming in 1993, and moved into town. Leola worked as a clerk at K-mart in Algona from 1988 until 1999. She enjoyed visiting with her friends and neighbors and loved being surrounded by her family, especially her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She made many blankets throughout the years and enjoyed sewing and embroidery work. She also enjoyed playing cards, gardening and raising flowers. Leola was a member of St. Michael Catholic Church being active in the Rosary Society and the C.D. of A.

Leola died Sunday, Sept. 3 at MercyOne Hospital in Des Moines at the age of 89.

She is survived by seven children, Rose (John) Rueb of Sioux Falls, S.D.; Eugene (Linda) Knecht of Whittemore; Nancy (Pete) Kayser of Bode; Susan McEnroe of Algona; Michael (Nancy) Knecht of Algona; Jerome (Nancy) Knecht of Whittemore; and JoAnn (Tom Schneider) Conrad of Algona. She is also survived by 11 grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren; her twin sister, LaBerta (Willis) Struecker of Whittemore; and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Wilbur on Dec. 12, 1997; and a daughter, Alice Marie in infancy.

A funeral Mass was held Monday, Sept. 11, 2023, at 10:30 a.m. at Divine Mercy Parish - St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Whittemore. Burial was in St. Michael’s Catholic Cemetery. Oakcrest Funeral Services of Whittemore in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be left to

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