Cover photo for Elizabeth Kathryn Schnuckle's Obituary
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Elizabeth

Elizabeth Kathryn Schnuckle

d. June 30, 2024

Elizabeth Kathryn Schnuckle (nee Knutson), age 90, died under hospice care on June 30, 2024, at Marywood Assisted Living of the Benedictine Senior Living Community.

Elizabeth was born at home on her parents’ farm, south of Williams, MN, on July 11, 1933. She was the fourth of nine children born to John T. and Jennie Knutson.

In her teenage years, Elizabeth was active in 4H. At age 15 she was chosen to go to the Minnesota State Fair to demonstrate bread baking in the 4H building. During the time at the fair, she contracted polio and was subsequently treated at The Sister Kenny Institute for several months. With rehabilitation at Sister Kenny, she regained the ability to walk and returned home and graduated from Williams High School in 1951.

After high school she entered the Miss Woods Program, a 2-year teaching certificate program at Macalaster College in St Paul. Upon graduation from Miss Woods, she was prepared to teach kindergarten and first grade. Her first teaching position was at Lester Park Elementary in the Duluth Public School District. Thus began her 37-year career in the Duluth public schools during which time she taught kindergarten or Head Start and also went on to earn a bachelor's degree in education from UMD. By the time she retired from Piedmont Elementary in 1991, she had been known by most of her students as Mrs. Liz.

During the fall of 1953, the school custodian introduced the new teacher, Elizabeth, to a nice young GI, fresh home from Korea. That first meeting led to a second date the next evening and the rest is history! Elizabeth married the love of her life, Richard (Dick) Schnuckle on June 16, 1956. Together, they went on to raise two daughters, host a foreign exchange student from Finland who became like a daughter to them, and built a home and a lake cabin. Their marriage has been a source of strength in their lives.

Elizabeth was fascinated by the development of the young child. She was a champion of developmentally appropriate early childhood and primary education. The goal of her career was to set each child on a solid, positive path of learning. She mentored many student teachers as both a lead teacher and as a student teacher evaluator for St. Scholastica.

An active member of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, she served on the church council, led women’s circle Bible studies, taught Sunday School and served funerals. She and Dick made many lasting friendships among their church family.

A woman who loved color, flowers, fashion and furnishings, she had an artistic flair for creating an inviting home and garden and enjoyed hosting people there. She loved recipes, baking and cooking for her family and friends. The motto, “Treat your family like company and your company like family” embodied her style. In retirement, she sometimes returned to her farm life roots. She would help her brother and sister-in-law at harvest time by cooking the meals while everyone else worked at bringing in the potato harvest. She was dubbed, “Have kettle, will travel.”

Elizabeth embraced grandmotherhood with enthusiasm. She and Dick spent much time and energy planning wonderful experiences for their grandson and granddaughter. There were lovely times at the lake cabin in Wisconsin as well as unforgettable trips to Mesa and Tucson, AZ, the Black Hills, Mesa Verde, the Grand Canyon, train rides and fishing trips.

Overcoming polio had a lasting impact on Elizabeth’s life. It gave her a strong determination to persevere and call up her “sisu”, as Finns would say, for difficult times. It also made her acknowledge and accept the physical deficits that polio left behind. As she aged it would heap upon her post-polio syndrome. Despite these challenges, Dick and Elizabeth were able to manage some workarounds. Not enough leg and arm strength to ride your own bike? Why not get a tandem? For years Dick was the power for their tandem bike rides in their neighborhood and along the north shore.

Throughout her life, family was Elizabeth’s first and primary social circle. She was attentive and devoted to her family. She is preceded in death by her parents, John T and Jennie Knutson and brothers, Wallace and Dennis.

She is survived by her husband of 68 years, Richard A Schnuckle, daughters Janelle (Greg) Turinetti and Kristine (James, deceased) Barcelona and Tiina Piekkari (Timo) in Finland, grandchildren Nicholas (Shannon) Turinetti and Lauren (Joshua) Crofton-Macdonald and three great-grandchildren, Theodore Turinetti and Jordan and Eden Crofton-Macdonald. She is survived by six siblings: Kenneth Knutson, Jeanne Schneider, Roger Knutson, Sharon Krohn, Wanda Bevis and Phyllis Kendig, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held on Tuesday, July 9 at 11:00 am at Spirit of God Lutheran Church, 2431 W Third St. Duluth, with visitation starting at 10:00 am. Memorials may be given to Spirit of God Lutheran Church or a charity of your choice.

The family wishes to thank Essentia Hospice and Marywood Assisted Living for their expert and compassionate care of Elizabeth.

Funeral arrangements by Williams-Lobermeier-Boettcher Funeral Home.

To send flowers to the family in memory of Elizabeth Kathryn Schnuckle, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Tuesday, July 9, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

Spirit of God Lutheran Church

2431 W 3rd St, Duluth, MN 55806

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Memorial Service

Tuesday, July 9, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

Spirit of God Lutheran Church

2431 W 3rd St, Duluth, MN 55806

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