Mary Ellen Knop, 93, of Atlantic, Iowa, passed away on Monday, May 15, 2017, at the Atlantic Specialty Care, Atlantic, Iowa.
Mary Ellen was born on January 6, 1924, to Curtis W. and Elsie (Campbell) Masteller at the Atlantic Hospital in Atlantic, Iowa. She was raised on the family farm southeast of Atlantic until her teenage years. She then boarded in town to complete her high school education, graduating in 1942.
Following graduation, she attended the Community College in Red Oak, Iowa. She completed one year of college before returning to Atlantic and accepted employment at the Atlantic News Telegraph. She worked there for 20 plus years, taking a “pause” to raise her family prior to returning to work at the Atlantic News Telegraph in 1968, retiring from there in 1987.
She was united in marriage to Calvin Knop on November 10, 1946, by Rev. A. Howard Lindquist at the First Presbyterian Church. They would live on the family’s Century Farm for 67 years. This marriage would celebrate 70 years together.
Mary Ellen had a deep love for gardening and flowers that she gleaned from her parents. Her garden annually produced the family’s vegetables for the coming year. It was common for her to “put up” 200 pints of corn for the freezer plus many quarts of tomato based products. Her homemade pickled beets and watermelon pickles were always a family favorite. Everyone who ever sat at her table appreciated the delicious spread prepared by her heart and hands. In addition to her love for gardening, Mary Ellen had a “green thumb” for tending to her rose garden which contained over 100 rose plants; as well as her many varieties of Iris and other perennial flowers. In her retirement years, she and her husband would devote many hours to their hundreds of Daylily plants which put on a beautiful display of color that many people have enjoyed.
Mary Ellen was a longtime Cass County 4-H member and leader, sharing her wealth of knowledge with many young girls over the years. She and her husband were named honorary 4-H members by the Cass County 4-H Youth Council. Her deep love for sewing was seen in the beautiful garments that she sewed.
She was a longtime member of the Presbyterian Church, joining at the age of 19 while in college in Red Oak. Over the years she was a very active member of the United Presbyterian Women, serving in various leadership roles. In addition, she served as a Circle Leader and Sunday school teacher.
She also actively participated and served in leadership roles in the rural Women’s Country Club. This was a time for neighborhood women to come together. In addition, she was member of the Atlantic B.P.O.E. Does.
Mary Ellen is survived by her husband, Calvin Knop of Atlantic, IA; their three children: Fred (Janine) Knop of Atlantic, IA, Kay (Chuck) Ogren of Marcus, IA, and Sandra Knop of Atlantic, IA; grandchildren, Brittney (Adam) Roorda, Louise (JB) Brighton, Celeste (Adrian) Richardson, and Garrett (Abbi) Ogren; great-grandchildren, Claire and Nathan Roorda, Jocelyn and Roman Richardson; sister, Barbara Wollenhaupt of Atlantic, IA; sister-in-law, Rosie Masteller of Atlantic, IA, and special family friend Deb Sonntag.
Mary Ellen was preceded in death by her twin son Roderick Knop; her parents, Curtis W. and Elsie Masteller; her father-in-law and mother-in-law, Otto and Lena Knop; brother, Curtis C. Masteller and brother-in-law, Gerald Wollenhaupt.
A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, May 20, 2017, at the First United Presbyterian Church in Atlantic. Visitation will take place during the luncheon at the church after the memorial service.