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SPRINGFIELD — Susan Knieriem passed away on Monday (Nov. 4, 2019), with her devoted husband of 55 years, Richard “Dick” Knieriem, beside her.

Sue was born Clara Susan Walsh on Oct. 13, 1942, in Akron, Ohio, to Robert and Helen Elizabeth (Libby) Walsh. Sue attended Tallmadge High School, where she met her future husband, Dick, after his driver education teacher set him up with her for his senior prom. Sue went on to graduate from Kent State University in 1964 with a degree in elementary education.

Sue married Dick in June 1964. They lived in Warren, Ohio, and after their two daughters were born, moved to Midwest City, Okla., and later to Champaign. Sue was a first-grade teacher at several schools in the Unit 4 school district, including Kenwood Elementary. She loved her students and teaching them how to read. While teaching, Sue received her master’s degree in education from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.

Sue was creative and crafty, and enjoyed sewing and making stained-glass windows. She was a talented quilter and received numerous awards at quilting shows.

She was a fan of her grandchildren. As her many friends can attest, Sue was fiercely funny and had a sharp wit. Above all else, Sue was kind. She led by example to her daughters, grandchildren and students how to be empathetic towards others.

She was dearly loved and will be greatly missed.

In addition to her husband Dick, Sue is survived by her daughters, Jill (Tom) Browning and Elizabeth “Betsy” (Richard) Monke; and seven grandchildren, Amanda (Jacob) Dinardo, Joseph Monke, Susannah Browning, Eric Browning, William Browning, Robert Monke and Elizabeth Monke.

A celebration of Sue’s life will be held Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019, at Faith United Methodist Church in Champaign. A memorial gathering will begin at 10 a.m. The memorial service will begin at 11 a.m. and will be followed by continued fellowship and refreshments.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Library Fund at Kenwood Elementary School, 1001 Stratford Drive, Champaign, IL 61821.

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