July 6, 2019


Marjorie Joan Knott, 88, of Carroll, Iowa, passed away on Wednesday, July 3, 2019, at St. Anthony Nursing Home in Carroll.

Born on Feb. 24, 1931, in Denison, Iowa, Marge was the second-oldest of Max and Alice (O’Donnell) Walde’s five children. Perhaps from her carpenter father, Marge learned the graceful art of smoothing rough edges. At the age of 8, Marge made her First Communion at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Denison, along with a boy named James Knott, whom she would marry in that same church years later.

Marge and her siblings, Maxine, Jim, Jack and Kathy, grew up in Denison, and she graduated from Denison High School in 1949. Influenced by her aunt Esther O’Donnell, Marge chose a nursing vocation, inspiring her sister Kathy and daughter Lori to do the same. After receiving her nursing degree from St. Catherine Hospital School of Nursing in Omaha, she worked there for one year as a surgical nurse.

She married James Knott on Dec. 29, 1953, at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Denison. Their seven children soon followed: Bud, Lori, Brad, Jeff, Ketsie, Doug and Jennifer.

The couple lived in Nashua, New Hampshire, while Jim completed his service in the U.S. Air Force. Jim and Marge moved to Storm Lake, Iowa, where she continued her career as a registered nurse at the Storm Lake Hospital, and Jim attended Buena Vista College, with Marge’s encouragement and support.

In 1961, Jim and Marge moved to Carroll, and Marge began a career at St. Anthony Regional Hospital that spanned more than 50 years. She served in many capacities, rising from floor nurse to director of nursing. Humbly dedicated to her work, Marge provided managerial leadership for the nursing staff without ever losing compassion for the needs and concerns of patients and families.

She loved to fill in as needed, moving easily from newborns to the ER to help her colleagues. She worked extra hours regularly, including house calls after work. She worked specialty clinics with visiting doctors, meeting and caring for hundreds of people.

Concerned that the hospital would be short-staffed when Iowa’s winter weather closed the roads to cars, Marge rode to the hospital via snowmobile, impressing her kids forever. Marge retired from her nursing career at age 81.

Her days at the hospital were hectic, but Marge never tired or complained. Her dedication and service to the hospital were unmatched and a foundation for the success of the hospital today. She helped thousands of patients and families heal, brightened the days of her co-workers, and was fiercely proud of the legacy of St. Anthony Hospital.

In addition to working full time as a nurse, Marge also worked full time as a mother. She arranged her shifts to fit her children’s schedules so they never had baby sitters. Coming home from work at 7:30 a.m., she had time to get everybody out the door to school. She magically laid out meals for her large family, making it look easy to whip up 14 hamburgers for dinner. When she wasn’t there in person, she planned meals before work, and left them in the fridge with baking instructions on a note, along with a pan of warm brownies on the counter.

Marge, an accomplished seamstress, sewed clothes for her family, and later delighted in making Halloween costumes for her grandchildren. She took time for each child, always knowing when they needed an extra hug or help with a problem. She modeled her strong work ethic and endless energy to them. None of them ever saw her lose patience; instead she selflessly made things fall into place in her busy home.

She taught her kids, and some of their friends, how to drive, in a stick shift ’62 Nova named Gideon (as in “lets gitty-in-and-go!”). Marge had the great gift of knowing how to make each of her children feel equally special. And her grandchildren were also lucky recipients of her boundless unconditional love.

In addition to being a full-time nurse and mother, Marge was her husband Jim’s best friend, for 80 years. A strong example for their children and grandchildren, their partnership was an enduring love story filled with humor and respect that saw them through sorrow and joy, with family always at the center. She typed his papers while he was in school.

When Marge worked nights, Jim fed the family and picked her up at the end of her shift. Jim was honored to care for Marge after she became ill, as she had done for him and their children for so many years. Their long and successful friendship was confirmed, in the end, in quiet conversations and held hands.

No one knew how Marge found time to read, but she was never without a book. She also was an active member of St. Lawrence Parish in Carroll, where she served on the guild, and a member of the St. Anthony Nurses Alumni Association.

Marge is survived by her husband, Jim Knott, of Carroll; her children: Lori Cooper (Fred) of Tempe, Arizona, Bradley Knott (Kimberly) of Kensington, Maryland, Jeffrey Knott (Keri) of Aurora, Colorado, Colette “Ketsie” Wilkins of Urbandale, Douglas Knott (Carol) of Grafton, Wisconsin, and Jennifer Pottebaum (David) of Carroll; 14 grandchildren: Jonathan “JJ” Cooper (Jenna), Jeffrey Cooper, Nick Wilkins (Shannon), Brett Wilkins, Tanner Wilkins, Joey Pottebaum, Jessica Pottebaum, Austin Knott, Peter “Max” Knott, Emily Knott, Katherine Knott, Dylan Knott, James Knott and Darren Reich; one great-grandson, Declan Wilkins; her sister Kathleen Mason (Bob) of Powell, Wyoming; a sister-in-law, Billie Walde of Thornton, Colorado; a brother-in-law, Bill Knott of Rhodes, Iowa; a sister-in-law, Georgina Knott, of Denison; and several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Max and Alice Walde; her father- and mother-in-law, Bud and Grace Knott; a sister: Maxine Walde; two brothers: Jim and Jack Walde; uncles and aunts; and her son James “Bud” Knott in 1981.

Mass of the Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, July 8, 2019, at St. John Paul II Parish-St. Lawrence Church in Carroll with Father Timothy Schott as celebrant. Lectors for the Mass will be Bradley and Douglas Knott. Gift bearers will be Austin Knott, Jessica Pottebaum, Emily Knott, and Katherine Knott. Casket bearers will be Nick Wilkins, Brett Wilkins, Tanner Wilkins, Joe Pottebaum, Jonathan Cooper, Jeff Cooper, Max Knott and Dylan Knott. Music will be by Kate Cuddy and the St. Lawrence Resurrection Choir. The St. Anthony Nurses Alumni Association will form an honor guard at the funeral Mass. Burial will be in Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Carroll.

Friends may call at the Dahn and Woodhouse Funeral Home in Carroll after 4 p.m. Sunday, where there will be a Rosary at 5 p.m. and a Christian Wake Service at 7 p.m.

Dahn and Woodhouse Funeral Home in Carroll was in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be left for the family at www.dahnandwoodhouse.com. The family requests donations to St. Anthony Nursing Home and Hospice at www.stanthonyhospital.org/about-us/support-us/donate-online.