Vernon Knoke, age 90, of Willmar, MN died on Friday, September 3, 2021 at Copperleaf Senior Living in Willmar. Funeral services will be on Wednesday, September 8, at 11:00 a.m. with visitation for one hour prior at Peace United Church of Christ in Elkader, Iowa. Pastor Jon Haack will officiate. Burial with military rites will be at East Side Cemetery in Elkader. Arrangements are with Dirks-Blem Funeral Service of Olivia, MN.
Vernon Edwin Knoke was born on February 24, 1931 to Frederick and Ella (Glawe) Knoke in Elkader, IA. Vernon grew up in Elkader and enjoyed spending summer time on Charlie Glawe’s farm. He graduated from Elkader High School where he played football and also did gymnastics. Immediately following his schooling Vernon joined the U.S. Air Force during the Korean Conflict, being stationed in Okinawa. After his discharge he returned to Elkader. He married Vadena Edwards on February 19, 1955 in Elkader and they were blessed with four children. The family lived in several communities in Iowa and settled in Oelwein. Vernon was a faithful member of the Grace United Methodist Church in Oelwein. He had worked for Northwestern Bell Telephone as a lineman and later as a manager. He then started farming in 1969, mainly raising livestock, and retired in 1997. Vernon and Vadena moved to Minnesota in 2014 and he has resided at Copperleaf in Willmar these past six years. Besides loving farming he also enjoyed fishing, woodworking, and reading Western’s.
Vernon is survived by his four children: Bruce (Lyn) Knoke of Olivia, MN, Brian (Gloria) Knoke of Atwater, MN, Kendra Knoke of Ellicott City, MD, and Kara (Jay) Christianson of Wells, MN; his grandchildren: Crystal (Jack) Hyman, Brent (Katie) Knoke, B.J. Knoke, Greg (Jordan) Knoke, Kirsten Jolly, Katrina Jolly, Johnny Jolly, Lorraine (Brady) Thisius, Nancy Christianson, Claire Christianson, and Benjamin Christianson; his five great-grandchildren; his brother Fred Knoke of Elkader; and various nieces and nephews. Vernon was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Vadena; his brothers: Harold, Kenny, and Clarence; his sisters: Helen, Ivy, Lorraine, and Marion; and granddaughter-in-law, Kelsey Bennett Knoke.
Dirks-Blem Funeral Service offers many styles of services to honor the memory of your loved one. Funerals should be meaningful, reflect the individual, and celebrate the life they led. Personalized funerals are more involved, giving people a chance to remember what made that individual so unique.