White DoveWhere Caring Is A Family Tradition


Theo Jean Knigge

08/16/1946 - 08/24/2023
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Theo Jean Knigge, age 77, of Omro, was called home to heaven on August 24, 2023, following a fall and complications from dementia and Parkinson’s. Despite her physical tribulations in her final years on earth, family and friends will long remember Theo for her zeal for life, community spirit, and love of family, friends, and farm.

Theo Jean Alf entered this world on August 16, 1946, in Berlin, Wis. Named after an actress her mother saw in a movie, Theo was the first-born child to Margaret (Bloch) and Alfred Alf. A Berlin girl through and through, Theo was baptized, confirmed, and married at her hometown St. John’s Lutheran Church in Berlin, Wis.

Following her graduation from Berlin High School in 1964, Theo attended the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and later enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point where she graduated in 1970 with degrees in English and Library Science.

That fall, Theo began teaching high school English and served as a librarian at Kenosha County’s Salem Central High School. That’s where she met Charles “Pete”, who was teaching at the same high school. Theo took a summer job in Yellowstone National Park the summer of 1971 and her horse stayed at Pete’s family’s farm that summer. Having successfully passed the “horse-care test” that summer, Theo and Pete began dating and were married on August 5, 1972.

While teaching was a passion for the couple, farming was in their blood. They found an opportunity in rural Omro farm in 1973 and that’s where the couple set roots and raised their three children.

As the farm business gained its footing, Theo, pursued an off-farm career while still contributing to the family farm business. To that end, Theo served as director of the Omro Public Library for nearly three decades and helped lead the effort to fundraise and build the city’s new library. It’s during this time that she also served on the Winnefox Library System Board of Trustees. After her retirement from the library, she remained active with Omro’s Friends of the Library. In addition, she was elected to the Omro school board where she combined her passion to lead and educate.

Theo routinely shared her teaching skills in life’s on-farm and outdoor classroom and was honored for over 20 years of leadership service to Winnebago County 4-H. All three children, and a grandson, were active members of the Poygan Go-Getters 4-H Club. In addition, Theo provided guidance as a member on the Farm and Home Administration Advisory Committee (now known as USDA Rural Development).

It was a love for animals that brought the couple together, and Theo continued to raise, care for, and ride horses much of her adult life. Theo was an expert calf raiser and had a herd of cats that were known to follow her like the “Pied Piper” at feeding. People throughout the community also came to know Theo for her gifts of homemade Christmas-time bread.

Survivors include her husband Charles Pete of Omro; a son, Charlie and his son Jacob of Omro; two daughters, Krista Knigge (Corey Geiger) of Beaver Dam, and Mary Knigge (Brian Mano) and their children, Cooper and Jolene, all of Falls Church, Va. Theo’s surviving brothers include Dennis (Mary) Alf of St. Charles, Ill., Tom (Nancy) Alf of Princeton and Curtis Alf (Tammy Hage) of St. Charles, Ill. Theo’s surviving Knigge family includes Leroy “Bill” Knigge (Rose) of Salem; Rebecca “Becky” (Marvin) Gutzman of Rio; Phillip “Phil” Knigge (special friend Cheryl Baysinger) of Kansasville; and Emily (James) Uhlenhake of Salem. Many nieces and nephew also survive.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Margaret (Bloch) and Alfred Alf, and her mother- and father-in-law, Mary Lou (Berkebile) and Lloyd Knigge.

Theo’s family thanks the teams at Oshkosh Ascension Mercy Medical Center in Oshkosh, Juliette Manor in Berlin, ThedaCare Hospice, and Omro’s Grace Lutheran Church for their compassionate care and counsel.

Friends may call at the Grace Lutheran Church 720 Jackson Ave. Omro on Friday, September 1, 2023, from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. The celebration of life will continue at Grace Lutheran Church in Omro on Saturday, September 2, 2023, from 9:00 a.m. until the time of church service at 11:00 a.m. A meal will follow.

In lieu of flowers, donations and memorials will be accepted in the name of Theo Knigge. Contributions will be allocated to Omro’s Carter Memorial Library and the Winnebago County 4-H Educational Endowment Fund.

Mueller Funeral Home-Winneconne is assisting the family. If you wish please submit online condolences to muellerfh.net.

Bill Dreischmeier wrote on September 2, 2023
A very sad day. I am so glad that you have so many kind family members and friends for support.

Ron Augustyn wrote on September 1, 2023
Words of sympathy August 31, 2023 Ron Augustyn wrote a sympathy message “I was very saddened to hear that Theo had passed away. I know what a great wife and a mother that she was. Every time that I visited with Pete and Theo she was always welcoming, happy and smiling. I will always remember all the fun times that we shared together. She was always very thoughtful, for Pete's 65th Birthday, she called me to see if I would come with my family. We were coming as surprise guests. Wow, Pete was surprised to see us. a time I will never forget. What a wonderful lady, she made it all possible. Theo and your family will be in our prayers. God bless her.

RoseMarie Mastenbrook wrote on August 30, 2023
Sorry to hear about the loss of another friend and classmate!

Pat (Schulz) Barnett wrote on August 26, 2023
A beautiful lady with a beautiful story, I am sad with you and yours, Pete. Please accept my sincere condolences. I have you in my prayers.

Garry and Marie Krebs wrote on August 26, 2023
So sad to hear of Theo’s passing. A life well lived! The family is in our sincere thoughts and prayers.

Ron and Fay Schulz Muscoda Wi wrote on August 25, 2023
We have you in our thoughts and prayers. We just had a nice visit with you and Theo, she remarked to us , what a lovely piece of property and you mow a lot of grass. You all have to look back at pictures around the kitchen table and have a laugh or a tear will fall too. That is ok, reflect on all the good times you had with her and what a good person she was and savor the memories, they last forever. RIP Theo, you will be missed.

Ed & Karen Malnory wrote on August 25, 2023
We were so surprised and sad to hear of your loss. Our sincere condolences!

Emily Uhlenhake wrote on August 25, 2023
Theo was my English teacher before dating Pete. I have loved her as a teacher, sister-in-law and friend. Missing you already

Bruce and Susan Dunek wrote on August 25, 2023
So sorry to hear about the passing of your spouse. Sincerely hope you and your family find your way through the absence of such a dear person. Our hearts go out to you all.