Ann K. Knapke, 72

Ann K. Knapke, 72, 142 Cottonwood Dr.; Celina, died on Sunday, June 16, 2013. Ann was born on Jan. 14, 1941, to Henry and Ester (Nordenbrock) Schenking in Celina. She received her nursing degree from Mount St. Joseph College in 1963 and on July 4, 1964, she married Thomas A. Knapke.

She worked as a nurse for a time but decided she wanted to pursue a teaching career. In 1972, Ann received her master’s degree in special education from Wright State University and enjoyed a fulfilling teaching career which spanned 30 years.

Although Ann enjoyed nursing and teaching, her greatest love was her family. She is survived by her best friend and husband Tom, and beloved children, Gregg (Deborah) Knapke, St. Paris, and Beth (Thomas J.) Westergerdes, Fort Recovery; her sister Elaine (Rocque) Kramer, Alexandria, Va.; and her grandchildren, Todd (Amanda) Baker, St. Paris, Amber (Matt) Beavers, Springboro, Dylan Westergerdes, Fort Recovery; her great-grandchild, Blakely Beavers, Springboro.

She was preceded in death by her two brothers, Jack and Fred Schenking.

Ann enjoyed a very active social life with her many friends. She had great fun with the pals in her chapter of the Red Hats Society. She enjoyed summertime getaways with the Lake Group as well as wintering with her friends in Naples, Fla. Ann supported her chosen profession by belonging to the Mercer County Retired Teachers Association and the Ohio Retired Teachers Association.

She tried daily to live her faith and was a member of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Celina. Ann had many interests and hobbies, including sewing, cooking and traveling. She was an avid proponent of alternative methods of healing and of health wellness. Her belief in a holistic approach to all aspects of health led her to owning her own business, Gentle Health.

Ann had a lifelong enthusiasm about education in general but specifically art education. She took great pleasure in producing canvas paintings and hoped to inspire others to create art as a means of self-expression.

Visitation will be from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday and from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Thursday at Cisco Funeral Home in Celina. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Celina, the Rev. Ron Wilker, officiant.

Memorials can be made to the Thomas A. and Ann K. Knapke Art Fund through the Mercer County Civic Foundation or the Thomas A. and Ann K. Knapke Scholarship through the Western Ohio Educational Foundation at Wright State University - Lake Campus.