Corlis Knapper, age 73, of Willmar, died Wednesday morning, September 16, at Carris Health Rice Memorial in Willmar.
A celebration of life will be held outside at Calvary Lutheran Church, 302 Olena Ave SE in Willmar, MN on Monday, September 21st at 1 PM with visitation beginning at 12 PM. Please bring your own chair, mask, and maintain social distance. Interment will be at Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Clara City. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Calvary Lutheran Church or The Barn Theatre in Willmar. Arrangements are with Harvey Anderson Funeral Home, hafh.org.
Corlis Jean Knapper was born on January 23, 1947 in Willmar, MN, the daughter of Henry and Gladys (Maahs) Knapper. She was baptized and confirmed at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Clara City, MN. The family lived in Prinsburg, MN and Corlis attended District #815 country school for grades 1-6 and graduated from Clara City High School in 1964. After graduating from the nursing program at Willmar Area Vocational Technical Institute in 1965, Corlis worked at Rice Memorial Hospital in Willmar and also a clinic in Houston, TX. She returned to Willmar in 1976, where she began working as a surgery nurse for Dr. Bos, continuing until her retirement in 2012.
Corlis was an active member of Calvary Lutheran Church in Willmar. She loved playing the piano, singing and accompanying the children’s Chapel Choir. She became a fixture in the Senior Choir, where she was affectionately known as “Sarg”. She also volunteered to decorate for the Advent Festival and was one of the church wedding coordinators. She enjoyed attending plays at the Barn Theatre and often volunteered in the box office, ushered and collaborated with her sister (Paulette) to find stage props for the productions.
As the “favorite” aunt, many happy memories were made with her nieces and nephew, including the weekly Sunday drive to Prinsburg, blasting 50’s tunes on the radio. Her basement housed the Nintendo system and was the in-town hangout spot for them and their friends throughout high school.
Music was a major part of her life. From her childhood when she sang hymns while her mother accompanied her on the piano, to later in life when she sang solos at weddings and in choir as well as played piano, to all of the music-filled holidays in the Knapper/Tvete household and the numerous occasions she accompanied her nieces and nephew on piano. The gift of music she shared will continue to live on in our hearts.
She is survived by her siblings: Paulette Tvete, Curt Knapper, David (Tammy) Knapper; nieces and nephews: Melissa (Jeff) Lebon, Colyn (Melanie) Tvete, Eryn Tvete. She was preceded in death by her parents, brother Lyle, and brother-in-law Luvern Tvete.
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