Toyoko (Jeanie) Knigge


    Toyoko (Jeanie) Hirai Matsuda Knigge, age 83, passed away on Friday, May 31, 2013 at Sanford Health Hospital, Sioux Falls.
A memorial service was held Tuesday evening, June 4 in Woonsocket. The burial will be at a later date in the Black Hills National Cemetery in Sturgis, where she will join her late husband, Wallace R. (Bob) Knigge.
Jeanie was born Aug. 17, 1929 in Osaka, Japan. She worked at the Army hospital where she met Bob while he was on a tour of duty, and they married on April 27, 1954. While Bob was in the service, they moved and lived in Missouri, Texas and North Carolina before settling in Woonsocket in 1970.
Jeanie worked at Van Dyke’s and the nursing homes in Storla and Woonsocket for many years. One of her proudest accomplishments was receiving her CNA, Certified Nursing Assistant.
Jeanie was a devout Buddhist, who believed in the power of prayer and was always kind and compassionate in making changes in her life as part of her own human revolution. She believed that chanting the words “Nam-myoho-renge-kyo” would bring good fortune to her life and continually encouraged her family to “never give up.”  When things were not going so well, she would say that “winter always turns to spring.”
Her friends and family will always remember her as  a soft-spoken, kind, caring person who thought about her family and friends before herself.  She was affectionately known as “Mama-san” by her family. She loved to garden, make pottery, play Bingo and gave a new meaning to the words “let’s go shopping.” The two most important things in her life were her family and her religious practice, and her greatest joys were getting together for family gatherings and participating in her Buddhist meetings.
She is survived by her four children, Donna (Dihl) Bult, Sioux Falls, Robert “Bobby” (Lynette) Knigge, Redfield, David Knigge, Redfield, and Kevin (Sharon) Knigge, Las Vegas, Nev.;  her sister, Mary Schley, Laurel, Md.; her brothers, Tsunemitsu (Kimiko) Matsuda, Kobe City, Japan, Tatsuo (and wife) Matsuda, Tochigi-Ken, Japan, and Miyuki (Michiko) Matsuda, Osaka City, Japan;  her sisters-in-law, Ila Burke, Burnsville, Minn., and Norma Knigge, Sioux Falls; brother-in-law, Charlie (Myrna) Knigge, Woonsocket; 17 grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents and her husband.

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