OTTUMWA — Dora Schmarje Knierim, 105 years and 7 months, of San Mateo, CA, formerly of Ottumwa and Muscatine, died May 13, 2014.
Dora Knierim was born October 10, 1908 in Neulandermoor Germany, near Hamburg. She was the 18th of 19 children. At age 14 out of school she worked as a domestic in Hamburg and in 1925 at the age of 16, Dora, with 2 sisters boarded a ship to live in America — destination Muscatine Iowa. She met August Knierim at a German Dance Hall and married him in 1930. They had 5 children: Charles, Betty (died 1996), Margaret and Anita (died 1939) and Edward. Gus and Dora were in business in Ottumwa, Iowa, for 50 years. Dora was the bookkeeper for each business along with raising their children. Gus died in 1971. A few years later Dora moved near the Lake of the Ozarks in Eldon, Missouri, and spent many months each year with her daughter, Margaret in San Mateo, CA. Dora was cared for by Margaret during the last few years, and by her caregivers, Leo and Jeannie, for the last month of her life. Dora put the "great" in Great Lady! She was very healthy, energetic, sharp and witty. She loved to knit gifts for family and friends, take walks with her walking stick, garden, picking flowers, making applesauce and was a constant winner at Rummy. She loved to travel, shop, dine out, regularly attended church (Bethany Lutheran in Eldon MO and St. Andrews Lutheran in San Mateo CA). Dora lived to be almost 106 years old. She was a loving matriarch of the Knierim, Schmarje and Klebe families. She was a blessing, a delight and was loved by all.
Graveside memorial services will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, June 21, 2014 at Shaul Cemetery with Pastor Julie Fiske officiating.
A reception will follow at the Hotel Ottumwa, 107 E. Second St., Ottumwa, IA
Subsequent receptions will be held in Muscatine at 1 p.m. Sunday, June 22, 2014, “Klebe” families at the Muscatine Power Boat Club, IL and 6 p.m. Tuesday June 24, 2014 “Schmarje” families at the Peking Chinese Restaurant.
Memorials may be made to First Lutheran Church or Muscatine History and Industry Center / Pearl Button Museum.
Reece Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.