Lois Jean McKnelly, age 80, of Louisville, Illinois, passed away Thursday night, October 20, 2022, at her home.
She was born April 22, 1942, in Clay County, the daughter of Nicholas “Lyle” and Zola Leona (Fulk) Bateman. Lois Jean was united in marriage to Billy D. McKnelly on August 16, 1964, at Ingraham Christian Church. She and Bill would later settle into their lifetime church home at Flora First Christian. Throughout the years, she found great joy in contributing her voice to song and praise during worship.
Caring concern for family and friends was her life and heart. She was a kind caregiver who recognized the importance of making time for those who had a special need or concern, and volunteered at the Clay County Ministerial Alliance Food Pantry. Lois Jean loved preparing decorative cakes, gardening and canning, tending to her flowers, sharing affection for her pets, and being creative with upholstery and ceramics. She valued education, and even after raising a family became inspired to enroll in college courses along with earning a CNA and finding a rewarding role in the care of babies. Travel was another memorable part of her life, as she looked forward to trips and vacations in the U.S. and abroad, both with family and later as she and Bill explored new and favorite places.
She is survived by her husband: Bill McKnelly of Louisville; 3 children: Darlene (Joe) Fatheree of Effingham, Marla (Bob) Gillett of Kinmundy, and Darrell (Lisa) McKnelly of Louisville; 9 grandchildren: Taylor (Hannah) Fatheree of Knoxville, Tennessee, Haley (Hayden) Klockenga of Mt. Vernon, Seth Gillett of Kinmundy, Tyler (Oceana) Gillett of Fort Branch, Indiana, Anna Gillett, Sarah Gillett, Emma Gillett all of Kinmundy, Lindsey (Zach) Davis of Louisville, and Kyle (fiancé Ashley) McKnelly of Louisville; 3 great-grandchildren: Beckham Klockenga, Jase Davis, and Grant Davis, as well as 2 more lovingly anticipated great-grandchildren on the way; and a number of nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents and a sister: Leona “Ruth” Weber.
A funeral ceremony for Lois Jean McKnelly will be held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, October 25, 2022, at Frank & Bright Funeral Home in Flora. Interment will follow in Orchard Hill Cemetery in Louisville. A visitation will be held from 6 until 8 p.m. on Monday evening at the funeral home. Memorial donations are suggested to Siteman Kids at St. Louis Children’s Hospital (providing cancer care for children) and will be accepted through the funeral home. To share a condolence or memory, visit: www.frankandbright.com