Dorothy Ione (Knouse) Koepke, 90, of Norfolk, Neb., died Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, in Norfolk.
Her funeral will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Stonacek Memorial Chapel in Norfolk. Burial will be in Zion East Lutheran Cemetery, rural Hoskins, Neb.
Visitation will be from 3 to 7 p.m. Friday at the chapel. Memorial gifts may be made to the family for the Dorthy Knouse Koepke Memorial Scholarship Fund.
Dorthy Ione Knouse was born near Iroquois in Kingsbury County on Jan. 24, 1922, to Fred and Myrtle (Bond) Knouse. She was baptized as a young adult at Methodist Episcopal Church in Cavour. She graduated from Cavour High School as valedictorian at age 20, having had to delay her studies for three years to help care for her younger siblings during the Great Depression in the 1930s. She studied journalism one year at Huron College and worked as a feature writer. She had her first poem published when she was 16.
She married Herman Koepke on June 27, 1943. They farmed near Hoskins. She attended Zion Lutheran Church near Hoskins, was active in the Ladies Aid and taught teen and adult Bible classes. She also served on the Wayne County District 55 School Board. They moved to Norfolk in 1983.
She attended many writing workshops and conferences across the country, including the Billy Graham School of Christian Writing, the Society of Children’s Book Writers, the Nebraska Chaparral Poets and the Spindrift Poets Club. She was an active member and officer of the Spindrift Poets Club.
She won numerous honors and awards from local and national venues for her poems and short stories, including a first place in the Nebraska and National Mother’s Association short story contest. She was invited to read her poem “Resurrection” at the 1996 Famous Poets Society Convention in Anaheim, Calif. She also won many awards from the Nebraska Chaparral Poets, with the most recent being first place for her poem “Utopia for Growing Old” in August 2012. Her writing has been featured in the The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor, Guideposts, Magazine of the Midlands, The Nebraska State Medical Journal, Grit, Country People and This Day magazine. She also self-published some of her books and was a gifted speaker.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; four brothers Melvin, Frank, Marvin and Donald Knouse; a son, Gary Koepke; and a stillborn daughter.
She is survived by her children, Judy Koepke (Jeff Schmid) of St. Louis, Mo.; Janis (Jon) Bible of Ceresco, Neb.; Jo Ann Koepke of Norfolk, Galen (Doris) Koepke of Nederland, Colo.; a daughter-in-law, Terry Koepke of Missoula, Mont.; Gene (Michelle) Koepke of Minot, N.D.; Lonnie (Suellen) Koepke of Broken Bow, Neb.; Lana (Phil) Johnson of Lincoln, Neb.; Lynne Tittel of Norfolk; and Jeff (Sharon) Koepke of Lincoln; 25 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; siblings Jane DeLong of Huron, Fern Whitlow of Mitchell, Clarence Knouse of Huron, and Mary Meyers of Cavour; and a sister-in-law, Marilyn Dollenbacher, Huron.For the complete article see the 01-17-2013 issue.
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