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Colleen Knop

Colleen Knop, 85, of Ida Grove, Iowa, passed away peacefully surrounded by her family on Thursday, March 28, 2024.

A funeral service was held at 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, April 3, 2024, at the St. Paul Lutheran Church of Ida Grove, Iowa. Rev. Neil Wehmas officiated. Committal Services followed in the Ida Grove Cemetery of Ida Grove, Iowa.

The Christensen-Van Houten Funeral Home of Ida Grove, Iowa, is in charge of the funeral arrangements. Condolences may be sent online at www.christensenvanhouten.com  

Colleen Knop, the daughter of Loren F. and Lucille J. (Ruring) Parks, was born on May 30, 1938, in Sioux City, Iowa. She grew up in Moville, Iowa and received her education at Moville High School, graduating with the class of 1956. She then spent one semester studying at Briar Cliff University. During this time Colleen was active in rodeos competing in barrel racing and pole bending. She was crowned the Barnes Rodeo Queen in 1956 and 1957 as well as being a former rodeo queen in South Dakota. She also held the title of Sioux City Trucker’s Queen in 1957.

On December 11, 1957, Colleen married the love of her life, Eugene Knop, in Glenwood, Iowa. Gene’s banking job required several moves before the couple eventually made their home in Ida Grove, Iowa, where Colleen was Gene’s cattle partner for 67 years. They were blessed with four children: Don, Danny, Sheryl, and Dennis.

Colleen used to say that she raised her family in the dust of a ball diamond. Gene is a Hall of Fame softball pitcher, and all their children were involved in the sport. Many hours were spent traveling to and from games; first of her own children and later watching her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Their family life revolved around farming, banking, softball, and their purebred cattle operation. She was the chief combine operator and performed all the artificial insemination in the cow herd. In her later years she kept an eye on the farm from the driver’s seat of her Kubota Side-by-Side. 

For 28 years, Colleen and Gene were snowbirds spending the winter months in Mesa, Arizona. While there, Colleen volunteered her time with Sunshine Angels which did charity work for low-income individuals. She also assisted the Mesa Police Department after she graduated from their volunteer police academy.

Colleen was a lifelong member of St. Paul Lutheran Church. She served as a former President of the Iowa Angus Auxiliary, and kept busy as the bookkeeper of the family cattle operation. She was a wonderful cook and baker and will be remembered for her delicious pies. She enjoyed tending to her large garden and flowers as well as fishing. She will be dearly missed by those who knew and loved her. 

Left to cherish her memory include her loving husband Eugene Knop; children Danny Knop (significant other Karen Maricle), Sheryl (Mark) Leonard and Dennis Knop; 11 grandchildren: Autumn (Mark) Kline, Cody (Stephanie) Knop, Danika (Shayne) Hinkeldey, Kylee (Mitch) Vargason, Emily (Marc) Melody, Erin Leonard, Ember (Ross) Muhlbauer, Denae (Adam) Dieatrick, Austin (Kristin) Leonard, Baylee Knop, and Kolton Knop; 20 great-grandchildren; sister Shella (Pat) Rooney of Sioux City, IA; extended nieces, nephews, extended family and friends. 

She was preceded in death by her parents Loren and Lucille Parks; son Don Knop; brothers Jerry Parks, Tom Parks and Don Parks; and sister Jerine Schlotman.

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