Deborah S. Knippenberg

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Deborah Sue Knippenberg, 72, passed away peacefully, surrounded by love, following a long-term decline from a debilitating stroke.

Memorial Service: 2PM Wednesday, November 29 at Lake Shore Funeral Home. Reception immediately following the service.

She was born June 24, 1951 in Cincinnati, Ohio and spent her childhood years in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, graduating from Lawrenceburg High School. As a child Debbie was outgoing, bold, and fearless. At a young age she developed a deep love for music, poetry, storytelling, and theatre. She could play any musical instrument by ear but loved the guitar and piano most.

Debbie was a strong advocate for the disabled, deaf, and elderly, eventually learning sign language and becoming and interpreter for the deaf. She began studying the Bible with Jehovah’s Witness shortly after high school and devoted her life in service. Debbie met her husband, John Gardin, while pioneering in Rosenburg, Texas and they moved a lot, eventually settling down in the Houston, Texas area.

Debbie was a devoted mother and loved her daughter dearly. She wrote and sang lullabies for Amy and taught her to read and write at a very young age. While they did not celebrate holidays, Debbie always made sure Amy had plenty of presents, attended costume parties and dances, held a “Family Day”, and most importantly that Amy felt loved.

Her greatest joy was becoming a Mamaw to her three grandchildren. She loved them dearly and treasured every precious moment they shared together, repeating many of the same activities she enjoyed with Amy.

Dee was preceded in death by her parents, June Frasier and Major Knippenberg; ex-husband and lifelong friend, John Gardin.

She is survived by her daughter, Amy Gage and husband Tim of Waco; grandchildren, Chyenne, C, and Jonah; great grandchildren, Savanna and MJ; sister, Judy Hamilton; niece, Stacee; and nephew, Tyler.

Dee made a lasting impression on all who had the pleasure to know and love her.


Place of Service: Lake Shore Funeral Home Chapel , 5201 Steinbeck Bend; Waco, TX 76708

Print Obituary & Condolences Print Obituary & Condolences

Condolence Messages

  1. Judy Knippenberg Hamilton

    By Deborah Knippenberg

    Once upon a time there were two very different sisters
    One lived here, the other lived there
    One had long the other had short, very short hair
    Each had very different ways of life and
    Each had very different ways of dealing with strife

    Each is busy doing different things
    One writes poetry
    The other one sings

    For all the things about them that is different and unique
    One without the other is simply incomplete
    Though they are different, they are forever the same
    As they both were born with the same family name

    Similarly, they have been both mothers and wives
    And they will be there for each other for the rest of their lives
    They share the most incredible gift
    For only they and no one else
    Can affectionately refer to each other as ‘sis’

    When one is weak, the other is strong
    They are there for each other when things may go wrong
    They are whatever the other needs to be
    Though far from each other
    They are close family

    They have the same father and they have the same mother
    So they are eternally bound to one another

    So no matter how each of their stories turns out
    They are sisters
    They are different
    And that is what their sisterhood is all about.

  2. Judy Knippenberg Hamilton

    Dear Amy, Cyerra, Jonah and Tim. At some point the tears will turn to all of the sweetness of the thousands of memories of your mother, Debbie. You know how much strength and willpower Debbie has always had. She always showed everyone just how much inner strength she had and that your will can make a difference.

    I hope Debbie found ways to dwell on all of her many successes. The many people she was a devoted caregiver for and who loved her. The wonderful daughter that turned out to be such a beauty and good person, good wife, good mother and good daughter and who picked a man of goodness and kindness and made her daughter a wonderful husband and lasting marriage. I hope with all my heart that she realized all the things and experiences, poems, songs, music, love and strength she taught Amy June and that she passed on to her grandchildren, beautiful Cyerra and Jonah and Cheyenne. They are part of you forever and so blessed to have had you in their lives.

  3. Susan Fuldauer and Terry Evans

    You are in our hearts and prayers.

  4. Amy & family,

    Being the day after the memorial, I know today is even hard than yesterday. Today is the day that things get “quiet”. The day that the planning is over, the food eaten, and the silence of your daily lives move on. It is today, and all the days moving forward that I pray for comfort and peace. May the memories you shared bring a smile to your face and a warmth in your heart when you need it the most. I love you all so much!
    Always Be Blessed,

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