Steward — Donna Lynn Knetsch Gittleson, 80, passed away unexpectedly at her home in Steward, on Jan. 1, 2021.
Donna was born on June 15, 1940 to Ralph C. and Linnea L. Roberts in Chicago. On June 17, 1961, she married Henry Arthur Knetsch III in Morton Grove. He preceded her in death on Dec. 19, 1988. Later, she married Ronald Lee Gittleson on Nov. 20, 1993 in Steward. He also preceded her in death on March 15, 2011.
Donna was a very active member of the Steward United Methodist Church. She adored her children, grandchildren and most recently her great grandchildren and stayed very involved in their day-to-day lives.
She enjoyed gardening, flowers and was a tough Scrabble foe. Donna was a strong supporter of the food and clothing pantry at N.I.C.E. and the Cause for Paws Rescue. She cared deeply for all she spent time with and was especially grateful to all those who helped her maintain her independence. She ran the family farm up until her last day. She also worked as a library clerk at the Flagg Township Library in Rochelle for many years.
Donna is survived by her four children, Henry Knetsch, IV of Steward, Karen (Jim) Maliszewski of Rockford, Jim (Jenn) Knetsch of Steward, and Kim (Jeff) Munson of Dixon; her brother, Ron (Sue) Roberts of Bellingham, Washington; nine grandchildren, Kristie Knetsch, Jana (Mike) Guzaldo, Jake (Allison) Maliszewski, Emily, Ben and Josh Knetsch and Evan, Kaelyn and Madalyn Munson; seven great-grandchildren, Kaiden and Kaleb Gomez, Kameron Knetsch, Khloe Davis, Isla and Leo Guzaldo and Henry Maliszewski along with her dear friends at Steward United Methodist Church.
There will be a private family only funeral service on Friday, Jan. 8 at 1 p.m. with Pastor Megan Thompson officiating. The service will be live streamed on the Unger-Horner Funeral Home Facebook page. Burial will follow the service at Steward Cemetery in Steward.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Donna’s memory to the Steward United Methodist Church or to the Cause for Paws Rescue.
Visit www.ungerhorner.com to sign the online guest book.