Betty J. Knoepke


Betty Knoepke, 89, of Preston, MN, passed away on Thursday, August 4th, 2022 at Rochester Methodist Hospital surrounded by family.

Betty JoAn (Miller) Knoepke was born on December 18, 1932, in Preston to Howard and LaVina (Ruesink) Miller. She graduated from Preston High School in 1950 and was employed by Northwestern Bell as a service rep for 7 years, by Farmers and Merchants State Bank for 2 years, and retired in 1995 after 27 years as the Deputy Auditor of Fillmore County.

At the age of 15, Betty met the love of her life, LaVern Knoepke of Wykoff when he caught her eye as he rode into town on his motorcycle. They married on May 6th, 1953 and enjoyed 66 years of marriage until the time of LaVern’s death in July of 2019. Betty lived her entire life in Preston, mainly on the South Hill, where LaVern built their house across the street from her parents. She was a life-long member of the VFW Auxiliary, serving as President and Treasurer. Betty was also active in the United Methodist Church, serving as trustee and treasurer of the Women’s Society for many years. She was a Sunday School teacher and served on the Preston Park Board. Betty enjoyed fishing and working in her garden. More than anything she cherished being a wife and a mom and spending time with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Home-baked cookies or frozen treats waited for them in her freezer.

Betty is survived by a son, Steve (Deb) Knoepke, a daughter, Lori (Lowell) Finseth, and daughter-in-law, Anne Knoepke; six grandchildren, Adam (Jamie Wood) Knoepke, Ben (Sara) Knoepke, Jessica (Joe) Sheridan, Justin (Matt Schroeder) Finseth, Danica (Dave) Valentine, and Whitney (Gabe) Kimball; 12 great-grandchildren, Erin, Caden, Carson, and Taylor Knoepke, Lily, Ali, and Sam Knoepke, Grace and Will Sheridan, Brooks and Reid Kimball, and Delaney Valentine. She is also survived by brother and sister-in-law, Jerry (Judy) Miller, and sister, Marcia Rappe, as well as three brothers-in-law, Kenny Knoepke, Bill Fischer, and Bob Hodgson, and sister-in- law, Karen (Knoepke) Beenblossom. Also, several special nieces and nephews.

Betty was preceded in death by her husband LaVern, brother and sister-in-law Lyle (JoAnn) Miller, sister RuthAnn Fischer, sister-in-law Millie Knoepke, and brothers-in-law Arden Knoepke and David Rappe.

A memorial service will be held on Wednesday, August 10, 2022 at the Preston United Methodist Church in Preston, MN with Pastor Mark Woodward officiating. Burial will take place at 2 p.m. on Wednesday at the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery in Preston. Visitation will be held from 5-7 p.m. on Tuesday, August 9 at the church and will continue from 10-11 a.m. on Wednesday morning.

Memorials are suggested to the United Methodist Church in Preston or the Preston Methodist Cemetery Association.

A special thank you is extended to the doctors and nurses on stations 7-3 and 10-4 at Mayo Clinic Rochester Methodist campus.

Mom always said, “I’m fine.” Rest in peace, Mom. We love you and miss you and “we’ll be fine.”

Online condolences may be left at

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