DONNA RAE KNOCKAERT
July 2, 1952 - August 16, 2021
It is with heavy hearts we share the passing of our shining light, Donna Rae Knockaert. Surrounded by her loving family, she left us after a courageous battle with cancer on Monday, August 16, 2021, at the age of 69.
Donna Rae was born in St. Boniface, Manitoba on July 2, 1952. She was the oldest child of Maurice and Imelda Cnockaert. She met the love of her life, Brian, in 1966 at the age of 14. They married on July 18, 1970, two weeks after her 18th birthday. It was clear from the beginning that they were perfectly matched in every way. The affection, respect and love they shared spanned their 55 years together and was an example of an incredible partnership in marriage.
Donna Rae was a devoted mother to her boys, Jeff and Joel, and was their biggest cheerleader and support through their many adventures and endeavours. Their accomplishments, challenges and celebrations were all important to her. She spent many hours volunteering at their schools, helping with after school and lunch time programs, being a Beavers leader and on the PTA.
Family was incredibly important to Donna Rae and was her top priority. Family didn’t always mean being related; she was quick to take care of others when the need arose.
Donna Rae was a hard worker who was proud of her accomplishments. She spoke fondly of her working years and shared many stories. One of her first jobs working at the Metropolitan Store in downtown Winnipeg with many family and friends was a highlight for her. After taking time away to raise her boys, she returned to work, taking on different roles in a bakery, in retail, as an executive assistant with Winnipeg2000 and after moving to Pine Falls, she worked part-time for the local hospital until retiring.
In 1998, She and Brian packed up their belongings and moved to Pine Falls, Manitoba, to a cabin they built over the span of many years. This was her ‘happy place’ and one could usually find her in the garden or on the back porch reading a book. In the late summer/early fall you would often find her in the kitchen; she loved to turn the garden harvest into pickles and preserves. These were cherished by anyone who was lucky enough to receive them. Like her pickles, her peanut butter cookies were prized. Her grandchildren could always count on a plate of these delicious cookies waiting for them when they got to her house or lovingly provided in a paper bag with their name on it (no sharing required) when she came to visit. Her love of curling will be missed; one knew better than to call when an important bonspiel was on. Over the last several years, she spent many hours making quilts for her family, ensuring each would have a piece of her for years to come. Donna Rae was a great conversationalist; she loved to hear about the happenings of the day and discuss the latest news story or politics over a cup of coffee. Her daily routine started and ended with phone calls to those she loved; even if they were just to say a quick, ‘I luv ya’, these will be missed.
Donna Rae will be dearly missed by her husband Brian of 51 years, sons Jeff (Kristin) and Joel (Alysia); grand children Zachary, Cassidy, Hanah, Coen, and Matilda; brother Don (Barb); sister Shawn (Dale); sister-in-law Irene; brother-in-law Wally (Roland), and many family and friends who meant so much to her.
The family wishes to express their sincere gratitude to the staff and medical team of Cancer Care Manitoba and Pine Falls Hospital Health Complex for the compassionate, kind care they showed Donna Rae and our family over the past year. Your dedication to protect her dignity and voice were present in all that you did. A ‘thank you’ will never be enough.
According to Donna Rae’s wishes there will not be a funeral. A private celebration of life will take place at a later time. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a contribution in Donna Rae’s memory to Cancer Care Manitoba or a charity of your choice.
The family encourages the sharing of stories, memories and condolences by using the comment section on this tribute page.
Donna Rae’s legacy of love and kindness will live on in each of the lives she touched. She encouraged us all to think positive, see the good in people and “never judge the book by the cover.” She saw the possibility in the moment, and always wanted those she loved to see it too, even when the moment was a challenge. Laughter was always important to Donna Rae, and she always said, “if you can’t laugh, you can’t live.”
Memories, Stories and Condolences
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