DELPHA V. FENNER

Delpha “Del” Vera Fenner (nee Donath,) 96, of Plymouth, Wisconsin, passed away peacefully on Monday morning, March 21, 2016 at the Sharon S. Richardson Community Hospice Center in Sheboygan Falls.

She was born on June 20, 1919 in Sheboygan, a daughter to the late Paul and Hattie (Mertes) Donath, both of whom had emigrated from Germany. She attended Franklin School, Southside Junior High and Sheboygan Central High School. In 1945 she was united in marriage to Eugene T. Knowles of Greenbush, and they lived in Glenbeulah, Wisconsin. After serving in the US Air Force in England in WWII, Gene taught elementary school in Glenbeulah and Sheboygan Falls until his death in 1965. They had one child, a son, Gary, born in 1946.

Del worked at the Montgomery Ward Store and Arlan’s Department Store in Sheboygan, the J.C. Penny Company and Adams Rexall Drug Store in Plymouth, and as a guide at The Old Wade House Historical Site in Greenbush.

She married Carl Fenner of Sheboygan Falls on July 22, 1972. They lived in Sheboygan Falls and Crystal Lake before moving to Plymouth in 1978.

Del was a member of the New Hope United Methodist Church of Greenbush. She served many years as a member of the choir, lay leader, trustee, and Sunday School teacher. She enjoyed singing and playing harmonica. She was known for playing “Silent Night” on the harmonica at the New Hope Christmas Eve Candlelight Service, often with her late sister Ramona Schuricht or good friend Ruth Bub accompanying on the organ. In 2010 at the age of 91 her performance was recorded and posted on YouTube at https://youtu.be/u3MbnBHx2Ms . The Hohner Harmonica Company saw the video and sent her a thank you note along with a special edition harmonica.

She also played harmonica at the Plymouth Senior Center and at other community functions.

Del was a member of the Plymouth Women’s Civic Club, Plymouth Salvation Army, Plymouth Food Pantry, Plymouth Historical Society, Wisconsin Historical Society, Plymouth Art Center, and the Greenbush American Legion Auxiliary. She took great pride in her work as a volunteer at these community service organizations and at the Valley Manor Senior Center and Valley View Medical Center in the Plymouth area.

In 1999 she was awarded the “People Helping People” Award by the Plymouth Eagle’s Club for more than fifteen years of her volunteer service at Valley View Medical Center. In receiving that honor, she said, “ I love to work with people. Helping out other people and doing even a few things to make their day brighter makes you feel good and keeps you young.” She continued to volunteer until health issues limited her mobility in about 2012.

Del is survived by her husband, Carl Fenner of Plymouth; son, Gary Knowles and daughter-in-law, MaePatrice Knowles of Madison; grandson Alexander Knowles of Sun Prairie; granddaughter, Carleigh Knowles of Madison; a niece, Roxanne Wickstrom (Schuricht) of Virginia Beach, VA; niece Darla Rae Graves (Knowles) of Lake City, Florida; niece Karen Lee Knowles of Minneapolis, MN; and nephew Steven Knowles, Wisconsin. She leaves many dear friends including Chip and Christie Crowe of Oostburg, June Kind of Greenbush, Sara Roberts of Plymouth and the members of New Hope UMC.

She was preceded in death by her first husband Eugene Knowles. mother and father, brother Wilbur Donath, sister Ramona Schuricht, brother-in-law Elwood “Woody” Schuricht, brother-inlaw Marvin Fenner, niece Sharon Donath, grandparents and many other cousins, relatives and good friends.

Carl and the would like to thank the staff at the Sharon S. Richardson Community Hospice for their warm welcome, kindness, and attentive service for Del over the past two weeks. They also thank the many friends and neighbors who came to call to help them with meals, snow removal, transportation, flowers and pleasant conversation over the years. Your kindness and time together are a priceless, lasting treasure.

A celebration of Del’s life will be held 5:30 PM Wednesday, March 30, 2016 with Rev.Henry Verfuerth presiding at Wittkopp Funeral Service, 123 South Street, Plymouth. Friends are welcome to visit beginning at 4 p.m. with the service from 5:30 – 6 p.m.. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials on behalf of Del Fenner be made to Sharon S. Richardson Community Hospice, W2850 State Rd. #28, Sheboygan Falls, WI 53085.


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