Wednesday, December 28, 2016
4:00 PM to 7:00 PM EST
Life Story Funeral Homes - Rupert, Durham, Marshall & Gren
409 South Main Street
Vicksburg, MI 49097
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
To Vera's Family
Donations may be sent to:
c/o Life Story Funeral Home
409 S. Main St
Vicksburg, MI 49097
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Truly beautiful on the inside and out, Vera Kniss was a blessing to everyone she met. She was a bit stubborn when it came to things she was passionate about, and she didn’t really shy away from speaking her mind. The matriarch of her family, Vera was filled with unspeakable joy to witness her family tree blossom to include the grandchildren and great-grandchildren she adored. Outgoing and social, she was the sort of person who never met a stranger. Deeply loved, Vera will be forever missed.
During the first half of the 1940's, the eyes of our nation were focused overseas as WWII raged on. America was not involved in the beginning, but after the vicious attack on our nation’s naval base in Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, we were left with no choice but to engage in the fight for the freedoms we still enjoy today. It was just prior to this historic day that Merton and Edith (Harding) Smith were pleased to announce the birth of the baby girl they named Vera on July 23, 1941, in Vicksburg, Michigan.She was the youngest of 12 children as she was joined in the Smith clan by her siblings, Jack, Roy, Alfred, Cora, Betty Jane, Laverne, Millie, Chuck, Carl, Flossie, and Baby Smith who passed away as an infant. Both of her parents were from England, and both even worked at the royal palace! Prior to Vera being born the family moved to the United States. Vera’s father worked as a mason who was part of the construction of Vicksburg High School while her mother was at home caring for her children.
In many ways Vera was a young girl of her generation. She always looked forward to seeing her aunts from England, and her favorite was her uncle, Harry Harding. Raised in Vicksburg, she was forever protecting her sisters from their brother Carl’s pestering as he was quite a jokester, even as an adult. On one occasion, Vera tripped in a cornfield while chasing Carl and landed on a corncob that went through her arm! She attended the one-room country school in Vicksburg where she was a very outspoken student.
New and exciting changes were in store for Vera when she met a young man named Raymond “Froggy” Griffith. He was fresh out of the service, and they were set up on a blind date. They fell in love and were married on August 12, 1961. Together they were blessed with the births of three daughters, Tina, Dawn, and Edith. Although they parted ways after 10 years, they always remained friends.
Life was forever changed for Vera when she met a man named Roger Kniss at a local night club, Delton Café, where she and her friends went to dance. Sparks flew, and a few weeks later they were married on June 21, 1971. They welcomed two children into their hearts and home, Robin and Roger, Jr. They raised their family in a home in Vicksburg that Vera called home for the rest of her life. She was an amazing wife and mother who always put her family first. It was so funny how Vera never got anyone’s name right as she seemed to go through the entire list of kids before getting it right. If she called for Roger, they always knew they were in trouble. In many ways, Vera’s children felt as though they had two fathers and one mother since Vera, Roger, and Raymond all got along so well. For example, when she made soup Roger delivered some to everyone - including Raymond! It was always such a joke since family dynamics like this are so rare.
There were so many things that kept Vera busy, and what made most of them so extraordinary was sharing them with the ones she loved. Poodles were her favorite, although Roger wasn’t a fan and would call them gremlins. Vera enjoyed things like tending to the flowers and making her yard look nice as well as deer hunting, mushroom hunting, and even just watching the birds at the feeders. She loved traveling, and among her favorite vacations were traveling South to visit relatives in both Alabama and Florida. Vera loved a trip she had taken to the Bahamas as well. As someone who enjoyed taking pictures, she always had plenty of memories to share from her travels. Vera liked visiting various casinos to play the nickel slots, and somehow she could always turn a nickel into a couple hundred dollars. Vera enjoyed having quality time with Roger at Red’s, but she also looked forward to having the whole family together at parties and gatherings. She made it a priority to tend to the graves of loved ones, kept them looking nice no matter the weather. Vera loved having her grandchildren over, including Earl Scott Holbrook, Michanna Holbrook, Ashley Barnebee, Laura Adams, Nicole Adams, Bobby Adams II, Arden Major Jr., Larissa Major, and Colt Tyler. Later in life when her family grew to include her great-grandchildren, Mason, Isabella, Heaven, Skei, Anthony, Tristin, Stormy, Trinten, Jai’lea, Haiden, and Alei’a, she couldn’t be happier.
All who knew Vera Kniss would agree that she was such an amazing woman. She was friendly, outgoing, and kind with a laugh that was simply the best. It was easy to see that she adored her family, and Vera was happiest when surrounded by their love. Life will never be the same without her here, but she leaves behind a timeless legacy that her loved ones will proudly carry on in her footsteps.
Vera Kniss, of Vicksburg, passed away on December 23, 2016 in the comfort of her home. Vera’s family includes her husband, Roger; children, Tina Griffith, Dawn (Mark) Barnebee, Edith Adams, Robin Major, and step-son James Tyler; 9 grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; as well as several nieces and nephews. Vera was preceded in death by her parents; son, Roger Jr., and 11 brothers and sisters. Visit with her family and friends and view her life story film on Wednesday, December 28 from 4–7 p.m. at the Life Story Funeral Home, Vicksburg; 409 S. Main St. (649-1697). A funeral service will be held on Thursday, December 29 at 11:00 at the same location. Please visit Vera’s memory page at www.lifestorynet.com where you can read her life story, archive a memory or photo and sign her memory book online. Memorial donations may be made to Vera’s family.