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Obit - Henrietta Fisher Knape

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  • Matt Cross
    San Antonio Express-News, 1 Jun 2008 Obituary: Knape, 90, was a descendant of Texas Czech pioneers By Sarah Sumadi Express-News Henrietta Fisher Knape, a
    Message 1 of 3 , Jun 2, 2008
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      San Antonio Express-News, 1 Jun 2008

      Obituary: Knape, 90, was a descendant of Texas' Czech pioneers

      By Sarah Sumadi
      Express-News

      Henrietta Fisher Knape, a descendent of one of the first generations of Czechs to settle Texas, died Thursday of a heart attack. She was 90 years old.

      Knape's grandparents took a seven-week sea journey from what would become Czechoslovakia in 1875 and eventually settled in Ammansville, a small town nestled between LaGrange and Schulenburg. They were among the early Czech settlers in Texas and worked as cotton farmers. They later donated a few acres of land to build the St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, one of Texas' more than 20 “painted” churches whose interiors are completely covered in brightly colored murals.

      Ammansville is a small town now, but back then, “they had the church, a couple of stores, and a jail,” said Knape's son, David Knape, 62.

      The social scene revolved around Saturday night polka dances.

      The German immigrants lived across town on the other side of Texas 71. Knape's future husband Victor was one of them.

      “The groups didn't mix very much, but my dad decided to come over to the Czech side to go to a dance,” David Knape said. “He was one of the first ones to cross over, and that's how he met my mother.”

      The couple married and moved to San Antonio in 1942, when Victor Knape got a job as a sheet metal worker at Kelly Field.

      Knape studied in Houston to become a legal secretary and worked for a lawyer in San Antonio for 20 years. She spent an additional 10 years as a medical secretary. Even without a college degree, she was known as one of the best in the business.

      Her razor-sharp organization wasn't limited to the office; she remembered the birthdays of her entire extended family, including her husband's side. She was also fluent in Czech and German.

      “She could read German better than my dad, and he was German,” Knape's son said.

      His mother's schedule was busy, even after she retired. She made quilts for her 11 grandchildren and great-grandchildren, volunteered and played piano at nursing homes, and sang alto in the St. Luke's church choir for 11 years.

      She was an avid cook, and her specialty was kolaches, the sweet Czech pastry.

      “The Czechs are a big part of Texan culture, and my mother was very proud of her heritage,” David Knape said.

      Fittingly, Knape will be buried alongside the church her grandparents helped build nearly a century ago.
      _________________________________________________________________
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    • pfoster
      Thank You, Matt. I was about to pull my hair out . You would think with a son that is a computer specialist I would be more savvy. paulasmaggie ... From:
      Message 2 of 3 , Jun 2, 2008
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        Thank You, Matt. I was about to "pull my hair out". You would think with a
        son that is a computer specialist I would be more savvy. paulasmaggie
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Matt Cross" <lennonluv@...>
        To: "Texas Czechs" <texasczechs@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Monday, June 02, 2008 12:59 PM
        Subject: [TexasCzechs] Obit - Henrietta Fisher Knape



        San Antonio Express-News, 1 Jun 2008

        Obituary: Knape, 90, was a descendant of Texas' Czech pioneers

        By Sarah Sumadi
        Express-News

        Henrietta Fisher Knape, a descendent of one of the first generations of
        Czechs to settle Texas, died Thursday of a heart attack. She was 90 years
        old.

        Knape's grandparents took a seven-week sea journey from what would become
        Czechoslovakia in 1875 and eventually settled in Ammansville, a small town
        nestled between LaGrange and Schulenburg. They were among the early Czech
        settlers in Texas and worked as cotton farmers. They later donated a few
        acres of land to build the St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, one of
        Texas' more than 20 “painted” churches whose interiors are completely
        covered in brightly colored murals.

        Ammansville is a small town now, but back then, “they had the church, a
        couple of stores, and a jail,” said Knape's son, David Knape, 62.

        The social scene revolved around Saturday night polka dances.

        The German immigrants lived across town on the other side of Texas 71.
        Knape's future husband Victor was one of them.

        “The groups didn't mix very much, but my dad decided to come over to the
        Czech side to go to a dance,” David Knape said. “He was one of the first
        ones to cross over, and that's how he met my mother.”

        The couple married and moved to San Antonio in 1942, when Victor Knape got a
        job as a sheet metal worker at Kelly Field.

        Knape studied in Houston to become a legal secretary and worked for a lawyer
        in San Antonio for 20 years. She spent an additional 10 years as a medical
        secretary. Even without a college degree, she was known as one of the best
        in the business.

        Her razor-sharp organization wasn't limited to the office; she remembered
        the birthdays of her entire extended family, including her husband's side.
        She was also fluent in Czech and German.

        “She could read German better than my dad, and he was German,” Knape's son
        said.

        His mother's schedule was busy, even after she retired. She made quilts for
        her 11 grandchildren and great-grandchildren, volunteered and played piano
        at nursing homes, and sang alto in the St. Luke's church choir for 11 years.

        She was an avid cook, and her specialty was kolaches, the sweet Czech
        pastry.

        “The Czechs are a big part of Texan culture, and my mother was very proud of
        her heritage,” David Knape said.

        Fittingly, Knape will be buried alongside the church her grandparents helped
        build nearly a century ago.
        _________________________________________________________________
        Keep your kids safer online with Windows Live Family Safety.
        http://www.windowslive.com/family_safety/overview.html?ocid=TXT_TAGLM_WL_Refresh_family_safety_052008
        ------------------------------------

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      • charles kretzschmar
        Thank you Matt. i knew someone had the ability out there to pick up this czech article for the group. thank you again. angelina genzer kretzschmar san
        Message 3 of 3 , Jun 3, 2008
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          Thank you Matt.  i knew someone had
          the ability out there to pick up this
          czech article for the group.  thank you again.
           
          angelina genzer kretzschmar
          san antonio, texas
           

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