Betty Jane Knodel was born August 4, 1924 to Frank and Josephine (Steckley) Vraspir at Geddes, SD. She grew up on a farm and attended grade school in Charles Mix County. She graduated from Geddes High School in 1943 and in 1944 graduated from Mitchell Business College. She worked as a secretary at the college for one year and then worked for the Mitchell Huron Production Credit Association for eight and a half years, becoming Assistant Treasurer. On December 13, 1947 she married Herbert W. Knodel at the Zion Lutheran Church in Mitchell. From 1952 to 1977 she assisted Herb in operating Knodel Jewelry. She also was a receptionist for several years for Dr. Floyd Gillis, Sr. She served as chairman of Zion’s Altar Guild for sixteen years, was a member of the LWML and served on the Davison County Mental Health Board for many years. She was a den mother during the time her son was a Cub Scout. After the death of her husband Herb in 2001, she moved to North Carolina to live with her daughter.
She is survived by her daughter, Dr. Kathleen Knodel of Mooresville, NC; her son, Richard Knodel and wife, Deanne of Bismarck, ND; two grandchildren, Kristi and Lisa of Bismarck, ND; one great-grandchild, Harley Peter Knodel and numerous other relatives and friends. She was preceded in death by her husband Herb, her parents and two sisters, Lillian Hochhalter and Violet Hufsmith.