Shirley JoAnn Smith Knecht, age 86, passed away peacefully on October 28, 2020 in her home. She was born May 4, 1934, to Stephen and Marion Smith in Pasadena California. She married Richard Knecht, who preceded her in death in 2017.
Shirley is survived by her sister, Jeannie Stevens (Temecula) and her 3 sons. Richard (Richie) and wife Allison Knecht. Steven Knecht and Rollin (Rolly) Knecht. She had five grandchildren: Kelsey, Alicia, Brayton, David and Courtney. She had 2 great grandchildren: Maddex and Abigail.
Extended Family: The Stevens, The Birchims, the Merks and The Thornes
Shirley moved to Bishop at age 16 with her family. Her father was a civil engineer who helped build portions of the LA Aquaduct and Hoover Dam. Her mother was a UCLA professor, then taught at Rovana Elementary.
After graduating Bishop Union High School in 1952, Shirley pursued a career in nursing attending school in Los Angeles and interning at the LA county hospital.
She married Richard Knecht on November 12, 1955. They had 62 wonderful years together. They enjoyed their life in Bishop and she worked as a nurse at Northern Inyo Hospital, working with many friends in the Operating Room for over 30+ years. The staff at the hospital affectionately called her “Mother”. Together, Richard and Shirley raised 3 successful loving sons. Richard (1958) Steven (1961) and Rollin (Rolly) in 1965.
The family enjoyed many water ski trips at Walker Lake and Topaz with close family and friends. On Special vacations, Shirley & Richard and sons/families would join her sister Jeannie and their families on joint house-boating trips.
Shirley was a devoted soul and passionate about all things she pursued, and did so with humor and grace. She liked to tease and banter, and it was all in good fun! Shirley was full of life and love, and she was such a devoted wife and mother. She would not hesitate to help anyone in need whether family, friend or others throughout her years.
She will be greatly missed by those who knew and loved her.
Internment to be held on November 14, 2020 at East Line Cemetery at 11:00am. If you are family, or a close friend of Shirley’s, please feel free to attend.
A celebration of Life to follow on May 1, 2021 at the family residence. If you would like to be notified of this event, please contact Shirley’s daughter-in-law, Ali Knecht at (509) 475-7126.