The angels called Donna home to her Lord and Savior on Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019 at the age of 90, surrounded by family and friends at Rennes Health and Rehab Center in Rhinelander.
Donna was a dedicated wife, beloved mother and grandmother who will be missed dearly.
Donna was the fourth of seven children born to Leon and Sally Karniewski. Raised on the south side of Milwaukee, she graduated from St. Stephen's Grade School and Girls' Tech High School.
In 1950, Donna married William (Bill) Knack Jr. at St. Stephen's Church, and they enjoyed 59 years of marriage. They were blessed with two children, Kathy and Dennis. They made Milwaukee their home until moving to Caledonia in 1969 and later moving to Rhinelander in 1993 to be close to their daughter and cherished grandchildren who brought her abundant joy.
Donna was a homemaker in her early years and then worked at the well-known "Van Beck" corn and pumpkin stand on Layton Avenue in Milwaukee. She later worked as a hostess at McDonald's in Milwaukee and Racine. Donna made many lifetime friends while working there with her soft-spoken manner and kind heart.
Donna enjoyed traveling to Arizona with her daughter and grandchildren to visit her son. Faith and family were Donna's greatest joys. Donna always wore an angel pin to protect her. She knew the importance of keeping loved ones close and did a wonderful job of showing love in her smile. Donna was very proud of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She was anxiously awaiting the arrival of her third great-grandchild in January.
Donna loved surprising her family and friends with holiday care packages of homemade treats. Her favorite holiday was Christmas, celebrating the joyous season of Christ's birth. Everyone marveled at the beauty of her Christmas tree honoring the Polish tradition of placing a miniature town of Bethlehem with the manger beneath the tree.
In her later years, Donna enjoyed taking rides with her family, going to the family cottage, and sitting outside visiting with her neighborhood friends who so lovingly watched out for her.
Donna is survived by her daughter, Kathy (John) O'Melia; son, Dennis; grandchildren, Jennifer (Greg) Aune; Sarah O'Melia; Michael (Amy) O'Melia; great-grandchildren, Grace and Noah Aune; and many bonus O'Melia grandchildren
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