Obituary: Elise Knudsen, 89, of Ludington

December 8, 2023

Elise Knudsen

Obituary: Elise Knudsen, 89, of Ludington

“Faith and Family guided her life.”

Elise Mae Knudsen, 89, died on Tuesday, December 5, 2023.

Elise Mae Bowne was born on April 24, 1934, in Muskegon to George R. Bowne and Margaret M. (Baird) Bowne. Before she was two years old the family moved to Ludington. There she was raised in the Catholic faith at Saint Simon Catholic Church. Elise was a faithful member there for 87 years. She graduated from Saint Simon High School in 1954. Elise continued to be an active member of Saint Simon. She belonged to the Alter Society. Elise organized the ladies of the Altar Society in providing lunches after funerals. She worked at the Christmas bazar that evolved into the Applefest. Elise served on the Haiti Relief Committee. She enjoyed working at their breakfast fundraisers. Elise was a part of the church prayer line until her recent illness.

She held a variety of jobs in her life. Elise was a babysitter, bakery clerk, theater cashier, a bookkeeper at Wadel Construction and a bank teller.

Elise met Wendell Knudsen in 1954. They were married that year. They loved to go out for dinner, dance together, and take weekend getaways. Elise and Wendell were blessed with a long and happy marriage of 55 years. As newlyweds they built a house together. They filled that home with six children. Building onto their house as their family grew. Elise lived there for sixty-nine years.

In 1962 Wendell and Elise opened Ludington Electric. She remained involved in the business, assisting with bookkeeping until a month ago. Elise loved her six children, 17 grandchildren, and 33 great-grandchildren. She remembered everyone on their birthday with a card. Those that were married received an anniversary card. Celebrating Christmas was Elise’s big event of the year. Her family outgrew her home as a place to gather. The recent family Christmas party was attended by seventy-three family members. Elise cooked lunch for her sons every day. If you stopped in at lunchtime you were invited to the table. Elise attended her children and grandchildren’s concerts, dance recitals, plays, sporting events, graduations, and weddings.

Earthly belongings were not important to Elise. Her legacy is her family.

Elise was preceded in death by her husband, Wendell Knudsen; daughter Karen Sniegowski; twin grandchildren Craig and Michelle; her parents; stepmother Helene Bowne; and her siblings: Peg and Bob Martin, Joann and Harry Silver, Don Bowne, Bob Bowne, and John Leo Bowne.

Elise is survived by her children, sons: Michael (Sherri) Knudsen, Randy (Donna) Knudsen, Greg (Jayne) Knudsen, and Bob (Lori) Knudsen; daughter, Sharon Knudsen; son-in-law, Bill Sniegowski; siblings: Bill (Leslie) Bowne, and Deb (Carl) Utz; grandchildren, Erin (Eric) Jensen, Amy (Micah) Schmidt, Adam (Heidi) Knudsen, Chris (Carrie) Knudsen, Ryan Knudsen, Sarah (Dave) McMahon, Ellen (Mike) Darke, Allison (James) Larson, Donielle (Greg) Gianino, Andy (Ronnie) Sniegowski, Jessica (Dan) Charnow, Jason (Liz) Sniegowski, Kristin (Joel) Luna, Kevin (Kelly) Knudsen, Christina (John) Dalton, Spencer Knudsen, Austin (Mariah) Sniegowski, and 33 great-grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be made to: Ludington Area Catholic Education Foundation, Haiti Relief Fund, Saint Jude’s Hospital.

A Mass from the Order of Christian Funerals will be held Saturday, December 9, 2023, at 2 p.m. at St. Simon Catholic Church, with Rev. Wayne B. Wheeler, Jr. presiding. Family will greet friends starting at 1pm at the church. Visitation will also be held on Friday, December 8, 2023, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Oak Grove Funeral Home of Ludington, a Rosary will be prayed at 7 p.m.

Oak Grove Funeral Home of Ludington is honored to assist the family during this difficult time,