Tuesday morning, February 2, 2021, as the sun began to rise and stretch its glow across the freshly fallen snow, Jennie (Nobis) Knudsen, 87, loving mother, sister, grandma, great grandma and friend took her last breath. Jennie passed peacefully in her home, surrounded by those she loved, after another courageous battle with cancer. Her fierce and fiery spirit lives on within her four children, William “Bill” Knudsen (wife, Marlene Burlison), Patricia (Knudsen) Spencer, Robert “Bob” Knudsen (wife, Colleen Kelly) and Thomas “Tom” Knudsen (wife Christine Campbell), her thirteen (13) grandchildren; Jennifer (Spencer) Quong, Michele (Knudsen) Lucia, William (Billy) Knudsen, Allison (Spencer) Leone, Timothy (Timmy) Knudsen, Thomas (Tommy) Knudsen, Kelly (Knudsen) Miller, Sara (Knudsen) Burns, James (Jim) Spencer, Mallory (Knudsen) Froelich, Katie (Knudsen) Mondrick, Elizabeth (Liz) Knudsen and Chelsea (Knudsen) Monahan as well as her twenty-two (22) almost 23, GREAT grandchildren; Caden and Madison Quong, Ryan (Jade) and Gracie Lucia, Bennett and Michael Knudsen, Max and Mila Leone, Ryan and Paige Miller, Leah and Patrick Burns, Elias (Eli) and Oliver Spencer, Adaline, Holden and Thatcher Froelich, Evelyn and Eleanor Mondrick, Salvatore and Sophia Bonanza, and Ivan and soon to be baby girl Monahan.
Jennie was born in Rome, NY (daughter to Mary and Stanley Nobis) she spent her childhood in Taberg, NY before she met and fell in love with her late husband Bill, at a diner in Rome where she worked. She and Bill married shortly after. After traveling with Bill, who was in the Air Force, they soon came back to Rome to settle and built a robust business; Ferguson Auto Brokers, eventually to become Knudsen & Son’s.
Anyone that knew Jennie, knew her greatest treasure and passion was her family. She was a dedicated mom, grams, great grams, rosary prayer, bird watcher, garage saler, potato peeler, pierogi maker and penny pincher. She wasted no time telling you what she thought especially if your windows needed a good cleaning or the bottom of your pans didn’t shine like a new penny. Her hands alone could tell a thousand stories, as a farmer’s daughter she was no stranger to hard work. Her mother, Mary, an immigrant from Poland, taught Jennie the value of each and every penny earned, eventually passing a lesson to all the grandchildren about the importance of “bottle returns” and saving money in a jar. Her infectious laugh was cherished by all as were her life lessons. “Take care of your family” and “Be good and say your prayers.” Jennie enjoyed retirement with Bill in their home down in Cape Coral, Florida where they spent the winter months. Although she loved the Florida sunshine, Jennie would often be heard saying, she missed her family and couldn’t wait to go home.
A devout Catholic, Jennie was devoted to her church and rosary. Every morning and every evening... without fail, she could be found in her favorite chair, with her favorite rosary wrapped around her chubby fingers, deep in prayer. Everyone, at one time or another, were sure to make it on her prayer list, we just never knew which “list” we were on. She didn’t mince words, with age came wisdom and confidence, but she was never much for grace. She loved with every fiber of her being and held her family tightly, but you better keep your windows cleaned, your pans shining and your prayers said.
She taught us all to look for signs of our angels. It could be a penny or nickel on the ground, regardless of it being “heads up or heads down” you pick it up, put it in your pocket and say a quick Hail Mary… or a bird stopping at the windowsill for a visit and never forget a prayer to Saint Anthony for your lost glasses or keys. Each of us, carrying on these traditions to the next generation, she lives on through us all.
Jennie is survived by her brother, Stanley Nobis, of Taberg, NY and was preceded in death by her mother (Mary) and father (Stanley) and her husband (William), as well as her brothers, Michael, John, Frank and Fred.
Per her request, a private service was held, February 4, 2021 at Saint Paul’s Catholic Church, she was then laid to rest next to her late husband, Bill at the Rome Cemetery. In lieu of flowers and/or cards, memorial donations may be made to Hospice & Palliative Care, 4277 Middle Settlement Road, New Hartford, NY 13413 or online at https://hospicecareinc.org/donate-online/
Her passing left a gigantic hole in our hearts but her life lessons will live on forever.
Arrangements were entrusted to Nunn and Harper Funeral Home, Inc., 418 N. George St., Rome.