Carolyn Kniefel

Obituary of Carolyn Kniefel

    Carolyn was born in Evanston, Illinois on September 10, 1934. In 1950, when Carolyn was a sophomore in high school, her parents, Dale and Nadine, and twin brothers, Bob and Dick, moved to Idaho Falls. Little did she know that in her second year at the College of Idaho she would dance the night away with Robert E. Kniefel. They fell in love and married soon after graduation.  

    Carolyn taught 4th grade, kindergarten, and first grade in Boise, Homedale, and Council. She later started a kindergarten in their basement home in Payette, while Bruce, Kathie, and Christy were young. She wanted to raise her children to know a sense of community, so she assisted with cub scouts, swim team, Brownies, 4-H, piano lessons, sewing, book clubs and teaching Sunday School & youth group. 

    Carolyn enjoyed developing school curriculum and encouraging children. When the principal observed her exceptional ability with children, he encouraged her to return to the College of Idaho to earn her counseling degree. Her passion to help the unseen feel noticed led Carolyn to her first job as a school counselor in Parma and later in Ontario and Payette. 

    Traveling was an activity they both cherished with the company of friends and family. They visited a total of 48 states in their 5th wheel trailer.  They visited Kathie’s family in Southern Africa numerous times and generously helped African pastors and churches serving under-resourced communities. They enjoyed adventures with Bruce and Christy’s families while camping, at the Warm Lake cabin and beyond.  Our parents enjoyed their Brazilian girls and hosted exchange students from Germany, Holland, and Japan.

    Carolyn and Bob enjoyed barn and ballroom dancing.  She used her creativity with oil painting and loved building miniature rooms.  She played card and board games, made greeting cards, and recalled old stories with grandchildren and friends. Carolyn was a dedicated member of Retired Educators, PEO, and helped to launch the Payette Boys and Girls Club.

    Ontario First Church of the Nazarene was a meaningful place for Carolyn to connect with women’s ministries and lead Bible studies.  Carolyn was involved in Christian Women’s Club, chaired it for a season and frequently was invited to speak across the region until she was 86 years old. She often hosted tea, lunch, and dinner parties in her home. To this day, her dining room table is set for the next celebration. She always extended a welcoming heart to new and old friends.

    Carolyn was sharp minded to the end. She led a wonderful life, cherished Jesus, family, and friends. She finished her days in Colorado spending quality time with grandkids and great grandkids. On her final day, she spoke by phone with each grandchild in Idaho.  With Bruce, Christy and Kathie’s family at her side, Carolyn turned her face toward heaven. Six months after Bob’s passing, they were reunited at heaven’s door on March 16, 2023

   Carolyn is survived by: Bob and Karin Isley - brother living in Germany; Son, Bruce and (Connie) Kniefel and their family; Granddaughter, Andrea Kniefel & Lance Hendricks; Granddaughter, Stephanie and (Joe), Great Grandchild, Norah & John Kniefel Perkins; Grandson, Matthew Kniefel; Daughter, Kathie and (Dean) Carlson and their family; Grandson, Rob and (Caitlyn),Great Grandchildren, August, Caspian & Ender Carlson; Granddaughter, Kelsie and (Paul), Great Granddaughter, Rilynn and Caleb Weber; Grandson, Todd and (Bethany) and Great Grandchild, Finley Carlson; Daughter, Christy and (Nial) Carlson and their family;  Granddaughter, Shantel and (Jordan), Great Grandchild, James and (Joanna) Hush; Granddaughter, Katelyn and (Timothy), Great Grandchild, Garett Vanderpool;  Granddaughter, Annalise Bradshaw; Granddaughter,  Aubree Bradshaw.

   In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: Ontario First Church of the Nazarene or the Payette Boys and Girls Club.  


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Celebration of Life

4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Saturday, April 15, 2023
Ontario Church of the Nazarene
1131 Alameda Dr.
Ontario, Oregon, United States
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