Woodbury County

Laverne Emmett Knaack




Laverne was born 13 August 1918, on a farm near Correctionville, the youngest of seven children. He is the son of William and Dorethea Bauer Knaack. Siblings are Vollrath, Adelia Timmerman, Henry, Caroline Herbold, William, and Dorothy Anderson. He attended public school in Correctionville all twelve years, graduating 20 May 1936. He worked in grocery stores in Correctionville and Lytton, Iowa, and farmed part time until being called to serve his country in August of 1942.

Laverne was drafted 22 August 1942 from Woodbury county. He trained at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas; attended Supply School at Drew Field, Tampa, Florida. He went overseas 15 February 1943. Laverne was a member of the Signal Core. He served in Tunisian, Sicilian, Naples-Foggia, Normandy, Northern France, Ardennes, Rhineland, and in Central Europe.

Laverne was in the service over 3 years and never had a furlough to come home. He left California, 15 February 1943 and returned to New York. The first thing they saw coming home was the statue of Liberty, and it was a welcome sight after being in Egypt, France, Germany and England. While in Egypt, they took a tour of the Holy land, visited the Sea of Galilee, the Dead sea, many of the churches and places where Jesus had been.

After returning home, he went to get insurance on his car at the insurance agency in Correctionville, where he met Ethel Klingensmith. That winter when he was making plans to farm the next year, she said she hated to see him batch so then were married, 21 February 1946. They farmed for ten years near Correctionville and Pierson. During this time our family increased to four with the addition of two sons, Robert and Raymond.

Laverne and his family moved to Wichita, Kansas, in 1957, where he worked at Boeing and Cessna Aircraft Companies until 1960, the started working for the School Board as custodian. The last school where he worked was built especially for handicapped children—all kinds of special equipment including a large swimming pool where the bottom of it could be raised or lowered to adjust the depth of the water. By 1985, we were both retired from our jobs and moved back to Correctionville, Iowa.

Laverne died on 4th January 1996, in Sioux City, after a long struggle with lung cancer. We would have been married 50 years if he had lived until the 21st February.

Submitted by his wife, Ethel Knaack