Donald B. Knaack, 89, passed away Sept. 30, 2007. Survived by his children, Dr. Kim (Dr. Ken) Dernovsek of Pueblo, Claudia (Chuck) Ziefle of Green Bay, Wisc. and Ann Knaack of Oconomowoc, Wisc.; grandchildren, David Dernovsek, Andrew Dernovsek, Cynthia (Ziefle) Nelson and Cathryn Ziefle; great-grandson, Hayden Nelson; nieces and nephews. Preceded in death by his wife; parents; two brothers; and three sisters. Don was born April 22, 1918, in Owen, Wisc. He served his country during WWII in the 12th Air Force in Italy and then in the 15th Air Force, 86th Fighter Bomber group, 526th Bomber Squadron in Europe. He flew the P47 'Thunderbolt' and also flew light plane reconnaissance to call targets and identify the front lines. He flew 83 missions in total and was a recipient of a Purple Heart. Don was especially proud of having flown escort for General 'Hap' Arnold and Admiral Nimitz to the Potsdam Conference. He was a sales account executive for L.M. Berry & Company, retiring after 33 years of service. Viewing, with the family present, from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday in the Montgomery & Steward Chapel. Funeral service, 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 5, 2007, at Ascension Church, 18th and Grand, with the Reverend Annette Brownlee officiating. The service will conclude with military honors by Pueblo Veterans' Ritual Team. Memorial contributions may be made to Ascension Church through the funeral home. Online condolences,

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  1. I worked with Don at L. M Berry Co in Wisconsin. I remember him as friendly salesperson who always had his client’s best interest in mind. We had lots of fun at the kickoff parties before a large canvass started. My sympathy to all his family. He was a great guy.

  2. Kim,
    There are no words. Don was a strong, decent, loving man. Would that every aged person could reflect on a life well lived in God’s love, and closing days in the presence of great love and compassionate care. RIP.

  3. Dear Kim, Ken, David and Andrew:
    Our hearts are so very heavy having learned of the passing of your Dad and Grandfather. From our first meeting when Andrew was at VMI, we were hooked on his charm, endearing voice, warm embrace, and hearty laugh. Our lives were greatly enriched by Grandpa and he will always be remembered as a dear and special man who could light up a room by his presence. Grandpa will be missed very much, but his legacy is the wonderful, caring family he so cherished, who will carry his memory in their hearts forever.
    Sending a hug and our deepest sympathy to each of you.

  4. I feel privileged to have known Don if but only for a few years. I grew to not only respect him as the father of a very close friend, but as a family member. He will be painfully missed. Tears come to my eyes as I think about him and his family during this time. I will never see his face or hear him speak again, but I will always remember his WWII stories that kept me riveted to my seat and the hearing aid feedback concertos between Don and Claudia. They are fun memories.

    Don always made me feel apart of the Knaack family and that I will always cherish.

    God be with him.

    In deepest sympathy,

    Wayne Wolferding

  5. Dearest Kim, Ken, David, and Andrew:

    I was shocked and saddened to hear that Mr. Knaack had passed away. I never met him personally but through your stories and expressions of love and caring – I felt I knew a little more about him and his vital role in your family life. I know all of you will miss him daily. I also know that because of your great faith and love of others – he will survive in your hearts and memories – always. My deepest sympathy to all of you – my heartfelt salute to another member of the GREATEST GENERATION! May we be so full of sacrifice to family and country.

    Sincerely – Kathleen Y. Sawada MD, Captain MC USNR (ret)

  6. Dear Kim, Ken, David, Andrew, and Family,

    We were so sorry to hear that Don had passed away. CW and I always enjoyed visiting with him during our many fun bridge games at your home. He was such a great man!

    We are thinking of all of you during this sad time. Please know our thoughts and prayers are with you.

    We are so sorry that we will miss the visitation and service. We are headed out of town this afternoon and won’t be back until Saturday or Sunday.

    Our hearts are with you even though we won’t be able to be there during the service.

    We look forward to seeing you soon.

    God Bless,
    Jan (CW, too)

  7. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Dernovsek family with the loss of their dad and granddad. I have may fond memories of him and enjoyed his sense of humor and the great and generous man that he was. He always cared for others and esp. his children and grandchildren.A great son and grandpa!!!!

    Even though I met him later in life, I so appreciate seeing the picture posted of him as a young very hansom young gentleman that he certainly was. I appreicate having the honor of knowing him.

    Sylvia (Gibson) Whitten

  8. We shall truly miss Don’s happy smile and warm welcome whenever we visit in Pueblo. We are grateful for his service in WWII, and for the freedom we enjoy as a result. He was remarkably humble about his accomplishments, and deeply proud of his family. Thank you, Don, for reminding us all of the importance of standing up for what you believe in, and for believing in those whom you love. It is comforting to us that you have already heard “Well done!” from the Lord Jesus. We add our hearty “Amen!” to His. Remembering with great affection, Margaret, Rob and Alan Cottle; John & Myra (Cottle) Butler

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