Velma Lee Miles Knobel

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CONRAD Velma Lee Miles Knobel, 82, of Conrad, died of complications from Alzheimer's disease and a heart attack Tuesday, March 12, at Pondera Extended Care Unit.

Viewing is 1 to 2 p.m. with funeral service at 2 p.m. Friday, March 22, at St. Michael's Catholic Church, 106 S. Maryland St, Conrad and burial service at Mount Olivet Cemetery, 179 Hillside Road, Conrad. Reception to follow. On March 12, at the Pondera Extended Care Unit. Whitted Funeral Chapel of Shelby is entrusted with arrangements.

Conrad lost a beloved and longtime member of its community. A wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and teacher. Velma Knobel left an indelible mark on the many lives she touched.

Born in Bozeman, Feb. 9, 1931, Velma was the only child of Julian and Alma Miles. Velma's mother passed away when she was only six years old. She was raised by her loving father, Julian. She grew up in Bozeman where she attended kindergarten through college. She spent her high school summers in San Diego, Calif. with her father, Julian and stepmother, Mama Jane. She graduated in 1953, from Montana State College (MSU) in Bozeman with her teaching degree. She met her husband, George, while in college. They were married Aug. 2, 1953. George died Sept. 15, 2004, after 51 years of marriage.

For 25 years, Velma served the community of Conrad as a local school teacher at Utterback Middle School where she taught 6th, 7th and 8th grade English, spelling and home economics. She also instructed in the school district's GED (high school equivalency) program.

Velma herself, was a student in life and loved to learn. She marveled in the simplest things, clouds, 4-leaf clovers, feathers, ocean waves, sea shells, birds, etc., but not horseback riding! She enjoyed reading, cooking and sewing. She loved to laugh. She loved animals and babies, but most of all, she loved her family and friends. Her unconditional love and unique ability to make people feel special will be her lasting legacy.

Velma is survived by her five children, Bob (Dava) Knobel of Bozeman, Ben (Lynne) Knobel of Conrad, Ted (Carolyn) Knobel of Menifee, Calif., Steve (Jane) Knobel of Manhattan and Kathy (Phil) Hale of Cheney, Wash.; 19 grandchildren, Bob's children: Travis (Lauren ) Vick, Nathan (Kristen) Vick, Nicholas, Brian and Megan Knobel; Ben's children, Sarah, Emily, Sam, Olivia and Eli Knobel and Hanna (Matt) Block; Ted's children, Wesley and Melanie Knobel; Steve's children, Craig, David and Cheryl Knobel; Kathy's children, Aleshia (Dennis) Hoover, Michelle (Brian) Sandusky and Kristen (Landon) Cunningham; and 15 great-grandchildren, Travis's children, Tanner, Mason and Parker Vick; Nathan's children, Natalie, Josephine and Allie Vick; Nicholas's son, Lucas Knobel; Hannah's daughter, Elizabeth Block; Craig's daughter, Madison Knobel; Aleshia's children, Miles, Jillian and Bennett (due June) Hoover; Michelle's children, Sullivan, Sela and Lila Sandusky; and Kristen's daughter, Adalyn Cunningham.

Velma is preceded in death by her husband, George Knobel; parents, Julian and Alma Miles of Bozeman; and stepmother, Jane Miles of San Bernadino, Calif.

Memorials can be made to Dollars for Scholars, P. O. Box 787, Conrad, MT 59425.

Condolences may be posted at

Published in Great Falls Tribune on Mar. 17, 2013
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