Helen C. Knepper
June 18, 1942 – Aug. 8, 2021
Funeral services for Reverend Dr. Helen C. Knepper, 79-year-old Sheridan resident who passed away Aug. 8 at her home in Sheridan will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 21 at the First United Methodist Church in Sheridan with Pastor Jim Barth officiating. Visitation will be held at the Harness Funeral Home Chapel in Buffalo from 1 until 9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 20 and at the Methodist Church in Sheridan from 9:30 until 11 a.m. Saturday. Donations in Helen’s memory may be made to the First United Methodist Church in care of the Harness Funeral Home at 351 N. Adams in Buffalo. Online condolences may be made at harnessfuneralhome.com
Helen Virginia Knepper was born on June 18, 1942, in Bronxville, New York, to John and Helen (Brown) Curtis. During her childhood, Helen grew up and went to school in Indiana, Illinois, New York and New Jersey. She graduated from Ridgewood High School in Ridgewood, New Jersey. After high school she attended Wellesley College in Wellesley, Massachusetts, where she graduated with a B.A. degree in political science. During college she met her future husband of 57 years, John G. Knepper, and they were married on June 13, 1964, in Rumson, New Jersey. They made their home in New Orleans, Louisiana, where John was attending Tulane Medical School. While in New Orleans Helen began her teaching career at Ursuline Academy. In 1968 they moved to Torrance, California, where Helen taught high school social studies at Gardena High School and earned a Master’s in Education at the University of Southern California. Helen was supportive of John during his time in the U.S. Navy. They lived in San Diego and later in Exmouth, in Western Australia where their son, John, was born in 1970. In 1972 they moved to Redondo Beach, California, where their daughter, Suzanne, was born. In 1974, after John finished his residency in pediatrics, they moved to Sheridan, Wyoming, where Helen taught education courses for Sheridan College and completed her Ph.D in education at the University of Wyoming. In 1990, after their children graduated from high school, John accepted a position at the University of Tennessee School of Medicine as a professor of pediatric emergency medicine and he and Helen relocated to Memphis, Tennessee. In 1991 Helen became the Chairman of the Department of Education at Crichton College in Memphis. In 1993 she left teaching to answer the call to enter Memphis Theological Seminary where she received a Master of Divinity degree. For the next 12 years Helen served as an Ordained Methodist Minister at churches in the Memphis area. John and Helen both retired in 2012 at the age of 70 and moved back to Sheridan where they lived until her death.
Helen’s passion was serving others and she was an amazing teacher, pastor and especially a wife, mother and grandmother.
She is survived by her husband Dr. John Knepper of Sheridan; one son John Knepper and his wife Ciara of Cheyenne, Wyoming; one daughter Dr. Suzanne Oss and her husband Jeremiah of Sheridan; one brother John Curtis and his wife Ellen of Toronto, Ontario; two sisters, Katherine Rigler and her husband Douglas of Bethesda, Maryland, and Joanne Evarts of Cornish, New Hampshire, and eight grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, her step-mother Bettina Curtis and one brother-in-law Jeremiah Evarts.