Obituary: Dawn Michele Byrd-Knoderer (12/21/21)

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Dawn Michele Byrd-Knoderer

Beloved wife, admired mother-in-law and mother-in-law, precious sister, cherished aunt and dear friend, Dawn Michele Byrd-Knoderer passed away on December 4, 2021, after a valiant and noble battle with cancer. While the world is darker without her beacon of light, Dawn’s love of life did not end with her death. She found peace knowing that our Lord and Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ, had prepared her for her eternal home and her soul can be comforted knowing that her Spirit will live through family and friends left to honor her. heritage.

Dawn was born in Biloxi, Mississippi on March 22, 1967, the first child born to John Austin and Peggi Wade Byrd. Raised on the Byrd family farm outside of Sikeston, Missouri, surrounded by her younger brothers, Shawn and Jason, Dawn could never have been mistaken for a tomboy, but she was and remains a farmer at heart. , operating a combine, tractor or unloading a grain cart with the best of them. These traits served her well when on May 20, 1995, she married the love of her life, William (Bill) Knoderer at her family home in Ringer Hill in Stoddard County near Bell City, Missouri.

Together, Dawn and Bill have created a life filled with blessings based on hard work, mutual respect, and unconditional love. Dawn was the epitome of the perfect farmer’s wife, working where and when needed, acting as vice president and secretary of their joint venture, Ringer Hill Farms Inc., to work in the fields or operate or help move equipment. Whatever the task, Dawn supported Bill’s efforts every step of the way and vice versa. Among the many blessings of their union were Bill’s son, Major Matt Knoderer, USA, his wife Leigh, and Matt’s children, Nicolette (Nicci) and Will – each of whom brought Dawn great joy. Dawn and Bill also shared their home with their beloved pets Alice (deceased), Jack and Mercedes – who, if you asked, Dawn would say they are the best babies on the planet.

Graduating from Sikeston High School in 1985, Dawn attended William Woods College, which at the time was a private liberal arts institution, entirely for women, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Interior Design and a minor in English in 1990. At college, Dawn found her at home in the Delta Gamma Brotherhood. Initiated into the Delta Omega Chapter in 1986, Dawn played an active role in shaping the organization, holding a variety of leadership positions, including Chapter President (1987-1988). Thanks to Delta Gamma, Dawn has made long-standing friendships and will be sadly missed by her dear sister-friends who will keep her in bondage and in their hearts forever.

During and after graduation from college, Dawn was active in politics and served on the staff of the Honorable US Congressman Bill Emerson for several years. She then shared her talents with OFMCo, Inc. and the City of Sikeston Municipal Utilities Board, working in the Sikeston Power Plant Editorial Department and also a regular volunteer at the Sikeston Food Bank. Dawn also served as the Clerk for Stoddard County Public Water District 2

To say that Dawn was multi-talented would be an understatement. Dawn was an accomplished hostess, carefully creating delicious meals and treats in her kitchen and welcoming family, friends and guests to her and Bill’s home with southern charm and grace. Dawn’s artistic nature and creative flair made her a gifted interior designer. Dawn loves and carefully designed her and Bill’s home, as well as family, friends and local businesses including early commercial banks and assisted living homes owned by NB Harty Properties. Although fashionable and stylish, she could turn discarded trash into treasures, from rewiring old lamps to revitalizing old furniture. Gardening was also her passion as she and Bill beautifully landscaped their home. With raised flower and shrub beds and its own small park, together the two span 100 tons of creek rock with a front loader and two rakes.

Dawn was admired by many for her selflessness and caring spirit. She was trustworthy and dedicated, some might say she was an old soul that family and friends could count on in good times and bad. Dawn was loved. She was kind, loving, insightful, and gentle-mannered, but she never backed down from a challenge, as demonstrated by her heroic battle over the last 40 months of her life.

During her childhood, she formed a special bond with her grandfather Horace Byrd (deceased). Grandmother Margaret Byrd also welcomes Dawn to her heavenly home; grandmother Ann Wade Farmer; Aunt Ramona Lea Dunn; Uncles Banks Byrd and Alan Joe Byrd and Carl Ward. Bill’s parents, Anson Scott and Janet Kilbury Knoderer and special uncle and aunt, Dan and Elizabeth Conant.

A devout Catholic, Dawn received the full sacrament of the last rites of the Catholic Church prior to her passing and leaves behind her devoted husband, William (Bill) Knoderer; stepson; Major Matthew (Leigh) Knoderer; her step-grandchildren; Nicolette and Will Knoderer, her parents John Austin and Peggi Wade Byrd, her brothers; Shawn (Christy) Byrd and Jason (Kari) Byrd, her sisters-in-law; Elizabeth (Dale) Williams and Sarah (Michael) Moran, his nephews; Austin Byrd (Sarah June) and Banks Byrd, his nieces; Hattie, Hannah and Lindsay Byrd, Megan and Jessica Moran and Mellisa Williams, her aunts; Harriet Ward and Linda (Ted) Cookman and a host of cousins ​​and a host of friends.

A celebration of Dawn’s life will take place on Saturday January 15, 2022,

at 2 p.m. at the Bell City United Methodist Church. Interment of Dawn’s remains will take place later on the family farm.


The family is asking for donations to be made to: MD Anderson Cancer Research Hospital (click on DONATE) in memory of Dawn Byrd-Knoderer or you can contribute to St. Louis School for the Blind, a charity of the Delta Gamma Brotherhood.

Thank you and God bless everyone.


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