Bertha “Birdie” Knecht

Bertha “Birdie” Knecht

( March 13, 1931 – November 09, 2021 )

Bertha “Birdie” Knecht, 90 years of age, of Brookville went home peacefully to be with the Lord on Tuesday, November 9, 2021, at Shawneesprings HealthCare Center in Harrison, OH.

She was born on March 13, 1931 to the late Alma and Marshall Lanning as the youngest of 13 children. She was adopted by the late Dr. Herbert and Anna Smith as an infant. Birdie was educated in the Brookville High School and had a passion for reading and history.

Birdie met the love of her life, Donald Knecht, in 1947 at a baseball game in town . Fireworks at first sight, they married shortly after on April 3, 1948 and recently celebrated their 73rd wedding anniversary. Together they had four wonderful children – Tom, Ed, Mary and Kay – and Birdie took on her lifelong profession as a mother. Her pride was in her children and eventually grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and she cared for them deeply over the years.

Simple pleasures brought Birdie joy. She loved spending time with family, playing cards, and collecting spoons, newspaper clippings, and chicken décor, making the best strawberry jam and was an awesome pie baker. She loved saying “please” and sifting through old photos. Birdie was a skilled entertainer and often surprised others with an unexpected dance, a clever quip, a heartfelt story, or a sweet nursery rhyme. She always wore a smile on her face and loved to laugh. Birdie was a loving person, a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, sister, friend and more. She will be remembered as a bright, shining light in the community she grew up in and among the lives she touched.

In addition to her handsome husband of over 73 years, Birdie is survived by three children: Ed Knecht of Brookville, Kay (Dave) Parker of Brookville, and Mary (Alan) Lazzara of Illinois; a sister: Mary Tebbe; a daughter-in-law, Dixie Knecht; grandchildren: Jay Knecht, Carey (Knecht) Minniti, Caleb Knecht, Madeleine Knecht, Kyle Knecht, Alison (Knecht) Kehoe, Alan Lazzara, Phillip Lazzara, Laura (Lazzara) Waldron, Kaitlin (McGill) Quinlan, and Kelly McGill; great-grandchildren: Clayton Knecht, Calvin Knecht, Emmett Minniti, Samuel Minniti, Ryker Lazzara, Kale Lazzara, Roya Lazzara, Lane Quinlan, Ace Quinlan, and Henry Waldron; and several nieces and nephews.

Birdie was preceded in death by her parents; a son: Tom Knecht; a daughter-in-law: Cindy Knecht; a granddaughter, Myah Knecht; seven sisters: Agnes Mason, Marge Brockman, Opal Rhodes, Kathryn VanDalsen, Betty Martin, Geneva Waltz, Bernice Goble-Bowen; six brothers: Howard, John, Donald, Robert, Alvin, and James Lanning.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 20, 2021, at St. Michael’s Catholic Church with Father Vincent Lampert officiating. Burial will follow in St. Michael’s Cemetery. Friends may visit at the funeral home from 8:30 until 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, November 20, 2021 at Cook Rosenberger Funeral Home ~ 929 Main Street Brookville where memorial contributions may be made to St. Michael’s School Playground Fund ~ 145 St. Michael Blvd. Brookville, IN 47012.

For more information, send condolences or sign the online guest book go to, The Staff of Cook Rosenberger Funeral Home is honored to serve Birdie’s Family.


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