Saturday, March 27, 2021
12:00 PM to 2:00 PM EDT
Seymour Christian Reformed Church
840 Alger Street SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49507
Saturday, March 27, 2021
2:00 PM EDT
Seymour Christian Reformed Church
840 Alger Street SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49507
The service will be private due to COVID restrictions. However, all are invited to watch via the Life Stream link above.
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Mary Free Bed at Home
4280 Cascade Road SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49546
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
With a servant's heart and an indomitable spirit, Kimmie Lynn McKnight lived a life rich in faith and family. The glue that kept her loved ones connected, Kimmie consciously tended to the relationships that were most important to her. She gave of herself freely and supported others in any way she could. Kimmie devoted herself to the excellent care of her family, enveloping her husband, sons, daughters-in-law, and treasured grandson in radiant love and endless joy. A powerful role model for all who were blessed to know her, Kimmie's bright and beautiful spirit will continue to shine in the lives of those she so deeply loved.
The 1950s were known as the decade of the Baby Boomer. With the Great Depression and WWII firmly in the past, the decade centered around family. Jobs were abundant, and simple things like buying a home and raising children became the focus for most. Whether catching a ball game or watching TV, family time was the goal, and hope for the future the norm. It was with this sense of hope that Virgil and Imogean (Kinder) Stanfield of Grand Rapids, Michigan welcomed their daughter Kimmie into their hearts and home on October 14, 1959.
Growing up near the southeast side of Grand Rapids on Donald Street SE, Kimmie's early years were filled with activity. The ninth of the eleven Stanfield children, Kimmie, enjoyed playing with her neighborhood friends and her siblings' companionship, often playing games of kickball, jacks, and Double Dutch jump rope. Sadly, Kimmie's childhood also included difficult times that created painful memories that challenged her through life. Her father died when she was just five years old, and her family faced significant financial constraints in his absence. Kimmie's mother masterfully stretched their resources; frugality and excellent care of what they had became essential values. Though they didn't have much, their home was always well kept, and the cornerstone of family life was unwavering faith. Kim attended Sunday School at Eastern Avenue Bible Chapel, receiving a Bible for perfect attendance one year. After her father died, she spent more time with some of her older siblings, who enveloped her with a parental-type love and support that helped to soften the loss of their dad. Unique nicknames for one another became a family tradition and a way for the siblings to note their affections.
Kimmie attended Congress Elementary, Harrison Park Jr High, and began her high school years at Central High School. She transferred to Grand Rapids Christian and graduated from City High with a class of fewer than 30 students.
During high school, Kimmie spent time volunteering at Ken-O-Sha, helping those with hearing impairments. She also babysat and helped her mother with cleaning. Her mother proved a powerful mentor, teaching Kimmie the importance and art of tending to her things to ensure they lasted as long as possible. Kimmie applied these important skills to every job and endeavor she pursued, including her work as a coat clerk at Hoffman House.
After high school, Kimmie furthered her schooling by taking classes at Grand Valley while also working at Kent Castings. While working for Kent, she received a lifelong gift, meeting Ben McKnight, the company owner's son. The pair first met when Ben returned to his office one day to find Kimmie sitting in his chair. As the pair conversed, they learned they had much in common, including a love for the same soul music. Soon, Kimmie and Ben were dating, sharing time over lunches, seeing movies, and realizing they shared a desire to spend the future in each other's good company.
The happy couple married on April 5, 1980 at Hope Reformed Church and honeymooned in Hawaii before settling into their first home in an apartment. A year later, they moved into their first house. Over the next 20 years, they lived in a few different houses on the southeast side of Grand Rapids before building their dream home in Caledonia in 1998.
Kimmie and Ben became members at Madison Square Christian Reformed Church, where they consciously built a firm foundation of faith and created many deep relationships that centered their family and nourished their spirits for the rest of Kimmie's life. During their early years at Madison Square, God answered Kimmie's prayer and allowed her to become a mom. The welcoming of their two treasured sons completed their family and fulfilled Kimmie's dream.
Kimmie devoted herself to creating a loving and supportive home for her boys. With her beloved's support, Kimmie eagerly rose every morning to get things ready for the day. She led her sons in devotions and prayer each morning before school, attended all of their sporting events and concerts, and volunteered enough at their schools, it seemed like she was an employee. Kimmie let her boys be boys and was pretty easygoing. She encouraged them to explore the world and have real experiences to learn from. The family enjoyed traveling together, embarking on fabulous adventures that Kimmie carefully planned. She would pack a lot into each trip, committed to her boys (including her husband) experiencing as much as they could on a given trip. Many adventures were had, including travels to Florida to visit relatives, golfing in Myrtle Beach, and exploring the wonders in California, Colorado, Hawaii, New York, and Washington DC. Whether celebrating their successes or gently tending their wounds and disappointments, Kimmie always reflected her confidence and faith in her boys' greatness and their ability to thrive in the face of any challenge.
A natural hostess, Kimmie loved to gather people together. Her beautiful home in Caledonia was a true reflection of her spirit and often the center of memorable get-togethers. Kimmie loved working in her kitchen, challenging her skills with new, complex recipes, and infusing everything she made with love. She spent days cooking and creating delicious, nourishing masterpieces for those she cared for most. Summertime pool parties were a long-time favorite for Kimmie too.
It was most important to Kimmie to use her gifts in the service of others, and as her boys grew older, Kimmie found work with Wireworks Electric, doing much of the office work for them. She continued to tend to her home, cleaning it from top to bottom once a week, and spent hours and hours cooking and baking for others. At Christmastime, she made and gave away over 1200 cookies.
One of Kimmie's great joys was dancing with her beloved. She and Ben took to the dance floor any chance they could, delighting all who were lucky to witness their moves. Tragically, in 2015, Kimmie was first diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. In time, her disease became more clear, and she was diagnosed with MSA (Multiple Systems Atrophy), a rare condition that causes symptoms similar to Parkinson's disease but causes more widespread damage and is very aggressive to the neuromuscular system. In 2017, as the disease progressed, Kimmie realized she was no longer able to do what once came easily, and she had to quit work. She and Ben also moved to a condo, downsizing for retirement. Despite the challenges that continued to grow over the years and the frustrations that came with her desire to be able to do more than her body would allow, Kimmie maintained her servant's heart, finding new and creative ways to reflect her love and care.
One of Kimmie's greatest joys was welcoming her precious grandson, Leo, into the family. She was delighted to become a grandma with the birth of Leo and enthusiastically loved on him. She was an amazing grandma and treasured being able to share and witness his first two Christmas’.
On March 22, 2021, with family and friends nearby, Kimmie was welcomed into the arms of Jesus. Though we are deeply saddened by the absence of Kimmie's steadfast and loving presence, may we find comfort in knowing she is free of earthly limitations and reunited with many of her loved ones. May we also find comfort in carrying her beautiful legacy forward. With each moment we freely give of our time and talents in service of others, welcome a stranger as a friend, nourish others with a fine meal, create our homes as safe harbor, or take to the dance floor with our beloved, we celebrate the many ways Kimmie gifted the world. In this way, we keep her spirit alive and inspiring others as she so inspired each of us.
MCKNIGHT, Kimmie Lynn McKnight, aged 61 was welcomed into the arms of Jesus after a prolonged battle with Parkinson’s Disease/MSA. She was preceded in death by her brother Billy Stanfield, her mother Imogean and father Virgil Stanfield. Also preceding her were her in-laws Barbara and James T. McKnight. She is survived by her husband Ben, her children Benjamin and Kayla McKnight (her precious grandson Leo), Jonathan (Shelly) McKnight; her siblings, Barbara (Norman) Reed, Nancy (Fred) Cramer, Roy (Lewann) Stanfield, Linda (Dale) Marquez, Kathy (Patrick) Shea, David (Ann) Stanfield, Deborah (Ron) Joseph, Randy (Lovera) Stanfield, Sandra (Ralph) Edwards; her in-laws Mary (Robert) Ortega, James R. (Tracey) McKnight, many nieces and nephews and uncle Haki (Spike) Turani. Friends may visit with Kim’s family on Saturday, March 27 at Seymour Christian Reformed Church, 840 Alger Street SE from 12 noon until 2 PM. Due to COVID restrictions, a private service will be held beginning at 2 PM. The service will be live streamed, available from the funeral home website. Memorial contributions to Mary Free Bed At Home, 4280 Cascade Rd. SE, 49546 or Faith Hospice, 2100 Raybrook SE, Suite 300, 49546 would be appreciated. To read Kim’s life story, sign the guest book or leave a memory please visit www.heritagelifestory.com