Dawn Michele Byrd-Knoderer

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Beloved wife, admired step mother and step grandmother,precious sister,treasured aunt and dear friend, Dawn Michele Byrd-Knoderer passed away 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 come to an end with her death. She found peace knowing our Lord and Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ, had prepared her for her eternal Home and her Soul can be comforted knowing her Spirit will live on through family and friends left behind to honor her legacy.

Dawn was born in Biloxi Ms. on March 22, 1967, the first born child of John Austin and Peggi Wade Byrd. Raised on the Byrd family farm outside of Sikeston, surrounded by her younger brothers Shawn and Jason, Dawn could have never been mistaken for a Tomboy, but she was and remained a farm girl at heart operating a combine, a 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 his family home on Ringer Hill in Stoddard Co. near Bell City.

Together, Dawn and Bill created a blessing- filled life on a foundation of hard work, mutual respect and unconditional love. Dawn was the epitome of the perfect Farmer’s wife, working where and when needed-serving as Vice President and Secretary of their mutually shared venture, Ringer Hill Farms Inc. ,to working in the fields or operating or helping move equipment. No matter the task, Dawn supported Bills efforts every step of the way and vice versa.Included in these 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 adored pets, Alice (deceased), Jack and Mercedes- who, if you asked, Dawn would say were the best babies on the planet.

A 1985 graduate of Sikeston High School, Dawn attended William Woods College, which at the time was a private,liberal arts, all female institution, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in interior design and a minor in English in 1990. In college, Dawn found her home away from home in the sisterhood of the Delta Gamma Fraternity. Initiated into the Delta Omega Chapter in 1986, Dawn took an active role in shaping the organization, holding a variety of leadership positions including Chapter President (1987-1988). Through Delta Gamma, Dawn forged life-long friendships and will be greatly missed by her dear sister-friends who will forever hold her in the bonds and their hearts

During and after college graduation, Dawn was active in politics and worked on the staff of the Honorable U.S.Congressman Bill Emerson for a number of years She later shared her talents with OFMCo, Inc. and the City of Sikeston Board of Municipal Utilities working in the drafting department at the Sikeston power station and also a regular volunteer at the Sikeston Food Bank. Dawn also served as Clerk for Public Water Supply District #2 of Stoddard Co.

To say Dawn was multi talented would be an understatement. Dawn was a consummate hostess,thoughtfully creating delicious meals and treats in her kitchen and welcoming family, friends and guests into her and Bill’s home with Southern charm and grace. Dawn’s artistic nature and creative flair made her a gifted interior designer. Dawn loving and thoughtfully designed her and Bill’s home as well as being called on by family, friends and local businesses including First Commercial Banks and assisted living facilities owned by N.B. Harty Properties. Although fashionable and stylish, she could turn discarded junk into treasure-from rewiring old lamps to bringing new life to old furniture. Gardening was also her passion as she and Bill beautifully landscaped their home. Featuring raised flower and shrubbery beds and her own little park area, together, the two of them spread over 100 tons of creek stone with a front end 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 on whom family and friends could count on in good times as well as bad. Dawn was loved, She was kind, loving, insightful and mild mannered, but she never backed down from a challenge- as demonstrated by her heroic battle the last 40 months of her life.

During childhood, she formed a special connection with her Grandfather Horace Byrd, (deceased). Also welcoming Dawn to her Heavenly Home is her Grandmother Margaret Byrd, Grandmother Ann Wade Farmer, Ann 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 in law Dan and Elizabeth Conant.

A devout Catholic, Dawn received the full sacrament of the last rites of the Catholic Church before her passing and leaves behind her devoted husband William (Bill) Knoderer,step-son; 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 , her nephews; Austin Byrd (Sarah June) and Banks Byrd, her 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 multitude of friends.

A Celebration of Dawn’s Life will be held on Saturday January 15, 2022 at 2 p.m. at The Bell City United Methodist Church. Interment of Dawn’s remains will be held later on the family farm.

In Lieu of flowers the family requests donations made to MD Anderson Cancer Research Hospital (click on DONATE) in memory of Dawn Byrd-Knoderer or you can contribute to The St.Louis School for the Blind , a Delta Gamma Fraternity Charity Thank you and may God Bless each and everyone.