Ann Knower

Ann L Knower (Pribil)

February 6, 1919 - April 2, 2020
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CHELMSFORD - Ann L. (Pribil) Knower, age 101, passed away peacefully on Thursday, April 2, 2020, at her home in Chelmsford, MA.

She was born February 6, 1919 at home outside the city of O’Neill, Nebraska. Her birth order was being one of the middle children, having three older sisters, and four brothers. The Pribil children, including Ann attended a rural one room country schoolhouse that their mother had also attended. Ann and her siblings rode to school in a horse drawn buggy, with the eldest as the “driver”.

After her country schooling, Ann was privileged to attend, and graduate from St. Mary’s Academy in O’Neill, where she became a resident student. This environment developed and enriched her Catholic faith. During this time at St. Mary’s, Ann also displayed a talent for Art with drawing and painting. After graduating in 1937, from St. Mary’s Academy, Ann went to Teachers’ College.

Miss Pribil’s first teaching assignment was in a rural one room schoolhouse south of O’Neill. She had “room & board” with a student’s family and her new mode of transportation was riding a horse to school. In cold weather, Miss Pribil would “fire up” a wood burning stove for classroom warmth. Miss Pribil especially enjoyed involving her students in performing theater shows for families.

Ann met her future husband, Russell S. Knower in Lincoln, NE, where he was stationed before being deployed to Europe during WWII. After the war, Mrs. Knower moved east to Massachusetts. She gave birth to four children, two girls and two boys.

Ann stayed connected with her rural NE roots by attending “Pribil Family Reunions”. This summer event involved a long road trip, in a non-air conditioned car. At 98 years, Ann planned and managed their “50 Year Pribil Family Reunion” in her hometown of O’Neill, Nebraska.

Ann’s social life always focused around the church. She was active with “Our Lady of the Assumption Parish”, especially the Women’s Sodality, eventually becoming its president. In the 1980’s, Mrs. Knower became involved with the “Charismatic Prayer Group” at St. Agnes Catholic Church in Reading, MA.

Ann sold her Lynnfield Family home in 2009, and moved to live with her daughter, Betty in Chelmsford, MA. She was able to continue praying with a “Charismatic Prayer Group” at St. John the Evangelist Parish in North Chelmsford. Her life of Faith led Ann to many Church Ministries of being a Eucharist Minister, Teaching Religious Education, Bible Study, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, Family Pilgrimage to the Basilicas of St. Joseph, Montreal, Canada, and St. Anne de Beaupre, Quebec, Canada. Mrs. Knower was a communicant of St. Mary’s Church in Chelmsford, MA who lived her Faith to the end.

Ann leaves her children; Barbara A. Champagne and her husband Michael of Newburyport, Betty L. Kerr of Chelmsford, and Thomas M. Knower of South Chesterfield, VA, her grandchildren; Tia E. Costello, Deveka M. Scoglio, Glenn L. Kerr, Adam N. Knower, and Heather E. Knower, her great-grandchildren Ellie, Rosie, Tyler, Tristan, and Hayden. She also leaves many nieces and nephews.

Sadly she is predeceased by her son John Paul Knower, and her siblings; Elsie Shaw, Raymond Pribil, Angela Denesia, Margaret Sladek, Francis Pribil, Leonard Pribil, and Larry Pribil.

Due to the circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 virus, funeral services and interment will be held privately. Memorial donations may be made in Ann's name to St. Mary's Academy, O'Neill, Nebraska, at
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Service Details

  • Graveside Service

    April 8, 2020 |
    April 8, 2020
    Willow Cemetery
    Address Not Available
    Funeral Services and interment in Willow Cemetery in Lynnfield were held privately.
    Father Paul Ritt


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Private Condolence

Jessie McLennan

Posted at 12:57am
Betty, so sorry for your loss. I have known your Mom for many years from St. Agnes prayer meetings and our many retreats. Was so
grateful to see you and Mom at Jason's party a few months ago. God bless you with peace and the many memories that will make you smile. A good job of great love taking good care of Mom all these years. God bless you and yours.
love and prayers, Jessie McLennan
Wakefield, Mass.

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