Marie Ann Schmidtknecht Reed

Marie Ann Schmidtknecht Reed, 84, of La Crosse died Tuesday, Jan 4, 2022, at Hillview Health Care Center and went to heaven. She was born on Jan 28, 1937, in Fountain City, WI, to Harold and Florence (Wojchik) Franzwa.

Thumbnail Reed Marie A UseOn Sept. 8, 1956, she married Allen Schmidtknecht. He passed away in 2001. On Aug 5, 2005, she married Kenneth Reed in La Crosse.

Marie is survived by husband, Kenneth; sons Steve (Kareen) of Rockton, IL, Greg (Debbie) of Vincennes, IN, Ron (Penny) of La Crosse and Mark (Kim) of La Crosse; daughter Barbara of San Diego, CA; seven grandchildren, Sarah, Peter, Dan, Kyle, Nicole, Christopher and Maggie; eight great-grandchildren; sisters Ruth (Leo) and Karen (Rich);brothers Lavern (Lucy) and Duane (Linda); stepbrother Michael; sister-in-law LuAnn; brother-in-law David (Joy), and Aunt Carol Jahn.

She was preceded in death by husband Allen; daughter Susan, who passed in 2018; parents Harold and Florence Franzwa; brother Ed; sister Betty; brothers-in-law Gerald and Devon, and sisters-in-law Judy and Sandi.

Through her marriage to Ken, Marie gained another family that she enjoyed spending time with. We thank them for many happy moments they added to her life.

Marie had a sharp wit that brought many smiles to family, friends and co-workers. She was quick with a joke and delighted in pulling harmless pranks on others. She was able to pass on small doses of her humor and style to her children.

Marie enjoyed spending time with children and grandchildren, growing vegetables and geraniums on her porch and in her backyard. Our memories include large summer gardens, berry picking, fruits and vegetable canning and  fall pie slices. She was a master with baking of sandbakkels, rosettes, cookies and monkey bread. She had a small cottage industry in supplying Christmas baked magic and crocheted angels to others. Later in life, she was able to share her pickle making skills with Ken, Greg and Maggie and Linda. Her collection of cookbooks provided many hours of gentle reading & conversation.

Marie spent her working career as a cook in the La Crosse School System. She worked in the kitchens of Summit and Logan middle schools with many friends and work partners. She developed long-term friendships with teachers and custodians. Marie finished her career as head cook at Logan Middle School.

Allen and Marie were proud members of the French Island Boat Club for many years. Weekends were spent relaxing around sandbar campfires & sharing life stories. She never overcame her fear of water deeper than 3 inches and would not swim.

In the later years, Ken introduced Marie to motorhome travels. He took Marie to Texas for winter getaways to warm weather and fishing. They made friends there that led to more summer adventures at EAA Oshkosh and Devils Lake, ND.

As the years passed and diabetes took her mobility away they spent their time at home or at the Brownsville farm with Brian’s and Ken’s gardens. She enjoyed many visits with family and friends at Hinkley Rd and Hillview Health Care.

Special thanks to the staff at Hillview Health Care for their loving and attentive care these last few years.

A Private Family Service will be held. Internment at LaCrosse Catholic Cemetery will take place in warmer weather this year.

Memorial donations may be made to your local Meals on Wheels or food pantry. Marie had a soft spot for keeping everyone fed & cared for. Online condolences may be made at