Joan Adelle (Ertmer) Knop passed away peacefully in her sleep on Sunday, January 7, 2024. She was born on November 9, 1935, in Freeport, Illinois to Lorraine and Paul Ertmer. Losing her father as a toddler, Joan spent her formative years in the Midwest before moving to Point Loma with her mother, grandmother and cousin at age 13. After attending Dana Junior High, she then became a proud Point Loma Pointer and continued a lifelong passion for the school and her classmates. She was an integral part of campus activities as a member of the school’s Drill Team and made many lifelong friends. Post-graduation, she helped plan her class reunions up through the 60th celebration.
After graduating from Point Loma High, Joan did administrative work for the YMCA of San Diego while also attending San Diego State. In the mid-1950s, Joan met Howard Knop of Antigo, WI, the man who would become her husband of 63 years, at a “Stars and Bars“ event held on a San Diego military base. Following a tour of duty, Howard returned to San Diego, and the young couple became engaged before he returned to Wisconsin to complete his Masters in Education. Joan stayed in San Diego until they were married on June 9, 1957, at Point Loma Community Presbyterian Church with their reception held at the Admiral Kidd Club on Navy Base Point Loma. Their honeymoon was spent as camp counselors at a church summer retreat in the Midwest before Howard began an Industrial Arts teaching assignment in Michigan.
Joan, pregnant with the couple’s first child expressed her desire to return to sunny, San Diego, where she would also have the help and support of her mother and grandmother. Ever the wise man, Howard agreed, and the young couple moved to Southern California during the summer of 1958. Howard was assigned to a mobile Industrial Arts shop, and Joan helped manage their apartment building on Winona Avenue while being a new mother. Lifelong friends were made on Winona in two short years, before the Knops found an opportunity to move to a new Clairemont neighborhood and purchased their first and lifelong home in 1960.
A passionate homemaker and mother of three, Joan demonstrated her leadership skills inside and outside the home, taking on roles within the PTA, Church, Little League, and Scouts. An avid bowler for many years, Joan was also a passionate member of the church’s choir using her beautiful voice every Sunday. Joan and Howard were long time, active members of the Clairemont Lutheran Church congregation.
Joan entered the workforce when the family’s youngest was in seventh grade. Her administrative career began at Central Federal Savings & Loan in their Advertising Department and ended at Gethsemane Lutheran Church as the Church Secretary.
Joan is preceded in death by Howard (Oct. 2020), as well as her middle daughter, Karla Roddy (July 2023). She is survived by her eldest daughter, Lisa Ruiz (Everett) of El Cajon, her son, Kurt (Paula) of Pasadena, as well as her seven granddaughters and five great grandchildren (four great grandsons and one great granddaughter).
Her public memorial service will be held at Clairemont Lutheran Church on Friday, February 9th at 11 AM. Following the church service, a private, committal ceremony will take place at Miramar National Cemetery where she will be laid to rest alongside Howard, a former US Navy commander.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you support the American Heart Association, Feeding San Diego, Rady’s Children’s Hospital or Clairemont Lutheran Church.