Ocean Beach 03

Helen "Cookie" Elizabeth (Shelton) Knapp

December 7, 1943 ~ February 16, 2022 (age 78)


Helen Elizabeth Knapp, 78, passed away peacefully at home on the night of February 16th, with her devoted husband, their son, daughter, and family members by her side.  We have no doubt heavenly angels are welcoming our dear “Cookie” home. Cookie was the youngest child, born in Monmouth, Illinois on December 7, 1943 to her parents, Lee and Mary Poershmann Shelton of Kirkwood, IL.  She outlived her brothers, Eddie and Sam Shelton, and her sisters, Ruth Anne Vail and Norma Lee Seager.

Look no further than her adoring family to find the joy and purpose of her life.  She is survived by her loving husband of nearly 60 years, James (Jim) R. Knapp, who provided special care for her during her long, progressive illness of the last fifteen years. They built a beautiful life together in Bloomington, and later Rockford, IL, where Cookie helped Jim establish a successful State Farm agency.   She had wonderful, special relationships with her children and their spouses: her son, Darren, and daughter-in-law, Sheila, Chicago; her daughter Julie, and son-in-law, Tim Whitaker, Bloomington.

Her true talent was her natural way of making each family member, friend, co-worker, and neighbor feel absolutely, special, important, and celebrated.  She delighted in being “Grandma” to her wonderful grandchildren, Jackson, Jimmy, Joe, Harrison, Benjamin, and Andrea. Cookie played a special part in the lives of nieces, Mary Anne (husband, Joe) Marx, and Elizabeth (husband, Bill) Nigh, as well as their children and grandchildren.  She leaves many other nieces, nephews, and extended family members.  Also surviving are her first cousins, Phyllis (husband, Ron) Fogel and Vern (wife, Joan) Shelton, as well as her brother-in law, John (wife, Alice) Knapp.   It would be impossible to list the names of everyone she touched in her time on earth. She would say she felt happiest with a shell in her pocket and sand between her toes, but her abiding love was her family and many close friends, near and far.  Her memory will be cherished by each of them.

The family especially thanks Tina and Ginger who gave her loving care during her last few months. 

Memorial services will be postponed until Cookie’s husband, Jim, completes his recovery from cancer.  Her ashes will then be interred in Kirkwood, IL.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to St. Jude Research Children’s Hospital (online) or the charity of your choice.


Vinson Funeral Home, Tarpon Springs, FL

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Helen "Cookie" Elizabeth (Shelton) Knapp, please visit our floral store.


Family to do services at later date


St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
501 St. Jude Place, Memphis TN 38105
Tel: 1-800-805-5856
Web: http://www.stjude.org/

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