Valba Ann (Estrada) Knittel, age 84, of Oakdale, California passed away December 3rd at Kaiser Permanente after a battle with Covid.

Val, as she was known by most, was born in 1937 in San Francisco. She attended Marin Catholic and soon after met and married her husband, Duane Knittel. She was married to Duane for nearly 57 years, until he passed in January 2017. Val’s faith and family were the two most important aspects of her life. She was the matriarch of the family, hosting birthdays and holidays year-round. She was actively involved in whatever parish was in her hometown—including St Philomene in Sacramento, St. Francis in Bakersfield, Our Lady of Miracles in Gustine, and St. Mary’s in Oakdale. She worked as the Director of Religious Education at Our Lady of Miracles Parish in Gustine, California for many years. Friends and arts and crafts were always a part of Val’s life. Canasta, Whisk, and Bunco were played regularly with her dear friends; and Val’s creations included quilts, hand sewn clothes, paintings, cross stitches, music by way of piano, and most recently ukulele. She also spent a lot of time at the Gallo Center and traveled the world with friends.

Val was preceded in death by her husband Duane, oldest son, Thomas, parents Valba and Albert Estrada, and sister Jeanne Corchero. She is survived by and will be greatly missed by her children Joseph Knittel (Claire and Katie), Jennifer (Knittel) and Howie Morris, Matthew and Nadine Knittel (Adrian, Nora, Matthew and Anna), Sharon (Knittel) and Rich Raimondo (Joseph, Robert, and Francis), John and Amy Knittel (Hayden and Rylee), and Lisa (Knittel) and Lance Perriera (Luke and Lacie); and her sister Margaret (Estrada) Fischer.

A Memorial Mass will be held for Val on Saturday, January 15th at 10:00 am at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Patterson, California.

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