Obituaries detail

Beverly Jean Love Knaus
Jan 04, 1931 - Dec 28, 2020

Beverly Jean Love Knaus

Sunday, January 4, 1931-Monday, December 28, 2020

The world is a far lesser place because of Mom’s death, but there is a new and brilliant star shining in the sky tonight, the sun shines brighter now and the endless sky is a calm pure blue.


It was our mother’s wish to be cremated and have her ashes scattered in the mountains of Colorado. We will do this on April 7, 2021 at Urad Lake, Colorado.  Beverly is the best mother and she will be sorely missed. She will always be a beacon of hope in our hearts and a gleaming light in our lives.   


Born on a Sunday in Denver, Colorado, on January 4, 1931, to a half Swedish and half Danish mother and Scotch-Irish father, Beverly Jean Love Knaus graced this world with her radiant and bright shining light despite the freezing wintry day.  Even her baby pictures reflect an inner light beam that shone through her big brown eyes, through her smile, indeed through her entire countenance. She was bright eyed and bushy tailed. She seemed factory-equipped with indomitable, tensile strength,  confidence, talent, common sense, wisdom, resilience, stoicism, maturity and infinite patience from the get-go.


She was especially special and uncommonly uncommon. She embodied only the best of her parents, Helen Augusta Hansen and Lorenzo Love. Her parents doted on her. She shared the household with an older brother, LeRoy, 5 years her senior, who teased her incessantly.


Gorgeous from the beginning, Beverly’s dark olive tone, smooth skin, high cheekbones, oval face shape and thick, wavy nearly black hair defined her beauty.  Her nose was straight and the perfect size and made for a strong, confident profile. Her lips were full and beautiful like her mother’s and her mother called her “her little brown berry” because she tanned so easily playing outside in the sun. Even the gentle summer breeze blew and bestowed an instant tan. She might have been a ”Covergirl”.


She grew up independently it seemed and learned responsibility early on. Due to unforeseen circumstances, her mother Helen went to work full time for St Luke’s Hospital in Denver in the dietary department to escape poverty and keep the family afloat when Beverly was just eight years old. Beverly recalled receiving a Christmas basket filled with fresh fruit from the Salvation Army one year. Fruit was a delicacy for the family especially back in the 1930’s during the Great Depression. For the rest of her life she would remember that basket of fruit and make a donation to the Salvation Army every Christmas.


At first shy as a child, Beverly blossomed into a charismatic, outgoing, fun-loving and always loyal friend. She lived a life of moderation. She lived life as an eternal optimist.


Beverly accompanied her mother to work and helped fold napkins and set up silverware for patient trays. If she was home alone in the apartment, she’d spend her time organizing a drawer or two. She was organized and neat and clean about herself and her belongings. She even neatly arranged her groceries in her shopping cart when she’d shop at the grocery store. She never minded being alone and enjoyed her own company. Even at 89 years old in the midst of a pandemic, she didn’t feel lonely sitting in her apartment watching CNN or Turner Classic Movies. She’d say, ” Loneliness is pointless and serves no purpose”.  


Helen noticed early on that her only daughter had an “eagle eye” for detail. It was a practical and endearing trait. Beverly noticed details about things and people most others often overlooked, like someone’s particular, personal style of dress or manner, like a scarf or necklace or a hat, and she noted it and complimented the person.  She could look you in the eye at a glance and tell whether you’d had enough sleep the night before. She could hear your voice on the telephone and tell if you were having a good day after just hearing a simple “hello”.  


Consequently, Beverly’s attention to detail manifested in her impeccable, fastidious dress and overall appearance and style. She put herself together from stem to stern, not a hair out of place, not an eye lash uncurled. She took great care and pride in her appearance. She wore raven red lipstick in her later teens and a hint of blush. Her beauty was apparent and a dash of makeup served only to enhance her fine features.


She stood 5’10” tall in her prime and her fingers were long, delicate and narrow and her nails perfectly shaped. Her bone structure was small. She sported a short “pixie” hairstyle for most of her life. She could get away with it.  She never permed or dyed her hair. At the tender age of 89, she still had black hair near the nape of her neck. She aged gracefully. Even in death she was still beautiful.   


She made friends easily and has childhood friends across the miles spanning many decades. She was a true friend and loyal and able to keep a confidence and reserve judgement. She could be direct and fierce and brutally honest when necessary.    


Beverly aspired to be a model, a stewardess, a secretary or a nurse, but neither she nor her family had the money to afford nursing school. She shadowed a nurse at St Luke’s Hospital in Denver. She’d have made a fantastic nurse given her attention to detail and heartfelt compassion and regard for everyone she met and quick thinking.  She enjoyed designing clothing in school and loved interior and floral design  and could sketch a dress in a heartbeat.  She sewed a beautiful pink gingham plaid dress and wore it proudly. She knit herself a beautiful brown and gold sweater.


She traveled to New York City with a girlfriend and took in the sites.  She loved decorating for the holidays. She strung each individual strand of tinsel artfully on the Christmas tree. She loved art. She was a modern woman and a feminist before feminism became popular. She wasn’t afraid of hard work and could be found mowing her and dad’s ¾ acre backyard with its steep hillside, negotiating around two one- hundred year old cotton trees.  


She thoroughly enjoyed working as an usherette at the Paramount Theatre in Denver.  She worked literally from the basement up at Sears and Roebuck, starting in the clearance section before working in the tools and hardware department and then the lingerie department.  


Later she worked her way up to lead investigator at the Denver Men’s Retail Credit Bureau. An attorney heard her voice on the phone and offered her a job to work with him at his law firm on the spot as a secretary. She worked there for several years. They were life long friends.


At age 19 Beverly met her husband, Donald Knaus, through her best friend from high school, Barbara, who happened to be Don’s cousin. They were smitten with one another. She really liked the scent of his leather bomber jacket. Her mother Helen wasn’t thrilled with the match, and so Beverly and Don were married at City Hall, both aged just 21 years before the judge and Don’s aunt and uncle. They honeymooned in Hot Sulphur Springs, Colorado.


Beverly worked to pay the rent for their apartment and other living expenses and helped her husband Don start his own commercial trash hauling business. The company thrived for over thirty years with Beverly and Don at the company’s helm. They saved and spent wisely. Beverly never bought anything unless the original price was reduced and “on sale”.


Mom loved “bumming” with her own mother, which meant shopping at thrift stores. For several years she loved “garage saling” with her dear friend Loretta. Mom would scope out the garage sale ads in the newspaper and plan and plot out their day accordingly to maximize their finds, their time and fuel economy. They drove to the nicer, ritzier neighborhoods and found treasures for a bargain. Mom bought a set of fine china, Eternal Rose, by Corelling for a song. She’d buy delicate crystal stemware sets or sets of unusual glasses and dishware. She’d buy designer clothes, books that inspired, paintings, and décor items and much more. They’d stop at a “Wendy’s” or “Szechuan” restaurant and share a fresh and delicious lunch from the buffet. They also enjoyed hosting garage sales. They spent days preparing, washing, cleaning, even ironing cotton clothing and draping tables with white table cloths and assigning places and prices for featured items to be sold. At the end of the garage sale, they’d donate whatever was left to those less fortunate.  


A son, Stephen Brian, was welcomed into the world when Beverly was 27 years old. She left her career to become a full-time mother, faithfully devoted to her family. They moved into their first home on South Harlan Street. It was Beverly’s favorite of all.  Ten years later a daughter Kristen was born. They moved into a beautiful home in Lakewood, Colorado, on South Allison Street.  Mom would say, “I got a blue eyed blonde headed boy and a brown eyed and brown headed girl just like I wanted!”


Dad would tell her, “thank you for making our house a home!” She always felt satisfied with what she had, be it an apartment or a ranch home or a 3000 square feet home nestled in the foothills of Colorado for thirty plus years. Later on at the age of about 74 she would downsize to a lovely, warm, inviting, modern 2 bedroom apartment in Independence, MO to be near her family. She’d say, “home is where the heart is.”  She learned to navigate the streets and thoroughfares in Lee’s Summit and beyond and would pick her grandson up from school in the afternoons in her mauve 1992 Honda Accord. She never looked back but rather, always forward.


Mom loved the “Serenity Prayer”, “Footprints”, and “The Desiderata”. She lived her life by those words. In their basement hung a picture in the 1970’s that said, “War is unhealthy for children and other living things”. She taped inspiring sayings from the newspaper inside her kitchen cabinets. One by Albert Campus said,  “ Don’t walk behind me, I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me, I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.“  She treasured a statue of “The Thinker”. Such was her wont. She quoted excerpts from The Power of Positive Thinking.


She dabbled in poetry and wrote a loving tribute to her son when he was off at a summer camp and inspired her daughter’s love of books, movies,  writing and music.  A smattering of mom’s favorites included Dr Zhivago, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, The Song of Bernadette, Scent of a Woman and Finding Forrester. She loved to watch “Dancing with the Stars”. She and Donnie took dancing lessons early in their marriage. She found The Danish Girl sad and compelling and “Swallow” intriguing and very unusual.


Mom kept relevant and interested in the world around her. She was innately curious. Though her speech was impaired following a stroke, she was able to write, “Is Trump gone yet?” She subscribed to the Kansas City Star and worked the daily crossword and “Jumble” puzzles and the “Cryptoquip”. She kept her checkbook reconciled and added and subtracted with a pen and paper. Her grammar was also excellent. She loved settling into her cozy recliner to engross herself in a good movie. She was worldly and knowledgeable beyond her high school education. She was no doubt, brilliant.  


Mom was not especially religious, though she celebrated all of the holidays, but more spiritual. She believed Shakespeare and other great works were also inspired by God. Regarding death, she’d say, “Don’t be sad, it’s where we all go. “ “God loves us all the same, he doesn’t hear any one better than the rest!” Mom didn’t attend religious services. She lived and led by example.


Mom loved music. Among her favorites were Puccini’s “O mio babbino caro” from the opera Gianni Schizzi and The Rainbow Connection by Paul Williams and Somewhere Over the Rainbow sung by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole.  She loved the score from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Evita”. She loved anything sung by Barbra Streisand. “I Have a Dream” by ABBA was a favorite and also “Song for Adeline” performed by French pianist Richard Clayderman. She loved Charles Boyer’s “Hello Young Lovers.”


Mom led a chorus of singers while at her independent retirement community and her daughter Kristi accompanied them on the piano to include WWII songs like “White Cliffs of Dover” and other popular tunes of the 1940’s and 1950’s like “Enjoy Yourself” and “Dear Hearts and Gentle People” and “Look for the Silver Lining.” She loved Charlie Chaplain’s “Eternally.” She enjoyed Bette Midler’s rendition of La vie en rose and “Everybody’s Talkin’ at Me” and especially the line, “banking off of the northeast winds, sailing on a summer breeze, and skipping over the ocean like a stone”. She loved to sit at the piano and play songs by ear for hours with her right hand. She had an ear for music. Her mother had played piano beautifully.   


Mom enjoyed decoupage and “antiquing” statues and later in life, intricate card making. Her art work outwardly reflected her inner soul’s beauty. She made beautiful wreaths for Christmas or swags for above an entryway or above a hearth with her special touch. She lovingly decorated greenery with lights and red ribbons for the porch at Christmastime. She loved arranging floral bouquets. She so enjoyed taking a weekend and driving up through the Colorado mountains with her family to fish and enjoy nature-the evergreens, the aspens, the pristine lakes and the scent of the pine. She treasured the silence and stillness.    


Like clockwork, every Sunday Beverly and family drove downtown to eat breakfast at Pete’s Coney Island in downtown Denver. Then she’d visit her beloved mother, Helen, in her apartment and clean her house and do her laundry. As Helen aged, Beverly saw to it always that Helen was safe and clean and neat and well provided for. She revered her mother.  When Helen developed dementia and moved to Bear Creek Nursing Center in Morrison, Colorado, Beverly made sure to visit daily for a few hours faithfully.


Mom traveled with her dear friends Loretta and Bob to Aspen and Durango, Colorado. She felt a thrill run through her when she spotted RJ Wagner at an upscale restaurant. She traveled to Disneyworld with her grandson Brittain, and daughter and son in law while in her late 70s. She flew to Denver for her granddaughter’s wedding and drove to South Dakota in 2019 to visit her granddaughter Andrea and the newest addition to the family, Brynleigh.


Mom and family flew to visit her grandson, Steve, and his family in Denver and also to catch up with extended family. Mom felt so happy to hold baby Kingston in her loving arms and to meet and hug and love Tatum, her first great grandchild. Her son Steve visited Mom from Arizona and they went “bumming” together and to the casino for a nice meal and a little gambling and just “catching up”. Mom allowed herself a small budget to gamble with and enjoyed playing the slot machines.


Mom enjoyed taking local bus tours and visiting Branson and other areas of interest locally and shared some homemade jam and bread from an Amish town. She enjoyed attending a performance of Les Miserables and other theatrical performances. She loved taking shopping trips and enjoying lunch out with her friends from her senior apartment community.


Beverly was an adorer of people. She loved dearly. She’d call people, “dear hearts” or say, “Bless your heart!”  She made friends wherever she went. She had an innate way of endearing herself to others, even with her caregivers at the very end of her life who commented on her sweetness, kindness and gentle spirit and beautiful skin and hair. She truly cared about people.


On one of many occasions spent shopping, perfect strangers would seek mom out in a store to ask what clothes item she thought looked best. She gave her honest answer and they thanked her. Once at a bookstore a woman was looking at greeting cards and saw mom’s face and started sobbing, telling mom how she had recently lost her own mother. Mom offered a listening ear, words of consolation and a heartfelt hug. Mom touched people’s lives in the best way wherever she went.  Mom looked for the good in people. She made the best out of every circumstance. She radiated love and acceptance. She was an angel on earth. Mom had a wise saying for every circumstance. She’d say, “Life is what you make it. Try to make it happy. Do the best you can!” She took life in stride and said often, “No biggie!”


Mom defeated breast cancer though it had spread to a sentinel lymph node. She endured surgery and chemotherapy and radiation like a champion at the age of 71. Again, her dear friend Loretta offered and drove mom to each and every medical treatments. Diagnosed with heart failure at age 84, mom didn’t let it define or deter her. She rolled with the punches every time and maintained her apartment independently right up until her death. She contracted “asymptomatic” Covid 19 on about November 15, 2020, and suffered a stroke on Nov. 30th .. She endured a challenging hospitalization, almost half of it spent in isolation before passing from this life at St Luke’s Hospice House in Kansas City on December 28, 2020, just 7 days shy of her 90th birthday. 


Mom is preceded in death by her parents, husband Donald G Knaus and brother, LeRoy E Love and niece, Karen Love Groh. Her legacy lives on in her son, Stephen B. Knaus and daughter, Kristen D. Wiilleford (Chris) and three grandchildren: Andrea Albers, Steve Knaus and Brittain Willeford and three great grandchildren, Tatum, Kingston and Brynleigh.  


“Tell her we love her and thank her for being a wonderful presence in our lives. She won’t be forgotten and her love will always be with us. I will tell Brynleigh all about her so she knows who her great grandma Beverly was and how much she loved her.” From Andrea Albers


 When she looked at you or listened to you, you knew you were seen and heard. She had a consoling, understanding nature about her. She exuded life, joy, goodwill and made a practice of being happy. What a class act. She truly had a joie de vivre. She will be missed. We’ll be loving you “eternally”.  


“No time on earth is long enough to share with those we love or to prepare our hearts for good-bye”

Author unknown.


In Beverly’s honor, the family suggests contributions to St Luke’s Hospice House, 3516 Summit St., Kansas City, MO  64111.


Online condolences and memories may be left for the family at:


Additional Service:
Celebration of Life
Urad Lake
Zip Code:
Date of Service:
Apr 07 ,2021
Time of Service:
Additional Information:
No Additional Information Added
Google Map:


Yazmin Bagher Jan 04 ,2021

Family Friend ,Lenexa ,Kansas

We’ve lost a beautiful human, but gained an angel! I’ll never forget the first time I met Beverly, she had both Brittain and I in tears from laughter. She was so gentle, yet you could tell she was as strong as they come. Her independence was clear and something I will always admire. Reading her obituary made it very clear where Kristi gets the saying, “Oh bless her heart” which will from now on continue to remind me of Mammo! As I send my condolences to your family, I’ll know that Mammo is looking over every single one of us!

Pam Brown Jan 04 ,2021

Very good friend. ,Independence ,Missouri

I miss you so much. I will always remember the fun and laughs the four of had on our outings shopping and lunch. I remember you, Mary Ann, Ruth and me. In fact, I have a great picture of the four of us. ❤️

Reese Harle Jan 05 ,2021

Friend ,Independence ,Missouri

What a beautiful lady. Truly classy and timeless. I will miss her so much, she taught me a lot. To me, she was the definition of how a woman should be. Graceful and elegant beyond words. Such a big heart, she was warm and sweet to everyone. Her daughter, Kristy is such a lovely image of her mother. So glad I got to meet this wonderful family.

David and Elaine Koerwitz Jan 17 ,2021

Past neighbors ,Littleton ,Colorado

So sorry for your loss of Bev. What a lovely tribute you wrote to her Kristi. We will always remember your mom as one of those special people, who always seemed thrilled to see and talk to you. I know she will be missed and was a blessing to all she came in contact with.