Age 97, died Tuesday, August 16, 2022 at Chelsea Retirement Community. She was born July 2, 1925 in Norway, MI, the daughter of Vines & Jennie (Burm) Bernard.

Elaine graduated from Norway High School in 1942, and attended Cleary College in 1943. In 1959 she moved to Chelsea. Elaine was a member of St. Mary Catholic Church. She retired from Springer Insurance at the age of 65. Elaine enjoyed her family, friends, reading, and gardening. She also enjoyed playing cards with several different groups and loved to travel. She was a member of the Chelsea Woman’s Club and the Altar Society.

On July 13, 1946, she married Wilbur “Bill” Yocum, and he preceded her in death on January 22, 1976. She later married George A. Knickerbocker on January 21, 1983, and he preceded her in death on February 21, 1993. Survivors include a daughter, Joan (Charles) Moll of Bozeman, MT; four step-children, Suzanne D. Holm of Saline, MI, Steven George (Mary) Knickerbocker of Benton Harbor, MI, Patrice J. Seymour of Kalispell, MT, and Jana L. (Thomas) Bergman of Jefferson, MD; 11 grandchildren, CJ (Delaney) Moll, E. Katie (Cole) Zachman, Rebecca Holm, Michael (Rachel) Knickerbocker, Jennifer (Sebastian) Lopez and Laura (Jake Tolle) Knickerbocker, Trand and Chance Seymour, Meg, JT, and Knicki Bergman; and 4 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by a sister, Bernice Alexander.

A Funeral Mass will be held Tuesday, August 23, 11:00 am at St. Mary Catholic Church in Chelsea, with the V. Rev. Dr. William J. Canon Turner officiating. Burial will follow at Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Chelsea. The family will receive friends at Cole Funeral Chapel Monday, August 22, from 4-8 pm, with a Rosary service at 7:30 pm. Memorial contributions may be made to Arbor Hospice 2366 Oak Valley Dr. Ann Arbor, MI 48103, St. Mary Catholic Church 14200 Old US 12 Chelsea, MI 48118, or St. Paul United Church of Christ 14600 E. Old US 12 Chelsea, MI 48118.


Click here to view the slideshow of Elaine's life

Click here to watch the video of Elaine's Funeral Mass.


You may use the form below to share a memory or leave a public message for Elaine's family. Please allow 24 hrs. for us to review & post your comment 


#8 Becky Holm 2022-08-23 08:02
It was so special to be near grandma in her last days and to see her smile and hear her chuckle. I was so lucky she joined our family and continued to love and support us through the years, cheering us on in our endeavors. She was simply the best.
#7 Deanna Knickerbocker 2022-08-23 01:25
My husband Al Knickerbocker and I used to travel regularly from California to Michigan to visit family and to attend the Olivet College Homecoming. We usually stayed with Elaine and George, and later at "Elaine's B&B." Our sister-in-law was always thrilled to see us. She would cook special dinners; we'd all go out to dinner, and maybe a church sauerkraut dinner. A necessity was a trip to the farms to buy hot pumpkin donuts in Dexter, and fresh cider in Manchester. Sometimes we'd trip off to the "Christmas Store." Elaine was always welcoming, and a delight to be with. We will miss her greatly.
#6 Philip Sawicki 2022-08-22 13:25
Elaine was my next door neighbor for 20 years. She was a beautiful person in every way. Julie and I will miss her.
#5 Brenda Hoelzer 2022-08-18 12:47
Sending my thoughts and prayers.
#4 Nadine Koch 2022-08-17 18:53
Joanie, I am so sorry for the pain you are going through with the loss of your mom. She was a Great Lady and I loved her friendship! Prayers for all of the family. (I will see you at visitation). Love and hugs!
#3 Knicki Bergman 2022-08-17 14:39
My grandma is the sweetest, kindest, most loving person I've ever known! She always had such a fun and adventurous spirit and she was a friend to every person she knew. She is the example of the type of person I hope I can be! I miss her so much already, but I know that she is much happier and in more comfort now.
#2 Jeri Torrice 2022-08-17 10:12
Elaine was a dear friend to my mother Wiletta Hafner. I remember her as being a very sweet and kind person; always willing to help others .My condolences to Joanie and to the rest of her large family.
#1 Dennis J. Sykes 2022-08-17 10:00
Ninety-Seven years is a long time! I find myself nostalgic about all that she must have seen during her time! I also thank her because children are a legacy and their upbringing is a testament to those who raise them! I have met a step/child of hers who is a wonderful woman which means that she must have been a great one! My condolences to the family during this season! May God touch them and bring them comfort during this season! Be strong and remember your memories with her for they valuable testaments to greatness! God bless!

Sincerely with love in Christ Jesus,

Dennis J. Sykes

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