O’Bryan) Knapik, age 62, passed away January 7, 2016.
from Saint Mary’s grade school in Hammond in 1967 and from Hammond High
School in 1971. Debbie received a B.S. in elementary education from Indiana
University, Bloomington campus in May 1975, followed by certification in
special education from I.U. Northwest. Deb married Walter “Wally” Knapik in
Debbie was a
special education teacher at Lake Hills Elementary School. For over twenty
years, she developed creative teaching methods to inspire and improve the
lives of young children with special needs at elementary schools within the
MCAS-Michigan City Area Schools. In 2011 her illness led to her early
retirement. Debbie was beloved by her students, their families and her
preceded in death by her husband Walter “Wally” Knapik; parents Arthur F.
and Bella Martha (nee Pereira) O’Bryan; two sisters Patricia (Gerald)
Etienne and Charlotte (K. Eugene) Borders.
She is survived by
her dear friend and caregiver James Krizmas; four sisters: Terry (late Paul)
Kiska, Friendswood, TX, Martha (Jeffery) Sapp, Merrillville, IN, Annette
(Scott) Scofield, Griffith, IN and Mary Michele Miller, Carey, NC; three
brothers: Anthony (Janet) O’Bryan, Olathe, KS, Rory (Pamela) O’Bryan,
Indianapolis, IN and Dennis (Linda) O’Bryan, Harbor Springs, MI and
twenty-two nieces and nephews. In truth, Debbie is survived by the hundreds
of special needs children, all of whom she not only taught, but loved,
cherished and nurtured as if they were her own.
A Memorial Mass
will be held directly at St. Ann of the Dunes Church, 433 Golf Wood Rd,
Beverly Shores, IN 46301, on Saturday, February 27, 2016, with a gathering
from 10 a.m. until the time of service at 11 a.m.
Visitation will be
held at the Fagen-Miller Funeral Home, 2828 Highway Ave. in Highland on
Friday, February 26, 2016 from 4 - 8 pm.
Donations to the
National Autism Association or the Breast Cancer Research Institute would be