Wendy Jean Crikelair, 69, passed away peacefully in her home on June 26, 2022.
Wendy was born in Neenah, WI, on June 15, 1953, to the late Vernon and Nancy (nee
Parker) Knaack. On June 16, 1973, she was united in marriage to her grade school
sweetheart and love of her life, Dan Crikelair in Neenah. Wendy attended Neenah High
School, graduating in 1971. As a teen, she sold Fuller Brush door-to-door, then worked at
Kimberly-Clark before helping open 2 family businesses: Sunrise Nutrition, Inc. and Sunrise
Farms, Inc. She went on to volunteer at Wilson Elementary School and self-published a
children’s book, The Poopie Party.
She raised 4 children and was extremely close to her 8 grandchildren. As a mom, she gave
her life to her children, especially her daughter Dani. Dinner was always at 5 o’clock, and
she hosted her family and often others – everyone was welcome at her table. The name
Wendy means “friend” and she embodied that to the fullest. She kept in touch with many,
many friends over the course of her life, and was always checking in to see how people
were doing. She found contentment in her home and created a safe space for the many
friends, children, and neighbors who knew her door was always open.
Wendy’s interests included cross-stitching, which she often made as gifts for her family
members. She was an avid reader and gardener and was especially proud of her yard and
flower beds. She shared the vegetables from her flourishing garden with anyone who
stopped over. She loved word puzzles and games, and spent many hours playing Scrabble
and, more recently Wordle, loving when she got the answer and the letters “danced.”
Wendy also made cards for everyone’s birthdays that always include a funny poem and
drawings that were specific to what was happening in their life.
Wendy was loved by so many and will be incredibly missed by her husband, Dan; her
children: Erin (Scott) Schafer, Neenah; Sean (Bobbie) Crikelair, Green Bay; Dani Crikelair,
Neenah; and Brittany (Justin Shapiro) Golden, Neenah; 8 grandchildren: Madison, Sydney,
Paris, Meghan, Cagen, Kiersten, Evelyn, and Cooper; as well as her dog Gracie Dog and cats
Halo Potato and Daisy Duke. She is further survived by 2 sisters: Debbie Lamers and Becky
(Frank) Crikelair, as well as nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Vern and Nancy Knaack, in-laws Bob and Addie
Crikelair, and beloved grandparents Mimi and Kelly.
Memorial services for Wendy will be held at 3 p.m. Friday, July 1, 2022, at Kessler-
Fahrenkrug Funeral Home, 304 S. Commercial St, Neenah, WI. Family will greet relatives
and friends from 1 p.m. until time of service at the funeral home.
Special thank you to Courtney and the Theda Care at Home team.
To Our Grandma:
You were the best playmate, fort builder, teacher, and nurse. You were our best friend,
supportive regardless of the situation, and always quick to make us laugh. We’ll always
remember your special cinnamon toast and endless love.
To Our Mom:
Your advice shined bright through the phone lines around the earth,
Always showing everyone their worth.
This isn’t good-bye, but we’ll see you again.
We just want to say thanks for being our friend.
Wendy, it really was a “Wonderful Life.” All my love, Dan