Karen Sue Lipschultz Knopf

Karen Sue Lipschultz Knopf

Karen Sue Lipschultz Knopf died peacefully on Feb. 17, 2021, after a long struggle with Parkinson’s Disease.

Karen was born in Evanston, Illinois, to Oscar and Yetive Lipschultz and lived with her mother and grandparents in Chicago while her father served in the armed forces during World War II. She was raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she attended Northrop Collegiate School, earning many academic honors. Karen received a BA in French literature from Radcliffe College where she met Harry Knopf at a Halloween party on the Harvard-Radcliffe campus. They were married in 1964.

After college, Karen taught elementary school to support Harry while he attended medical school. She was a stay-at-home mother until she entered law school at Washington University in St. Louis in 1977. Despite the pressures of raising two young children, Karen graduated with the highest average in the history of the law school. When asked how she did it, she always humbly replied, “I just studied like everybody else.” She clerked for Judge Edward Filippine in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri before joining Monsanto as in-house counsel. She later served as corporate counsel for Solutia Inc. before retiring in 2006. Karen was always active in community life, serving as PTA president and Brownie troop leader while her children were in elementary school. She later became a member of Temple Israel’s executive board and served as its president from 1996 to 1998. She also participated in and donated to a number of community charitable organizations, including the St Louis Symphony Orchestra and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.

Karen enjoyed art, music, gardening, bridge, and traveling the world with her husband. She was extraordinarily proud of her three granddaughters and wanted more than anything to see them all grow up. She was bright and vivacious, with a sharp sense of humor. She was, in many ways, a woman ahead of her time who figured out a work-life balance before the term existed.  

Karen is survived by Harry, her devoted husband of 56 years; her daughter, Joelyn (Ed) Levy and son Aaron (Jenny) Knopf, her grandchildren Evyn, Daphne and Molly; brother Martin (Marilyn) Lipschultz ; cousin Susan Zimmerman; special niece and nephew Jessica Lipschultz (Jeremy Schildcrout) and  Adam Lipschultz (Gemma Punti); and many other cousins, nieces, nephews and friends. She will be missed by all of them.

Contributions preferred to Evelyn’s House, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, or the Congregation Temple Israel Broadcast Fund. Due to COVID constraints, a memorial service will be planned at a later date.