Sadly, we report the passing of beloved Hancock Park resident Michele Marco Kneafsey (April 7th, 1941 – May 15th, 2020). I had the honor to play tennis with Michele while she was still able to play. Despite the ravages of Alzheimer’s, she was a clever, smart tennis player, kind and sweet to everyone on the court. Thank you to the Kneafsey family for sharing the following obituary with the Larchmont Buzz.
Michele Marco Kneafsey (79) passed away peacefully on Friday, May 15, 2020, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Michele will be lovingly remembered by her husband, Thomas Kneafsey, and her children, Sean Kneafsey (Susan), Brian Kneafsey (Maura), Karen Schwartz (Howie), Kevin Kneafsey (Ashley), and Joseph Kneafsey. Michele was the proud grandmother of Conor, Dillon, Colin, Kara, Emmet, James, Cosmo, Luke, Rylan, Aiden, Evryn, and Madeline. She was predeceased by her beautiful granddaughter Tess. Michele will also be fondly remembered by her siblings, Michael Marco, Robin Tupta, Terry Thomas, and Patricia Leliuer.
Michele was born on April 7, 1941, in Los Angeles to Joseph and Rosemary Marco. She was the second of five children. She attended Our Mother of Good Counsel Elementary School and Immaculate Heart High School, both located in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles. She graduated from Marquette University in 1963 with a degree in Dental Hygiene and subsequently practiced as a dental hygienist. In 1967, Michele met her husband of 52 years, Thomas Kneafsey, at a Marquette reunion. They married shortly thereafter and raised five children.
Michele lived her life with selfless humility and kindness. When she wasn’t caring for her husband and children, she volunteered endless hours for Hospice, Meals on Wheels, St. Anne’s, and The Good Shepherd Shelter. Later in life, she formalized her caring for others by returning to school and obtaining a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. She then founded an active counseling practice for underprivileged families.
Michele was a beloved neighborhood figure. Her childrens’ friends frequently streamed in and out of her house, with some staying for months at a time. She treated all of them as her own. Michele founded the Lucerne Boulevard Block Party over 45 years ago which continues to this day. She had an enormous heart and competitive spirit. She played three varsity sports in high school and was a lifelong tennis player, playing competitively as an adult at the Los Angeles Tennis Club. Michele was renowned among her childrens’ friends for jumping into backyard basketball games with her fun-loving spirit.
The family will be planning a Celebration of Michele’s Life at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to The Good Shepherd Shelter, P.O. Box 19487 Los Angeles, CA 90019, or online at https://catholiccharitiesla.org/donate/ and designate “Good Shepherd Shelter for mothers and children impacted by domestic violence” and in the comments, please type “Michele Kneafsey.”