Obituary for Shirley "Gaye" (Ringhand) Knudsen | Ryan Funeral Homes
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Shirley "Gaye" (Ringhand) Knudsen

June 3, 1949 ~ June 20, 2018 (age 69)

Fitchburg-Shirley “Gaye” (Ringhand) Knudsen, age 69, of Fitchburg, passed away on June 20, 2018, at University of Wisconsin – Madison Hospital, after a long battle with cancer. She was born in Madison, WI to Doris (Eaton) and Lee Ringhand of Evansville, WI.

She graduated from Evansville High School in 1967 and throughout her years she lived in Evansville, Madison, Verona and Fitchburg, WI.  Over her lifetime she had many activities, interests and passions but was probably best known as someone to listen, talk things over with and lend you a helping hand.

Gaye is survived by her husband Earl Knudsen, of Fitchburg; son Rodney Rotar and son in-law Scott Rogers of Madison; stepdaughters: Michelle (Tony Wiegel) Olson of Spring Green; Cary (Paul) Neess of Verona; and stepgranddaughters: Kelsey Olson, Cheyenne Neess, Payette Neess and Tessa Wiegel.

She is preceded in death by her parents Doris (Eaton) and Lee Ringhand, Rod’s father and Gaye’s ex-husband Roger Rotar, and stepdaughter, Amy (Knudsen) Olson.

A Celebration of Life Gathering will be held at the AMERICAN LEGION HALL, 207 Legion St., Verona, from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 11, 2018. There will be a brief Celebration of Life: words of remembrance and prayer at 6pm.  Please join the family and friends for appetizers, desserts and cash bar.

Gaye loved the cats and dogs that she made a part of her home and family throughout her life.  In lieu of flowers, donations are suggested and are being collected in her name for Angels Wish, (, an organization that she had great respect for.  To make a donation in her name, please make out a check to "Angels Wish" and drop them off at the Celebration of Life Gathering or mail them to Rod Rotar, 7002 Sawmill Rd., Madison, WI 53717.

The family would like to thank the University of Wisconsin Hospital & UW Health Clinics staff for their care and services provided to Gaye. To view and sign this guestbook, please visit:

Joyce-Ryan Funeral Home & Cremation Services

5701 Odana Road


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