Ollie Mae Knipp, 88, of Jefferson City died Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016, at Boone Hospital Center in Columbia.
Private graveside service and interment were conducted at Riverview Cemetery in Jefferson City.
Ollie Mae was born May 31, 1928, in Springfield, the daughter of Carl W. and Elsie (Walker) Murray. She was married May 30, 1959, in Lancaster to E.J. “Gene” Knipp, who preceded her in death on June 4, 1980.
She was a 1945 graduate of Willard High School in Willard.
A resident of the Jefferson City area for most of her life, Ollie Mae was employed with the Missouri Attorney General’s Office and the Missouri Department of Employment Security.
Ollie Mae and Gene owned and operated Knipp Motors Cadillac-Oldsmobile-Toyota until 1975. They had extensive real estate holdings, beginning with the new Cole County Fairgrounds, and also developed tracts of land along Missouri Boulevard with commercial, residential and office properties in Central Missouri and St. Louis.
After Gene’s death in 1980, Ollie Mae continued the developments, as she initially had encouraged such acquisitions.
After the deaths of Gene and partner, Winston Cook, she continued the daunting task of maintaining more than 200 acres of potential commercial acreage along Missouri Boulevard and Wildwood Drive, which eventually became one of Jefferson City’s most progressive developments. The process began with a large apartment complex, Jefferson City’s first condominiums and residential developments. It was an amazing task for a woman with no formal training in such, and she gained the respect of professionals and business people as large commercial developments were constructed and were a crowning achievement for her. These developments enhanced the western edge of Jefferson City along Missouri Boulevard to Edgewood Drive and Truman Boulevard. In addition, a group of commercial and office properties were acquired in Jefferson City and Columbia.
Outside the business interests, Ollie Mae enjoyed a lifelong love of horses, culminating in the construction of High Spirits Farm in Ashland. She and her daughter, Anna Marie, owned numerous American Saddlebred horses, Hackney ponies and Morgan horses, winning more than 30 world and national titles, including the “Horse of the Year” honors. In 2016, High Spirits Farms won three world championships.
Ollie Mae contributed much to Jefferson City, often privately, but was instrumental in many developments benefiting the community.
Survivors include one daughter, Anna Marie Knipp of Ashland; several nieces and nephews; and two cousins, Frank M. O’Kelley of Indio, Calif., and Edward O’Kelley of Dallas, Texas.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Gene; and three brothers, Jerald Murray, William “Billy” Murray and Max Murray, all of Springfield.
-- via Columbia Daily Tribune