In Memory

Erika R Knebel (Treu) - Class Of 1961 VIEW PROFILE

Renate Erika Knebel Treu passed on to a far, far better place on March 21, 2017. She was born on September 28, 1943 in Wuppertal, Germany.  After battling cancer for three years, she died in the comfort of her home in Murrysville, where she had lived with her family for nearly 45 years. Her husband, Siegfried Treu, was by her side. 
    Erika was preceded in death by her father, Peter Knebel, who was killed in WWII action in 1944, without ever getting to know his baby daughter; by her mother, Luise Brenner Knebel; and by her sister, Waltraud Knebel Mittmann. 
    Besides her husband, Erika is survived by her four children, their spouses, and 14 grandchildren: 
            + In SC, Kevin S. (Julie) Treu and Zack, Milly, Ginny, and Ben Treu, 
            + In OH, Ramona E. (Steve) Braun and Rebecca, Sabrina, Sierra, and Sophia Braun, 
            + In NE, Marvin H. (Kristi) Treu and Cassie, Mia, and Lissa Treu, and 
            + In PA, Steven P. (Kristen) Treu and Austin, Veridy, and Aidan Treu. 
    She is also survived by her brother and his wife and family in FL, Peter (JoAnn) Knebel. 
    Erika's first quarter-century of married life was dedicated especially to the love of her own children, raising them to become moral, faithful, and responsible citizens. After all four left for college, she extended her love and care for children to those of neighbors and friends. For years they would rely on her to welcome their children into her home as an informal day care center. 
    Then, in the 1990s and into the 2000s, Erika's grandkids were born. She loved to visit them and establish special, memorable Grammy connections with each of them. The three local grandkids she took care of on several days each week while they were young. 
    In parallel to the above-outlined emphasis of nurturing children, Erika also became involved significantly in community projects and activities. It was discovered by friends and Murrysville AAUW chapter associates that Erika was passionate about making the world a better place.  She exhibited this 
passion not only through her love for children, including those less fortunate, but also through her knowledge and concern about nature, gardening skills, recycling efforts, and the impressive number of activities she endeavored to pursue. 
    The Meals on Wheels program is an example of Erika's long term dedication to the care of others.  She served as a driver since the 1970s, delivering meals and sometimes taking a child or two with her to visit with the homebound.  This spirit of giving came naturally to her. 
    The results of her love of gardening can be seen throughout the community.  For years, she willingly shared the plants from her own beautiful garden with her neighbors and any others who were interested. She also maintained flower plots at Newlonsburg Presbyterian Church as part of the gardening committee. 
    In addition to the service activities mentioned above, she held a great variety of other volunteer roles in our community over the years, including: Murrysville Library volunteer, Cub Scout den leader, Brownie Scout troop leader, FR Swimming Team parent volunteer, NPC Youth Club teacher and 
coordinator, Sloan PTO – Ways and Means Chairperson, Sloan teacher clerical aide volunteer, FR Parent Advisory Council member, driver for FISH, and election/polling place volunteer. She also was a Connections volunteer, working in the classroom with students who needed a little extra help. Finally,  she served as the AAUW Used Book Sale Chairperson. 
    That last role resulted in Erika being honored in 2008 by the Murrysville Chapter of the AAUW as the Outstanding Woman of the Year. She was characterized as being a real dynamo in the context of the major AAUW fund-raiser, its annual Used Book Sale.  Erika managed to organize not only many thousands of books but also the participating members.  Although she would not admit it, the success of the sale was largely due to her dedication and hard work over a period of 7 years. Erika was said to have expanded the horizons of the AAUW booksale. Under her leadership, it became possible to distribute funds to an ever-growing number of worthy non-profit groups in our community. 
    The Outstanding Woman description stated that the honoree was an inspiration and role model to others.  It also included the following quote: "We would do well to remember that our honoree reflects what Lord Chesterfield meant when he wrote, in 1740, in a letter to his son, ‘Whatever is worth doing at all, is worth doing well.’ ” 
    Erika Treu was a significant contributor to our community. However, her family considers her roles of wonderful wife, extraordinary Mom, and devoted Grammy as her most treasurable and memorable characteristics! 
    Memorial donations may be made in Erika’s name to the UPMC Cancer Center ( or Operation Troop Appreciation ( .

Click here to see Erika R's last Profile entry.