Music 04

Dolores Knopfelmacher

July 18, 1937 ~ January 26, 2022 (age 84)


Dolores Knopfelmacher, a woman of many interests and many talents, passed away at Columbia-St. Mary’s Hospital on January 26 of complications of leukemia. She was 84.

Dolores Ann Linster was born on July 18, 1937, in Aurora, Ill., to August and Margaret (née Hoffman). She earned a bachelor’s (Cum Laude) in English from DePaul University in 1960 and a master’s in English from Marquette University in 1962. A lifelong learner, she also studied music theory at the Universität Wien in Vienna, Austria; the Italian language at the Centro di Studii in Florence, Italy; and arts administration at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music in Milwaukee.

In Vienna, Dolores met fellow teacher Reinhold Knopfelmacher. They came to Milwaukee, married in 1968, and ultimately divorced in the mid-1980s.

Dolores had a varied and challenging work life. In the 1980s, she served as general manager of the Milwaukee Symphony Chorus (then known as the Wisconsin Conservatory Symphony Chorus). She was known as a kind and caring person with a great sense of humor, as well as director Margaret Hawkins’ “right hand man”. After her stint as manager, she continued singing with the group. For nearly 30 years, she was personal secretary to psychiatrist John W. Markson.

She also taught, everything from contemporary American fiction (at the Austro-American Institute in Vienna) to rhetoric and composition (at Marquette and UW-Racine) to creative writing (at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design).

For over 25 years after her retirement, Dolores was active with Lake Park Friends, as a board member, unofficial historian and chair of the Nature Committee. A dedicated steward of the park she described as “beautiful and restorative,” she helped organize countless concerts, history and nature walks, and work days. 

Dolores was predeceased by her parents and her older brother, Richard Linster. She is survived by her older sister, Louise Linster; her cat, Luigi; and friends and colleagues too numerous to count.

Donations in Dolores’ name can be made to Lake Park Friends,

 A celebration of Dolores’ life will be held on July 18 (her birthday) in Lake Park. Details will appear closer to the event on the website of Northshore Funeral Services,






To send sympathy gifts to the family or plant a tree in memory of Dolores Knopfelmacher, please visit our tribute store.


You can still show your support by planting a memorial tree in the memory of Dolores Knopfelmacher
© 2022 Northshore Funeral Services. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Accessibility