Lavender Morning Knight squirmed into the world under a lavender sky on the morning of April 6th, 1979 near Luana, Iowa. She was born at home, in an old farmhouse nestled in the hills of the Driftless Area. She grew up wading in creeks, hanging out with hippies, writing her own angsty zine, and reading the dictionary for fun. She moved to Madison to attend the University of Wisconsin. While there, she had her first child, Derek, who went to classes with her as a toddler. They lived at many of the MCC cooperative houses. Lavender unschooled her kids, focusing on subjects like ornithology. A true Domestic Goddess, she was a phenomenal baker and canner. She had a natural aptitude for gardening and dreamed of becoming an Occupational Therapist Assistant (COTA) specializing in Horticulture Therapy. Lavender had her Permaculture Design Certificate and flourished in her wild garden raising monarch butterflies. She volunteered at SSM Day Health Center creating a small healing garden. A foster parent, she loved children and was the quintessential Nanny for a decade. A bereaved parent, she supported others in their grief. She valued her sobriety of nearly 5 years. She had just started attending MATC COTA program when she was diagnosed with kidney cancer at the end of 2018, her youngest child just 4 months old. The inimitable Lavender Knight died on May 6th, 2020 after a lavender sunset. She is survived by her wife Tanya Mudrick; her kids: Rain Lochner, Alana Weathers, Derek Knight, and Cedar Knight Mudrick; her parents, Suze Pope (Don) and Jack Knight; her siblings, Jess Coonen, Violet Flores (Jaime), and Lucia Alexandria (Buho); her nieces and nephews, Alex, Iziah, Marko, Cruz, Ruby, Carmi, and Noah; and her best friend Karol Niemann. She is preceded in death by three babies: Sam, Oren, and Miriam; her beloved aunt Renee Knight, and her grandparents. She had a green burial at Natural Path Sanctuary. A memorial service is being planned for August 1st at 1:00pm at Burrows Park in Madison. In honor of Lavender, consider buying flowers for yourself from Naly’s Floral Shop. Donations can be made to Madison Area Permaculture Guild, The Respite Center at RISE, and Gilda’s Club of Madison.
When George Schneider purchased Milwaukee’s This Is It in 2016, with it came more than five decades of history as Wisconsin’s oldest gay bar. As he honors the bar’s past, he’s laying a foundation for its bright future and chosen families. Michail Takach shares the history of this historic gathering place and the man who continues to carry forward the vision of a welcoming space that began in 1968.