"They delivered a boy, who was Jack. After he was delivered, there was surprise, another baby, so my dad wired back to his parents in Bloomington that Jack arrived at such and such time and Jill came tumbling after."
Jill Knappenberger was born in 1918 with a twin brother by her side.
"We've been Jack and Jill always."
So close, they even joined the war together.
"All the woman were staying home and making babies or rolling bandages and I wanted to do something a little different."
So she volunteered for the Red Cross.
"They developed this Club-mobile program and we served coffee and donuts and cigarettes and chewing gum and hometown papers. We were primarily morale builders."
Jill was one of three women in her Club-mobile to get in.
"Some college education, recreation experience preferably, in good health, willingness to serve, of course, and not physically, I mean, physically fit, and not, not unattractive. See we were all young then, of course."
While overseas, Jill traveled to many places; Normandy, Holland and Scotland just to name a few. Her trip to the Ardennes Mountain Region is one she'll never forget.
"It just happened to be that I located my twin brother, Jack, who I hadn't seen for a year or so."
It wasn't the reunion she was expecting.
"We found we were in trouble as soon as we got there."
And Jill was in the middle of the action --- so was her brother.
"I learned that night, my twin brother had been killed that day, first day of the Battle of the Bulge. That was devastating and it put me in shock, really."
After the war, Jill went back to school at UI. That's where her dad was putting together a memorial scholarship for her brother at his fraternity.
"The chapter adviser was this bachelor lawyer from Champaign, with the name, T. Gaylord Knappenberger, Jr."
That man soon became her husband.
"Well, we met and that was it."
A fateful moment that makes the war worth it.
"But, if I hadn't had that experience in WW II, I would never have married Gaylord and moved to Champaign."
Gaylord died in 1988. But, since then, Jill has been doing her part to make sure the Knappenberger name lives on.
The organ at the Virginia Theatre and the Rare Books Library at UI Law School are dedicated to her husband. Jill still lives in Champaign in an apartment overlooking West Side Park.