Hicella “Sally” Sandoval Knippa, 43, passed away September 20th, 2017.
Hicella was born August 15, 1974 in Edinburg, Texas to Antonio and Maria (Bazan) Sandoval. Her father Antonio was originally from Micoacan, Mexico and was a jeweler; her mother Maria is a homemaker from Rio Grande. Hicella was a very active child, growing up in Port Arthur. She enjoyed watching her mom cook, and then cooking herself. As a teenager, her high energy helped her to be a good cheerleader for Stephen F. Austin and Thomas Jefferson High Schools in Port Arthur.
After graduating from Jefferson High School, Hicella immediately enlisted in the US Army.
She served proudly for three and a half years in supply, first at Fort Benning, Georgia, then Fort Carson, Colorado, and finally finishing with a tour of service in Germany. While in the Army, she met and married Juan Cotto. The two had three children: Juan Antonio, Joshua Lee, and Adiana Marie. Her children were her priority. After her honorable discharge from the Army, she attended North Georgia College and State University where she studied business and received her AA.
Hicella later met her husband Matthew Knippa over a cup of coffee at Starbucks. They later married and lived in Cypress. During their nine-year marriage, they moved several times with their children and lived in different cities in Texas, before finally settling in Bryan.
Hicella loved being a homemaker and loved taking care of people, especially her family, friends and her spark for the last year and half an adopted, grandson Scooter. Hicella was his Memaw and her husband was his Papa. Although Hicella had several medical challenges, she did not let them hold her back. She was very determined and made the best of every situation. She was always fun to be around. In support of her son who is currently in the Army, as well as for herself and her husband, who are both veterans, Hicella started an online military page for support of military families. Through this page, Hicella was able to show her compassionate and caring nature, remembering everyone’s birthday, and offering an open ear to anyone who needed her, no matter the time of day. Hicella always would put others first before herself. She loved to cook and picture collage, as it was another way to show love to her family. Anytime she was able to get away with her family and go to the beach was a time she cherished. She also enjoyed knitting, sewing, dancing, and yard work.
Hicella leaves behind a large family including her husband Matthew A. Knippa, her children Juan Antonio Cotto, Joshua Lee Cotto, Adiana Marie Cotto, Brenda Sky Knippa, Audrey Nicole Knippa, and Matthew Knippa, Jr. Grandson Christian (Scooter) Baker. She also leaves her parents Antonio and Maria Sandoval, her sister Maria Concepcion Sandoval Nava (and husband Julio Rosales), her brother Sergio Sandoval Nava, sister Maria Antonia Sandoval Nava (and husband Ricardo Veloz), brother Jose Daniel Sandoval Nava (and wife Ester Arce), Joe Riviera and sister Yezenia Salome (and husband Alberto) Hernandez. She will be met in heaven by her brother Roel Riviera. She also leaves behind many nephews and nieces.
A visitation will be held from 10-11 AM on Friday, October 6, 2017 at Hillier Funeral Home of Bryan with a service to begin at 11 AM.