Robert A Knoke
(March 21, 1930 - September 19, 2012)
September 21, 2012
A. , Sept 19, 2012
peacefully in his home with his family by his side. Loving husband of
Kathy Knoke (nee Burton) for 54 years; kind and generous father to Dana
Knoke; dear brother, uncle, cousin and devoted friend to many.
Bob was born
in Raddle, Illinois to Pearl H. and Charles Albert Knoke. His brother
John William was five years older. They moved a few miles north to Jones’
Ridge where his Mom ran the family store and later was a teacher. His
Dad worked for the railroad.
Bob was proud of attending school in a one room schoolhouse for the first
eight years, with the same teacher. He graduated from Gorham High School
and attended college in Independence, Kansas. Baseball was always a large
part of the Knoke boys’ life. Bill, Bob and their father played
on local teams, Bill a pitcher and Bob a catcher. Both brothers signed
pro ball contracts and Bob played in the minor leagues for 8 years and
played three winter leagues in Mexico.
When he was certain that the big leagues were not in his future, he returned
home and joined the Mississippi Valley Barge Line Company where he worked
his way from clerking on the boats to the position of Executive Vice President
and Chief Operating Officer.
Prior to his retirement, the company honored him by naming one of their
towboats the “Robert A. Knoke”. You may see it today working
on the Mississippi River. When the company sent him to work in Houston,
he found the two loves of his life, Kathy and her daughter Dana. After
a steady courtship of both, Bob and Kathy were married on Sept 19, 1959.
One of Bob’s goals was to live until their anniversary and he reached
that goal when he passed away on their 54th anniversary. Bob moved his
new family where the job demanded and Dana went to school in five different
states in six years. Her accents changed from Deep South to Pittsburgh’s
unique lilt. Finally, the family settled in Florissant in 1965 and they
soon found a church home at Church of The Master.
Bob served on many of the boards and committees of the church and served
twice as Moderator, but probably what he enjoyed most was the many years
that he and his friends cut the grass at the church (often sneaking a
beer on the parking lot after a hot day). Their good friends, Don and
Diane Gregg introduced the Knoke’s to the joy of jazz festivals
and over the past 25 years they travelled the country and the world, usually
with their favorite players from Michigan.
Bob’s great loves were his family, his brother Bill and sister in
law, Neva, his nephews, Bob and Bill, their children John, Jenna and Lauren,
his loving cousins Rose Mary Richmond and Melvin Heinbokel and of course
his “girls” Kathy and Dana. (Bob added a third “girl”
to his favorites a few years ago, his faithful pup “Babe”
who brought him great joy.)
Bob’s friends are numerous and he was faithful to stay in touch
with as many as possible in the years since his retirement. He was strengthened
by and grateful for the love and support he received from those friends
over the years of his illness.
He was a generous and kind man who believed that our purpose on this earth
was to care for each other. He lived what he believed.
Family of Funeral Service is caring for Robert’s family. The family
will receive friends at Church of The Master, UCC, 1325 Parker Rd, Florissant
MO. on Mon Sept 24 from 10:00 A.M. until 12:00 P.M. with Funeral Service
commencing at 12:00 P.M. PLEASE MEET AT THE CHURCH.
Evergreen Cemetery (Chester, IL) on Tues Sept 25 at 12:00 P.M.
to UCC preferred.