The Obit For Bob Knoke

Robert A Knoke
(March 21, 1930 - September 19, 2012)
September 21, 2012

KNOKE, ROBERT A. , Sept 19, 2012

Passed away 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.

The Stygar 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.

Interment Evergreen Cemetery (Chester, IL) on Tues Sept 25 at 12:00 P.M.

Memorials to UCC preferred.