Earl Edwin Kneevers, Jr. Obituary


Earl Edwin Kneevers, Jr., died Thursday, September 29, 2022 at Sharon S. Richardson Community Hospice. He was 93 years old. Earl was born in Sheboygan, Wisconsin on August 10, 1929. His parents were Earl Edwin Kneevers, Sr. and Erna Steil Kneevers. He was baptized at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Sheboygan, Wisconsin on September 1, 1929. Earl graduated from Sheboygan North High School in 1947. He earned a bachelor’s and master’s of science degrees (1951 and 1961) in music education from the University of Wisconsin. – Milwaukee. He served in the United States Army for three years during the Korean War, performing with the Fifth Army Band, participating in the first firing of the atomic cannon, and serving as a prisoner hunter. His experience of the Operation Grable nuclear test is detailed in the book, Sheboygan County’s Unforgotten. Earl was proud to serve his country in the military and made lifelong friends in service. He taught instrumental music in South Milwaukee, Wisconsin for thirty-five years, seventeen years as Principal Orchestra Director, eighteen years as Orchestra Director and also as Music Supervisor of kindergarten to 12th grade. Earl received the Hugo Anhalt Achievement Award from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee in 1966 for his contributions to the advancement of music in the state of Wisconsin. In 1986, the Mayor and City Council of the City of South Milwaukee presented him with a “resolution honoring Mr. Earl Kneevers for his contribution to the art of music in the city of South Milwaukee.” Earl met his wife, Charmaine Louise Chopp, in high school when they performed in the Music Makers Dance Band, Earl as a saxophonist and clarinetist and Charmaine as a singer. They were married on August 14, 1954, at Bethany Lutheran Church in the village of Kohler, Wisconsin. During his career, Earl served the Boy Scouts of America as an advisor for the Music Merit Badge. He served as president of Trinity Lutheran Church in South Milwaukee and also directed their choir. He was bandleader of the South Milwaukee Municipal Adult Band in addition to organizing and overseeing the orchestra, drum corps, twirler and drill team competition for the Wisconsin Spectacle of Music in South Milwaukee for twenty year. Upon his retirement in 1989, Earl became a senior umpire and field representative for the Wisconsin School Music Association. He was also named Chair for Retirees and History. Many of his press articles have appeared in Wisconsin School Musician magazine. Community service projects for Earl included serving as president of SCARTA (Sheboygan County Area Retired Teachers Association) and president of SMEA (South Milwaukee Education Association). He was also Commanding Officer of Sheboygan Falls American Legion Station #149 from 2002-2005. He was a judge for the Sheboygan Music Club Scholarship Program and Chairman of the Retiree Scholarship Committee south of Milwaukee. He has worked with people who have memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease at “The Gathering Place” located at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin. An avid reader, he was a student of conservative politics and was an active member of the Sheboygan County Republican Party. In 1998, Earl and his wife, Charmaine, published a landmark book, The Kneevers Hotel – A Sheboygan Landmark 1887-1978. Their second landmark book, The Sheboygan Socialists, was published in 2003. One of Earl’s retirement highlights was fishing with his granddaughters at the family’s “God’s Country” cabin in Three Lakes, Wisconsin. . Besides his parents, Earl was predeceased by a beloved son, Jeffrey Earl Kneevers, who died in 1964 at the age of 7, as well as his sisters, June Kneevers Becker and Barbara Teppen. Earl also had a wonderful four-legged friend named “Socks”. Earl Edwin Kneevers, Jr.’s survivors include his 68-year-old wife, Charmaine; daughter, Charyl Kneevers Zehfus of Sheboygan; son, Paul Joseph Kneevers (Katherine) of Milwaukee; cherished granddaughters, Holly Louise Zehfus, currently stationed in Oklahoma, and Lily Rose Zehfus and her fiancé Sean Devlin of Milwaukee; sisters, Norma Engeswich (John) of Delafield, Wisconsin; brothers-in-law, Gerald Chopp (Diane), Joseph Chopp (Patricia) of Eagle River; and cousins, nieces, nephews and friends. Funeral services for Earl Edwin Kneevers will be held on Saturday, October 8, 2022 at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Sheboygan at 1:00 p.m. Visitation will be from 11:00 a.m. until service time. Burial of his urn with full military honors will take place at Sheboygan Lutheran Cemetery. The Kneevers family would like to thank the kind and compassionate staff at Sharon S. Richardson Community Hospice and the wonderful staff at Terrace Place in Sheboygan. Memorials are enjoyed in Earl’s name at the Sharon S. Richardson Community Hospice, St. Mark’s Lutheran Church (Sheboygan), or the South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center. Wenig Funeral Home – Sheboygan Falls (920-467-3431) is helping the family make arrangements. Please visit www.wenigfh.com for more information and condolences online.

Posted on October 01, 2022

Posted in Journal Sentinel

service information


Sheboygan Lutheran Cemetery


St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Sheboygan

October 08, 2022 at 11:00 – 13:00


St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Sheboygan

October 08, 2022 at 1:00 p.m.


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