Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 5, 2008
Charles Herman (the German) Knippel, a young 82, of Austin died on Oct. 2, 2008 at St. Olaf Hospital in Austin.
Chuck was born on June 1, 1926 to Herman (another German) and Helen Knippel in Hayfield, Minn. He was married to Lila Marie Tiller on Aug. 30, 1950 in Dodge Center, Minn. Lila grew up on a farm in the fine town of Kenyon, Minn., just a stones throw from Dodge Center and Hayfield. They lived in Austin for 58 years.
Charlie was usually ahead of the game in life. He was talented in many areas, selling nutri-bio vitamins in the 1950s. He was an auto mechanic and owned front-wheel drive cars such as a 1970 SAAB. He was a great gardener and a good shot for hunting pheasants. He sold Amzoil in the 80s. He had solar panels on his house in the 70s. He had a good “horse-sense” and taught his children well. He trained the family dog “Tubby” to hunt pheasants. Charlie was a merchant marine veteran of World War II. He believed in chiropractic treatment in 1950s (the amazing Dr. Schaub). He worked hard at Hormel for 32 years, provided for a family, loved to talk to neighbors and strangers and could teach most anyone how to drive and shift the “three on the tree” (remember the H). If he wasn’t fishing or hunting, he was “fixing stuff.” Since his father was a mason, he could always mix up a mean batch of cement. If painting the famous white picket fence wasn’t just right, you found out immediately. He enjoyed looking for agates in a rock pile. He built perfect campfires for hot dogs and marshmallows. Besides having an “old car” in the driveway, he owned a two-speed 28-inch newspaper bicycle and a “chicken-powered” two-cycled, front whee- driven motor for a bicycle. His kids were thrilled when he gave rides on his “Wizard” motorbike. How about the underwater paddle machine in East Side Lake? Fireworks were in his blood. Charlie told his kids, “honor your mother.” Winter sledding and tobogganing were fun, he went down Skinner’s Hill when he was 79 years of age. All of his trees were “grafted” with other varieties of trees and apples, the crab-apple tree had five different apples on it. We always had sling shots made from an annual tree trimming. All of his tools must be cleaned and oiled. His mechanical senses include plumbing, appliances and electrical repair. His allowances to the kids were most generous, he loved his wife and was a great dad.
Survivors include his wife, Lila (Tiller) Knippel; children, Ross (Mary) Knippel, Half Moon Bay, Calif., Craig (Teri) Knippel, Austin, Sue (Grant) Walsh, Petaluma, Calif.; four grandchildren, Tess Knippel, Kurt, Stephanie and Andrea Walsh; two step-grandchildren, Tommy and Lindsay Roberts; brother, Hilbert Knippel, Faribault; sister, Helen Paulson, West Concord; sister-in-law, Louise Knippel, Owatonna; brother-in-law, Del Paulson and nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by brothers, Floyd, Clifford, Eugene and sister, Joyce.
A memorial service will be held on Monday Oct. 6, 2008 at 11 a.m. at Clasen-Jordan Mortuary Chapel with the Reverend Ron Barnett officiating and music by Neal Erickson. Visitation will be held from 4-7 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 5, at Clasen-Jordan Mortuary and on Monday for one hour before the service. Interment will be in Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Wanamingo, Minn.