Walter H. Knippelmeyer - March 07, 2013
Walter Heinrich Friedrich Knippelmeyer, oldest of three sons of George and Hulda (Geyer) Knippelmeyer, was born June 6, 1921 on the family farm near Humboldt, Nebraska. He was baptized July 3, 1921 and confirmed April 5, 1936 at St. James Lutheran (Long Branch) Church in rural Humboldt. Walt attended Greenfield School near his home.
Walt entered the U.S. Army on June 13, 1942 during World War II. He served with a tank destroyer outfit in the European Theater. Medals awarded to Walt included the Purple Heart, Silver Star and Good Conduct. After his honorable discharge on October 31, 1945 he returned to rural Humboldt.
On November 20, 1945 Walter was united in marriage to Arleen Volker at Long Branch Church by Rev. Bentz. Their union was blessed with three children: Linda, Lavon, and Kevin. They made their home on farms in the Long Branch and Johnson, Nebraska areas until 1974, when the couple moved into Johnson.
After retiring from farming in 1973, Walt held various jobs in Nemaha County. He drove a school bus for Johnson-Brock Schools for two different periods of time, and worked for Tri-Co Builders/Harmony Homes for many years. He was a general handyman around the Johnson area, mowing many lawns including Long Branch church and cemetery. Walt was widely known for delivering the Lincoln Journal Star for 28 years up until the time of his death.
As a lifelong member of the St. James Lutheran Church, Walt served the church in many capacities, including on the church council several times. He loved to go dancing with Arleen, and drove his original Farmall F20 in area parades for years after restoring it. Walt was always tinkering with things, working on wood projects, or tending to his flowers. A favorite pastime was “going uptown” to visit with folks, and he rarely missed activities that his grandchildren and great-grandchildren were involved in.
After suffering a heart attack in Johnson, Walter was admitted to the Nemaha County Hospital in Auburn. It was there he passed away, with family around him, on Thursday, March 7, 2013 at the age of 91 years, nine months, and one day.
He was preceded in death by his wife Arleen; son and daughter-in-law Kevin and Pat; brothers and sister-in-law Eugene and hazel Knippelmeyer; Erhardt “PeeWee” Knippelmeyer; sisters- and brothers-in-law Elvera and Emil Bohling, and Norma and Raymond Gobber.
Walter is survived by his daughter Linda Neil and husband David of Lincoln; son Lavon Knippelmeyer and wife Joan of Johnson; grandchildren and spouses Russ Neil and Lisa Adams; Rod Neil and Ashley of Loveland, Colo.; Justin Neil of Lincoln; Jason Knippelmeyer and Stacy of Cook; Travis Knippelmeyer and Janelle of Johnson; Holly Hawley and Eric of Brock; great-grandchildren Jonathan, Hannah, and Jacob Neil; Ryker and Kaidyn Neil; Dalton and Laney Knippelmeyer; Natalie and Kasie Knippelmeyer; Zachary, Tate, and Cooper Hawley; sister-in-law Maxine Knippelmeyer of Auburn; nieces, nephews, and many, many friends.
Funeral services were Monday, March 11, 2013 at St. James Lutheran (Long Branch) Church near Humboldt, officiated by Rev. Eric Spruth-Janssen and Rev. Catherine Burroughs. Carolyn Hahn was organist for congregational hymns.
Pallbearers were Russell Neil, Rod Neil, Justin Neil, Jason Knippelmeyer, Travis Knippelmeyer, and Eric Hawley. Honorary bearers were Holly Hawley, Lisa Neil, Ashely Neil, Stacy Knippelmeyer, and Janelle Knippelmeyer. Holly Hawley and Vicki Erisman served as flower attendants.
Burial followed in the St. James Lutheran Cemetery, with graveside military honors by American Legion Post #330 of Johnson and the Nebraska National Guard Honor Guard.
Services were entrusted to Hemmingsen Funeral Home of Auburn.