Dec. 30, 2018 – West Bend, WI – A Memorial Service will be held Monday, Dec. 31 for Howard “Howie” Knox who died Dec. 5, 2018.
The Rev. Howard E. Knox, 99, a resident of Cedar Community, West Bend, WI, passed from this life on December 5, 2018, due to sudden pulmonary distress. He grew up in South Milwaukee, WI, was active in church, school, and the Boy Scout program, in which he attained the rank of Eagle Scout.
He worked his way through the College of Agriculture in Madison, graduating with a degree in Soil Conservation. He played in the UW band and ran on the Track/Cross Country teams. In 1940, he was captain of the Cross Country team and earned All-American honors.
As the U.S. entered WWII, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, was commissioned Ensign on January 28, 1943, and married Pearl Bowers of Marion, WI, the next day. He served in the South Pacific on the USS Tawasa (ATF92), a fleet-towing/salvage ship, finally serving as Commanding Officer. During his two years on the ship, it was engaged in four island invasions and pulled 32 units off reefs and beaches. He attended a special salvage school in New York City and was awaiting orders when the bomb was dropped and the war ended. He and Pearl celebrated in Times Square.
Howard and Pearl were blessed with two children: John MacMurray Knox and Nancy Kay Knox. Pearl worked as a stay-at-home mother, homemaker and home economist.
Howard worked in Sheboygan County with UW Extension Service as their first 4-H Club agent until September 1952, when the young family moved to Minneapolis. There he attended Northwestern Lutheran Seminary and then served as ordained minister to the Lancaster/Potosi parish for 12 years; Director of Camping at Pine Lake Camp, Waupaca for 4 years; Gethsemane Lutheran in Brookfield for 10 years; and assistant minister to Trinity parish in Kenosha until retiring in July 1985.
Howard and Pearl moved to Cedar Community in 1988 and Howard became very involved in their programs, especially with travelogues, Music Listening and the Choristers. He also played trumpet with the River City Irregulars and alto horn in the Blaskapelle German Band. He continued to run well into his mid-eighties, representing the Kenosha and Fond du Lac running clubs. In his later years, he frequently spoke to students about his WWII experiences in the South Pacific and became the de facto bugler for memorial services and veterans’ events in West Bend.
Pearl died in December 2007. Howard is survived by son Dr. John (Karen) Knox of Mankato, MN, and daughter Nancy (David) Wellington of St. Paul, MN. Also 4 grandchildren: Dr. Kirstin Knox (Dr. Joel Yurdin) of Philadelphia, PA; Dr. Kjersti Knox (Garrett Bucks) of Milwaukee, Dr. Carl Wellington (Jenny Briggs) of Pittsburgh, PA; and Sonia Wellington (Adam Coleman) of Pittsburgh, PA. Also 7 great-grandchildren: Sarah, Zohar, Noa, Amy, Olof, Alona and Ida. At his request, Howard was buried beside his wife in Hillside Cemetery, Whitewater, shortly after death.
A memorial service and celebration of life will be held at St. Luke Lutheran Church, 4860 Arthur Rd, Slinger at 11 a.m. on Dec. 31, 2018, with Pastor Joy Mortensen-Wiebe officiating. A light lunch will follow. Memorials can be designated for Cedar Community or St. Luke’s Building Fund or a charity of personal choice.
The River City Blaskapelle will be playing during the luncheon. “Howie” was an active part of that band and could be seen around town and at events with his trusty bugle.
“I loved sitting next to Howie and driving him to gigs, we all miss him a lot,” said fellow River City band member Karen Wachholz.
Pat Otten and Mark Kandel from the River City Blaskapelle wrote, “Howard Knox has been a performing member of the River City Blaskapelle since our formation in 1986. He played the Trumpet and the Peck horn. Howie contributed countless hours of his talents over the years, but even more important than his dedication was his friendship. He touched the lives of everyone in our group and we know we speak for every member when we say his friendship enriched our lives and our organization. The Blaskapelle will go on without Howie but it will never be quite the same.”
Private burial services were held. Knox is buried in a cemetery in Whitewater next to his wife Pearl.
Below is Knox final public speaking engagement from the Veterans Day Assembly 2018 at Addison Elementary.