Harold E. Knaack Jr. of Harvard passed away at OSF St. Anthony in Rockford on August 15, 2023 comforted and surrounded by his loving family whom were sharing memories and lots of laughter.
He was born on September 3, 1939 in Harvard, IL to Harold and Inez (Blank) Knaack Sr. He was a graduate of Harvard High school and was a lifelong Harvard resident. On October 15, 1966 he married the love of his life, Margo (Powell). He adored her dearly. He often told his children and grandchildren that life truly didn’t start until you were married, “you need someone you can talk to, you need a partner”.
Harold served in the US Army and was a proud member of the 508th Military Police. He was known for his storytelling and sayings… “Lotta bumps in the road of life.”
He was incredibly proud of his career and work as a certified tool maker. He shared all of his knowledge and skills with all of his children and grandchildren, but especially his son and grandsons. Fishing, woodworking, and tinkering were things he enjoyed most and his love for those activities flows throughout the rest of the family.
“Learn everything you can”, something he often said that will especially stick with his eldest granddaughter, Zoe. Her love for school, books, and improving the mind she devotes to him. He was always reading and writing down new information. His love for the outdoors and adventure he passed down to his son Jeffery’s daughters (Chloe, Evelyn, and Madison). He was incredibly proud of their work in 4H and looked forward every year to hearing what they caught up north. They’ll never forget his love for oatmeal with a little dash of brown sugar.
His daughter Christine’s sons (Adam, Owen, and Robert) never failed to make him smile. He loved Owen’s jokes and his character; there was never a time when Owen was around that grandpa wasn’t laughing. His eldest grandson, Adam, appreciated every word of wisdom and every joke he had to share; Harold saw a bright future for him. His “lawn care maintenance mechanic”, Robert, took care of work around his house and kept the lawn looking pristine. Robert also had a special interest in learning all about grandpa’s tools and woodwork. Robert recently started a lawn care business, and grandpa Harold was his number one supporter. Grandpa Harold made sure to tell every single person he came across how much he loved his grandkids.
Harold always looked forward to “the evening meal” and eating anything pickled; something that he always said that tickled the entire family. He was a proud German man. Harold was a lot of things: a veteran, a military policeman, a toolmaker, a foreman, a fisherman, a handyman, a husband, a father, a grandpa, and a neighbor; but above all, he was a family man. His virtues, stories, and memories will live on with his family.
Harold is survived by his wife, Margo, children Deanna (Dale) Schmidt, Christine (Dale) Hasty, and son Jeffrey (Jessica) Knaack, a brother Gerald (Marla) Knaack, and his grandchildren, Adam, Zoe, Owen, Robert (his lawn maintenance mechanic), Chloe, Madison, and Evelyn. No words can describe how much his family and friends meant to him.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Harold Sr. and Inez.
A memorial gathering will take place on Thursday, August 24, 2023 from 11 AM to 1 PM at Saunders & McFarlin Funeral Home, 107 W. Sumner Street, Harvard, Illinois. A prayer service will follow with Reverend Dr. Allan Buss officiating.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Harold's honor to the American Diabetes Association, P.O. Box 7023, Merrifield, VA 22116-7023
Family and friends may sign the online guestbook at www.saundersmcfarlin.net.
Call Saunders & McFarlin Funeral Home for more info at 815-943-5400.