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Obituary for Philip W. Knuf
Philip William Knuf was born in Cadott, Wisconsin on January 21, 1934. He lived the life of a curious country boy and hard-working farm hand - thus his early love of animals, plants and nature in general. After high school he enlisted in the army and in anticipation of being stationed in Germany, took language courses in order to learn the native tongue of his ancestors. Next stop for Phil was UW-River Falls where he majored in Biology, but more importantly, met the love of his life, Marilyn. After convincing her to marry him, they found their first teaching jobs in Elkhart Lake, WI - and shortly after, were hired by the Osceola, WI school district. By this time they had 3 kids and were happy to become fully immersed in the community. To keep himself even busier, he enrolled in grad school and earned his Master's degree - which meant he had a great excuse to keep quite a menagerie of creatures at the house - pet snakes, rabbits, mice, guinea pigs, chickens, frogs, etc. And then came child #4 - and a new teaching job in Frederic, WI where he would live the rest of his life. He retired originally from teaching in 1977 and he and Marilyn bought the Sears catalog store. But years later he realized he missed teaching - and found the perfect job running the Students at Risk program and then substituting in Frederic.
Phil loved everything related to the outdoors. He taught a conservation class long before environmental issues came to the forefront. When camping with other families, he was the one who would volunteer to bring the kids fishing or hiking - he could name everything in the forest, and if he didn't know the name, he made one up. And he could fix ANYTHING. His hands were always greasy - because he always had something to fix for someone.
When Phil became a grandpa, he could not stop smiling. Those grandchildren could do no wrong. Even a nail through his hand when hammering away in his workshop didn't discourage him.
Phil's contributions to the community are too long to list but included Sunday School teacher and Superintendent, lifelong Lions Club member, village government, American Legion, volunteering for countless committees and mentoring many young people. He was both brilliant and humble, kind and creative, and had an amazing sense of humor.
Phil loved to bowl, fish and hunt, garden, play cards, putz around in his basement workshop and entertain his kids and grandkids with stories of his past (real or not, we never knew).
Phil was preceded in death by his parents and by his beloved wife, Marilyn. He is survived by his children, Linda (Ric), Sara (Jim), Jeff and Scott, as well as his grandchildren, Mckenzie, Lauren and Alex West, Katie (Tyler) and J.J. Mellinger and Frankie Knuf. Also mourning his loss are siblings, Evelyn, Mark, Reuben (Joyce), Caroline (Roger), Verna Jean (Ron) and Anita (Hugh). Many of Phil's nieces and nephews, as well as Marilyn's family members will miss him.
Memorials can be directed to Pilgrim Lutheran Church, the Frederic Lions Club, or alz.org.
A Memorial Service will be held at Pilgrim Lutheran Church, 507 Wisconsin Ave. N., Frederic, WI on Saturday, August 20, 2016 - visitation will begin at 10:00 a.m. followed by the service at 11:00 a.m.
We invite you to sign the online guestbook to leave memories and photos. Rowe Funeral Home in Frederic, www.rowefh.com , 715-327-4475, and the Northwest Wisconsin Cremation Center in Milltown, www.wicremationcenter.com , 715-825-5550.