Master Chief Petty Officer John “Jack” Lee Knoll completed his last tour of duty on Sept. 17, 2020, in Lake Forest, Ill.
Mass will be held at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Punta Gorda, Fla., on Thursday, Oct. 1, at 11 a.m. Burial will take place at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 1, at Sarasota Military Cemetery, with full military honors.
Arrangements are by Roberson Funeral Home, Port Charlotte, Fla. The family held a private visitation on Sept. 24 in Lake Forest, Ill.
John passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by his family. Just like he dealt with all experiences in life, Jack managed his last few years with strength and grace, wanting to spend as much time as possible with his daughter, granddaughters and great-grandchildren. He moved to Kansas City, Mo., in November 2018.
Jack was born on a dairy farm in Beaver Dam, Wis., on Sept. 4, 1933, to the late Orrin and Rose Knoll.
He enlisted in December 1951, graduating from Great Lakes Naval Training Center in 1952. Upon graduation he was assigned to the USS Furse in the Mediterranean Sixth Fleet.
During the Korean War, Jack served on the USS Robert H. McCard where he was referred to fondly as a “Tin Can Sailor.” He was awarded a Bronze Star and many other medals. His duty stations included Japan, Okinawa, Greece, Washington, D.C., California, Texas and Illinois.
Jack was married to the late Marlene May Brown of Fort Atkinson, Wis. Jack and Marlene met at a polka dance. They eloped and married in Boston, Mass. on Dec. 13, 1952, and were married for 65 years. Marlene passed away on Oct. 17, 2018.
Jack retired from the U.S. Navy in 1974 and moved to Florida to begin a career in banking. He retired as manager for the Florida Central Credit Union, Port Charlotte, Fla., in 1998.
Jack loved sports. He participated in boxing, basketball, softball and bowling. His love and dedication to the game of golf was immeasurable. He golfed until the age of 80.
In his prime he maintained a single-digit handicap and was very proud of his four holes in one. When he stopped playing, he became a ranger, riding his cart around the course, enforcing the rules. Jack was a longtime member of the Deer Creek Golf Club in Punta Gorda, Fla.
His other favorite interests included cribbage, dancing, fishing, hunting and boating. He was an active member of the American Legion in Punta Gorda, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Port Charlotte, Fla.
Jack also was a devoted Catholic and member of the Sacred Heart Church in Punta Gorda.
Jack and Marlene were passionate about football, and even though they would cheer on the Florida NFL teams, they remained die-hard Green Bay Packer fans.
Jack especially loved his numerous Dobermans over the years and named each male “Chief.”
Jack is survived by his daughters, Cheryl “Cher” Jarosz-Leone (Kenneth Leone) of Lake Forest, Ill., and Jacquenette “Jackie” Mitchler (Richard) of Hortonville, Wis. He further is survived by five granddaughters and seven great-grandchildren.
He also was preceded in death by his son-in-law, Richard Jarosz; brothers, Gene and Robert Knoll; and his sister, Charlotte Kutzke.
Memorial donations may be made to “Bone Voyage” (BV), a not-for-profit organization located in Ajijic, Mexico. BV rescues street dogs and flies them north to the U.S. and Canada to forever homes.
Since starting two years ago, BV has rescued 900 dogs. Its mission is to save as many street dogs as possible and to help people who have saved dogs but do not have the financial means to fund them. Jack enjoyed hearing some of the stories of the lucky street dogs finding homes.
Donations can be made with PayPal to email@example.com.
Jack’s family wishes to extend our sincere and deepest thanks to Star Hospice, Freedom Home Care, Libertyville Manor, and his most beloved Benton House of Tiffany Springs, Kansas City, Mo.
“I have fought the good fight; I have finished the race; and I have kept the faith.”