KNELLINGER, Milton E. 89, peacefully passed away on Dec. 27, 2013. Born in Warren, OH, he was a resident of Palm Harbor for 69 years having grown up in Bradenton. His mother, Julia Wallace, passed away when he was 12 years old and his father, Clarence, was a long time barber in Manatee. Milton was preceded in death by his sister, Kathryn, and his brother, John. For 67 years, he was the beloved husband of Ernestine who passed away in July of this year. He was the much loved father of Steve (Lona) Knellinger of St. Petersburg, Richard Knellinger of Evinston, Dan (Jennifer) Knellinger, and Eric Knellinger of Palm Harbor. George Henry, of Bronson, was like a fifth son to the couple. Milton was also the grandfather of Kelly Carter, Mark Knellinger, Jason Knellinger, Stacey Verkler, Bart Knellinger, Jill Schmidt, Carol Bou-Sliman and Brett Knellinger. He was loved deeply by his great-grandchildren Kaley and Emily Carter, Zachary and Timothy Knellinger, and Benjamin and Samuel Verkler. He was affectionately called grandfather by Katy Jones and Ashley Colantropo. Milton moved to Palm Harbor in 1944, after serving in the Navy during World War II where he served his country in the Pacific. He worked in the Citrus Exchange and became a citrus grower with a grove in Tarpon Springs. After working in the Post Office as a clerk and acting postmaster, he was appointed PostMaster in 1954 by President Eisenhower. He served for 17 years before assuming the duties of PostMaster in Dunedin where he served until 1990. Milton was a member of Palm Harbor United Methodist Church, a member of the Lion's Club, and was at one time the Commissioner of the Fire Department. His real passion was in coaching his sons' baseball teams which he did for many years. A visitation will be held Friday from 6-7:30 pm at Curlew Hills Funeral Home and funeral services will be Saturday, Jan. 4, at 3 pm at Curlew Hills. Please visit curlewhills.com.
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Published in the Tampa Bay Times on Jan. 1, 2014