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KNOECHEL Please Sign the Guestbook @ Jacksonville.com John Wally Knoechel lost his valiant fight against cancer in the arms of his loving wife, Diane, just two weeks before his 70th birthday on June 17, 2013 in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. John Walter Bryan Knoechel was born July 1, 1943 to Grace L. Fleming and Walter E. Knoechel in Mobile, Alabama. He grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, big brother to Judy Knoechel and Jeanne West, both of Columbia, South Carolina, who survive him. Soon after graduating from Withrow High School in Cincinnati, Wally joined the United States Marine Corps, serving his country for more than four years. He was very proud of his service in Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and at the National Security Agency in Ft. Meade, Maryland. Once a Marine always a Marine. Following his discharge, Wally graduated from the University of Cincinnati, eventually earning a Masters Degree, and began his stellar 30+ year career as teacher and elementary principal with the Cincinnati Public School District. He earned many accolades and awards as principal of Roselawn Condon School, including the National Blue Ribbon Award, and Mt. Washington School. After retiring to Jacksonville nine years ago to be near his children and grandchildren, Wally s passion for life led him to new adventures. Oil painting using the Bob Wal Ross method, kayaking the Intracoastal, surfing the waves in Jax Beach, riding his Harley-Davidson down A1A, golfing TPC, playing guitar on family camping trips and lifeguarding his grandchildren in his backyard pool are how Wally enjoyed retirement. Family always came first for Wally. His love for his children and grandchildren was only equaled by his never-ending love for his wife. Wally is survived by his wife, Diane M. Perrone, his children, Brent (Jennifer) Knoechel, Ashley (Chris) Luca, and Katie (Brent) Rewa, grandchildren, Jake and Grace Knoechel, Sadie and Luke Luca, Eden and Jude Rewa all of Jacksonville. He is also survived by his aunt Florence Knoechel, Cincinnati, Ohio, his uncle Van (Mary) Fleming, Charleston, South Carolina, the mother of his children, Ellen Knoechel, Jacksonville, many nieces, nephews, cousins, in-laws and friends all over the world. A Celebration of Wally s Life will be held on Monday, June 24 at 11 a.m. at Arlington Congregational Church, 431 University Boulevard North, Jacksonville 32211. The Celebration will continue at Marlin Moon Grille, 1183 Beach Boulevard, Jacksonville Beach at 1 p.m. Donations may be made in his honor to the Wounded Warrior Project, PO Box 758517, Topeka KS 66675 or woundedwarriorproject.org or by calling 877-832-6997.

Published in the Florida Times-Union on June 22, 2013
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