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Richard L. Kniss

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Richard L. Kniss Obituary
Richard L. Kniss SAUGERTIES- Richard L. Kniss, 74, known as Dick, of High Woods, passed away Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2012 at Benedictine Hospital. Born April 24, 1937 in Portland, Ore., he was the son of the late John and Bernice Cutler Kniss. He is survived by his wife, Diane, and their sons, Jonathan and Peter, along with their wives, Tara and Kelli, and their children Alexa, 2, Jonah, 5, and Kathryn, 8 months. In addition, he is survived by his son, Richard Manders, wife Korinne, and children Sara, Jenna, Patrick and Madeleine. Survivors also include sisters Carol Smith, and her husband George, and Karen Stensrud, and her husband Chuck, her daughter Christy Stocker, and his brother, Lewis Johnson. He is also survived by mother-in-law, Elizabeth Kilbert, brothers-in-law Michael Kilbert, and his wife, Enid, and their daughters Alicia Leva and Staci Beauchamp, their husbands and children, and Danny Kilbert, and his wife Kim, and their daughters, Rachel and Cameron. In addition, he is survived by a close-knit group of long-time local friends, along with friends, fans and admirers from around the world. Dick was a caring and fun loving husband, father and grandfather. Later in life, he loved the time spent playing and interacting with his grandchildren. He liked playing golf, baseball and tennis and was a former Little League coach with the Mt. Marion Tigers. He loved movies, watching the news and weather, science fiction, reading sports biographies and fishing. For many years, Dick was a fixture at Zena Recreation Park, where the family spent their summers. A truly accomplished upright bassist, Dick was the 4th member of Peter, Paul & Mary's trio for nearly 50 years. During the 1970's, Dick was an original member of John Denver's band, where he co-wrote the smash hit, "Sunshine on My Shoulders." Working with PP&M and Denver, Dick performed for millions around the world sharing their music, including "Leaving on a Jet Plane," "Puff the Magic Dragon," "Blowing in the Wind" and many other favorites. He also performed hundreds of times to benefit causes ranging from local Mount Marion Elementary school to marching with Martin Luther King, Jr. for civil rights issues and many other humanitarian causes. A jazz lover, Dick also performed with many legends of that genre, including Herbie Hancock and Woody Herman. The family will be holding a service Sunday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Seamon-Wilsey Funeral Home, Corner of John and Lafayette Streets, Saugerties. The family has requested that donations be made in Dick's name to Hospice of Dutchess & Ulster Counties, which provided exceptional care to him in his final months. Expressions of condolence may be shared at www.Sea monWilseyFuneral Home.com.

Published in The Daily Freeman on Jan. 28, 2012
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