Joseph Wayne Kneisley

Joseph Wayne Kneisley

AGE: 96 • Wilmington

Joseph Wayne Kneisley died peacefully at his home at the age of 96 on February 19, after a long battle with diabetes and infirmities of age. "Wayne" was raised in the small town of Quincy, Ohio. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and then earned a Ph.D. degree in Organic Chemistry at the University of Illinois. He married Evelyn Barchick of Chicago, a straight-A undergraduate student whom he met at the University. The couple moved to Wilmington, Delaware, where he joined Hercules Powder Company as a research chemist.

In 1950 the young family, eventually growing to 4 sons, Lawrence, Robert, James and Steven, bought a 19th century farmhouse on three acres on Duncan Road in Mill Creek Hundred. Over the years Wayne and Evelyn transformed the undeveloped farmland to family home and beautiful landscape, the property eventually being included in the annual Wilmington Garden Tour. As they re-made the property Wayne and Evelyn developed an abiding interest in horticulture, a love they enthusiastically shared with children and friends. The property's many adjacent barns and workshops were the sites of countless sports games, model airplane flying, car-repairing, and outdoor picnics for generations of children and grandchildren.

Wayne was an avid bridge player in the community, earning the rank of Life Master. Active in civic affairs, he served on the Delaware Water Resources Board. He was a strong supporter of the Boy Scouts of America, especially Troop 29 at nearly Red Clay Creek Presbyterian Church where his sons were active troop members. He was also a sports enthusiast, winning many trophies and awards in softball and volleyball.

Wayne became Director of Sales for Hercules Incorporated and retired in 1977. He then embarked on a second career spanning 20 years as a residential real estate agent. With Patterson Schwartz for most of this time, Wayne used his financial expertise and intimate knowledge of Wilmington's neighborhoods to assist a great many home-buyers as well as home-sellers.

Wayne is survived by son Lawrence Kneisley MD & Susan Perry Kneisley, grandchildren Andrew and Elizabeth, of Manhattan Beach, California; by son Robert Kneisley & his wife Michelle Limoli, grandson Michael Kneisley & Janae Kneisley, granddaughter Jennifer Kneisley, and great-grandchildren Lucy, Michael, and Emerson, of Rockville, Maryland; and by son James Kneisley, of Cashiers, North Carolina and granddaughter Anna Backus, of Alberta, Canada. Evelyn Kneisley preceded Wayne in death, due to Alzheimer's disease, in 2006. Their late son, Steven, died in 1967.

A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, March 29, 2014 at 2:00 pm, at the First Unitarian Church, 730 Halstead Road, Wilmington, Delaware 19803.


For onine condolences, please visit

Funeral Home

Chandler Funeral Homes and Crematorium
2506 Concord Pike Wilmington, DE 19803
(302) 478-7100

Published in The News Journal from Mar. 7 to Mar. 23, 2014