George J. Knipfel

Knipfel, George J.

George J. Knipfel, 79, Green Bay, passed away at a local hospital on Tuesday, June 18, 2013. He was born in Hammond, August 10, 1933, to the late Roscoe and Mary (Carlson) Knipfel.

George graduated from Hammond High School in 1951 and continued his education at the University of River-Falls before enlisting in the Air Force in 1955. On March 30, 1957, he married Janice Gaustad and together they had two children.

George proudly served in the U.S. Air Force for over 23 years. As a boom operator on a KC-135, he flew 60 combat missions over Vietnam. In 1968, he became an Air Force Recruiting Supervisor for Northeast Wisconsin and Upper Michigan, before retiring as a Senior Master Sergeant in 1978. Over the course of his career, he was the recipient of numerous commendations, including the Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Outstanding Unit Medal, Combat Readiness Medal, Air Force Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Air Force Longevity Medal with 4 Oak Leaf Clusters, NCO Academy Graduate Medal, Small Arms Expert Medal, and Vietnam Campaign Medal.

Shortly after retiring from the Air Force, George took a new position as Security and Maintenance Supervisor at Port Plaza Mall, where he was known for his boundless energy and orange windbreaker. He retired in 1998.

Over the years, George was deeply involved in youth sports, from coaching Little League and his daughter's softball team, to being an eternal presence with Janice in the stands at their granddaughters' soccer, volleyball, basketball, softball, track and field games. His love for Green Bay East sports teams continued even after his granddaughters graduations. George and Janice traveled extensively, visiting family and friends from Los Angles to Philadelphia. He was an active member of his church and an avid Packer fan.

Anyone who met George, however briefly, will remember the encounter. He was a man known for his booming voice, his wonderful sense of humor and his warm hugs.

He is survived by his wife, Janice; a son James (Morgan); daughter, Mary Louise Adrians; granddaughters, McKenzie (Marcellus) Adrians and Jordan Adrians; brothers, Eugene (Betty) and Donald; sisters, Maxine (Jim) Hurd, Janet Holcomb, Dorothea Trudgeon; many loving nieces; nephews; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law.

He was preceded in death by an infant son, James Carroll; a son-in-law, Robert Adrians; brothers-in-law, Rodney DeSmith, David Snyder, Jim Trudgeon, Bernie Jeske and Peter Gaustad.

Friends and family may call from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, June 22, at Faith Lutheran Church, 2335 S. Webster Ave. Funeral Service will be celebrated at noon at the church with Rev. Peter Speckhard officiating. Burial will be at Woodlawn Cemetery with Military Honors at 3 p.m. Online condolences may be expressed at www.prokowall.com.

The Knipfel family would like to thank Dr. Jeremy Green for years of wonderful care and the Critical Care Unit of St. Vincent Hospital for their sensitive understanding and treatment of George.

Funeral Home

Proko Wall Funeral Home
1630 East Mason Street Green Bay, WI 54302
920-468-4111

Published in Green Bay Press-Gazette from June 20 to June 21, 2013