Theo "Mr. New Berlin" Knust (1911 - 2014)

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Theo "Mr. New Berlin" Knust, 102, of New Berlin, died at 8:15 a.m. Sunday, June 1, 2014.

Theo was born Aug. 2, 1911, in New Berlin, the son of Theodore W. and Sadie Fromme Knust. He married Ruth Lee on June 4, 1935, at St. Mary's Rectory in New Berlin, and she preceded him in death on Sept. 12, 2008.

Theo is survived by one son, Tom Knust of New Berlin; five grandchildren, Suzanne (Tim) Berry, Nancy (Jim) Blankenship, Dan McGuire (Carla Albert), Janet McGuire (Danny Johnston), and Tracy (Chad) Formea; and five great-grandchildren, Aaron and Ian Berry, Emma Blankenship, and Reagan and Cooper Formea. He was preceded in death by his parents and one daughter, Dorothy McGuire.

Theo was a diehard Cubs fan since 1920 and a Chicago Bears fan. He owned the New Berlin Restaurant from 1933-1952, after which he became co-owner of New Berlin Shell Service Station from 1952-1974. He was a dedicated supporter of New Berlin Pretzel Athletics. He was inducted into the New Berlin Sports Hall of Fame and held the one-mile record at New Berlin High School for many years.

Theo spent 16 years on the New Berlin Village Board and was a grand marshal for the New Berlin Homecoming Parade. He volunteered at the Sangamon County Fair for more than 60 years. He attended the Kentucky Derby for 76 years and was named a Kentucky colonel by the governor of Kentucky. Theo was a past president of the New Berlin Men's Community Club and was a Knights of Columbus member for 72 years, over 50 of which were with New Berlin K.C. 4372, serving as grand knight, and he was inducted into the K.C. Hall of Fame. Theo donated chicken dinners to Pretzel basketball teams for 15 years following post-season play.

Funeral Mass will be 11 a.m. Friday at St. Mary's Church, 404 E. Birch, New Berlin, with the Rev. Msgr. John R. Ossola, celebrant, and Fr. Angel Sierra, concelebrant. Burial will follow at St. Mary's Cemetery. Family will receive friends 3-8 p.m. Thursday at McCullough-Delaney & Butler Funeral Home, 714 E. Gibson St., New Berlin. A prayer service will be held at 5:15 p.m. Thursday. Cubs and Pretzels attire is welcome. Memorial contributions may be made to: St. Mary's Catholic Church, 404 E. Birch, New Berlin, IL 62670.

Condolences may be left online at
Funeral Home
McCullough-Delaney & Butler Funeral Home
714 East Gibson Street
New Berlin, IL 62670
(217) 544-4646
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Published in Jacksonville Journal-Courier on June 5, 2014
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