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Donald Wilson Knoepfler


1931 - 2012 Obituary Condolences
Donald Wilson Knoepfler Obituary
Donald Wilson Knoepfler died peacefully at his home in Williamsburg on Jan. 2, 2012. His warmth and wry wit will be remembered and missed by his family, colleagues, friends, and hundreds of former students.
He was born in Sioux City, Iowa, on Sept. 18, 1931, the son of Karl John Knoepfler and Corinne Record Knoepfler. He was preceded in death by his parents and his brothers, Robert J. Knoepfler and James C. Knoepfler.
Donald is survived by his wife of 40 years, Annette Robinson Knoepfler; and their children: Karl Knoepfler and his wife, Janice, and children, Karlie and Allie, of Omaha, Neb.; William Doughman and his wife, Nancy, of Albertville, Minn.; Carol Knoepfler of Omaha; James Doughman and his wife, Heej Ko, and children, Ryan and Alexander, of Wilton, Conn.; Thomas Doughman and his wife, Lori, and children, Mariah and Hannah, of Sherwood, Wis.; Amy Knoepfler Vinton and her husband, Brian, and children, Margaret and Katherine, of Gibbon, Neb.; Sarah Knoepfler of Omaha; and Robert Knoepfler and his wife, Tawnya, of Duluth, Minn.
At age 8, Donald moved to Iowa City, Iowa, and graduated from City High and the University of Iowa, with degrees in speech and dramatic arts. He was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity and was the "voice" of the University of Iowa Marching Band and Scottish Highlanders. During the Korean Conflict, he served as an Air Force officer in the 680th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron. In 1953, as a television director, he helped put WMT-TV, the first eastern Iowa television channel, on the air in Cedar Rapids.
He then began his career as a professor of communications, teaching at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Oregon, the University of Minnesota, Indiana State University, and the University of Iowa. After a 24-year tenure at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, where he also held the post of chairman of the Department of Communication, Donald retired in 1996. His work in the classroom and television studio was especially innovative and creative, and he gave generous counsel to generations of students.
Donald was a printer of hand-set, limited edition books, and the proprietor, along with his wife, of The Buttonmaker Press. He was particularly proud of his edition of an original Mark Twain manuscript, "The Quaker City Holy Land Excursion," which was the basis of "Innocents Abroad." Donald designed and printed on 19th century antique presses, including an 1843 Columbian press, which was later donated to the University of Iowa Center for the Book, and which is on permanent display in the university's main library.
After retiring to Williamsburg, he became an active member of Bruton Parish Church, where he was a lay reader. He was also a volunteer interpreter with the Jamestown Rediscovery Archeological Project.
Services will be held at Bruton Parish Church on Saturday, Jan. 14, at 2 p.m. A reception will immediately follow at the Bruton Parish House. Interment will take place at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28, at Oakland Cemetery in Iowa City. Memorials may be made to Bruton Parish Church, 331 Duke of Gloucester St., Williamsburg VA 23185; or the University of Iowa Foundation, Center of the Book, 1 West Park Rd., Iowa City IA 52242.
Bucktrout of Williamsburg Funeral Home and Lensing Funeral Home of Iowa City are in charge of arrangements.
Condolences may be registered at www.bucktroutfuneralhome.net or www.vagazette.com.
Published in Virginia Gazette from Jan. 7 to Feb. 7, 2012
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