ATHENS - "Some days you eat the bear; some days the bear eats you" - Dr. Charles Knouse Jr.
Charles Knouse Jr., D.O., born Dec. 27, 1950, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, died Aug. 13, 2017, in Charleston, W.Va. He was preceded in death by his parents, Charles A. Knouse Sr., D.O., and Iris Knouse.
After growing up in different parts of the country, Charles received his bachelor's degree in English from Juniata College, and graduated with his master's in speech and communications from Emerson College in Boston, Mass. He married Jacki Rice, who mothered their four children and provided support for his life endeavors. He worked in various capacities as an English teacher, communications teacher, and speech and communications coach for a variety of New England corporations.
Charles entered medical school at age 41 - already the father of two children - showing his never-ending energy for change. His professional passion for the rest of his life was researching and effectively treating cancer by non-toxic methods.
Charles lived a dynamic life filled with laughter, adventure and innovation. He was known for his incredibly creative ideas, courage to boldly move past convention to solve problems, and improving and saving lives. His contributions to society may be quietly unnoticed by most, but revered by those who were fortunate enough to have been touched by his brilliance.
Charles' greatest joy came from his children, Andrew Knouse, 28; Max Knouse, 27; Hannah Knouse, 25; and Cameron Knouse, 23. Anyone who knew him, knew his children, whether they met them or not, for Charles could not go long without talking about them with intense pride. As his children grew up, Charles excitedly provided them with supplies and endless support for their interests, which in turn led them to rich adulthoods. Growing up they were incredibly blessed to have his enthusiasm for life, spontaneous energy, perceptive thinking, eccentric ideas and, most of all, deep love. He was happiest with his family. On Mother's Day, he could be found picking wildflowers with all four kids in their rural neighborhood, singing songs like "Oh What a Beautiful Mornin," or down by the pond catching fish and throwing them back.
"Hip! hop! hoop!…" - Dr. Charles Knouse Jr.
His variety of interests made him uniquely relatable to just about anyone he met. His affable nature, curiosity and generosity made him a wonderful friend. He opened his home to friends, family and, occasionally, strangers. He shared all he had with anyone who needed or wanted it, even if it left him with little.
Charles was a master of osteopathic manipulation, prolotherapy and solving difficult health issues. He was a pioneer in cancer treatment, researching the many successful methods around the world, and combining them with his own work in immune system support. His utilization of holistic plant-based treatments combined with Western medicine led to his many successes. He often offered his services free of charge to those who could not afford it.
"Some things are just right, no two ways about it" - Dr. Charles Knouse Jr.
Charles was a particularly talented writer. He could write an exquisite sonnet over months, taking the time to carefully choose each word to portray the exact image, feeling and tone of his message. The next day he could produce a detailed manual for his latest invention, written flawlessly. His MCAT essay scored the highest in the nation the year he took the exam. He has created a myriad of entertaining short stories, riveting plays exploring the human condition and spirituality, and beautiful poems that brought both tears and laughter. He wrote a play not long before his passing that one of his children helped read at the Tuscon Arizona Playwright Association.
"Practice doesn't make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect" - Dr. Charles Knouse Jr.
Charles created and recorded stories for his children named ""The Adventures of Brother Eagle,"" incorporating them into each adventure. He then shared these tales in his children's classes at River Valley Community School. They were cherished by all who heard them. He taught middle school theatre in Arizona, directed community theatre in New Hampshire and at Northern Essex Community College, and gave many free seminars about public speaking, health and theatre. In his later years, he revisited his affinity for writing comics as he'd once done before going into medicine, imaginatively portraying life stories and issues in light and humor.
In medical school, Charles was dissatisfied with the study materials available for the medical boards. As a result, he sat for weeks in his old Saab, recording the material into a hand-held audio cassette recorder in a question/answer format. He did this for himself, but soon his fellow students borrowed them. He and his then-wife, Jack, developed his work into a successful company, Gold Standard Board Preparation Systems, and his voice continues to be heard today by thousands of medical students around the world.
"When faced with indecision, do something" - Dr. Charles Knouse Jr.
In addition to his children, Charles is survived by his sister, Thea Price, and her husband, Fred; sister, Karen Brungardt, and her husband, Larry; brother, John Knouse,;and Charles' close friends, Jay Dewhurst, Dan Dolata, Sandee and John Zivin, and Heidi Often.
If you knew Charles, you are sure to have your own stories. Whether it was the oval pool he built from scratch with a two-story wooden water slide, a gigantic explosion of fireworks in the back yard, or unusual yet effective health advice, his family hopes that you share your memories of him for years to come.
A Life Celebration Service will be held on Nov. 25, at 5 p.m., at Eclipse Company Store function room, 11309 Jackson Drive, The Plains, Ohio.
Published by The Athens Messenger from Sep. 13 to Sep. 15, 2017.