Rev. Richard E. Kneller, age 85, of Erie, passed away on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2011, at St. Mary’s at Asbury Ridge.
He was born June 5, 1926 in Scranton, son of the late Edward S. and Mildred Grieser Kneller, and brother of the late Mildred Elizabeth “Sue” Kneller; he was predeceased in June 2010 by his beloved wife of 60 years, Miriam Anne Steiner Kneller. Richard had resided in Erie since 1961 and prior to that had lived in Ridgway, Lancaster, Scranton, and Nazareth.
He was a graduate of Nazareth High School, enlisted in the U.S. Navy and became a repair electrician in the Pacific fleet in WWII. He attended the University of Notre Dame, graduated from Ursinus College and the Lancaster Theological Seminary. He was ordained to the ministry of the United Church of Christ (U.C.C.). He served as Pastor of Faith U.C.C. in Ridgway; and then as Pastor of St. Paul’s U.C.C. in Erie.
Subsequently, he was a vocational Rehabilitation Counselor in the Erie office of the PA Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services from which he served Venango, Forest, Clarion, Jefferson and Clearfield Counties. He had also been, in that office, the union steward for the Pa. Social Services Union.
Richard was a 25-year Scouter for the Boy Scouts of America, had been a Clergy Division co-chairman of United Way Campaigns and a member of an Allocations Panel as well as liaison to Meals on Wheels for the United Way of Erie County. He was a past president of Erie County Council of Churches, a member of various Council Committees, a past president of the Strong Vincent High School P.T.A., a member of the Committee for Better Schools, an officer in various capacities in Penn West Conference and Lake Erie Association of the U.C.C. and of Inter-Church Ministries of Erie County, and a very active member of Community United Church of Erie.
Survivors include his four children, Suzanne E. Kneller (husband Josh Patrick) of Vermont and their children, Samuel and Alexa, Stephen R. Kneller (wife Mary Lynne) of Colorado, and their son Malcolm, Barbara E. Kneller (husband PJ Hutz) of Oregon, and Judith A. Hodges (husband Randall) of Pennsylvania, and their children Melissa, Nicole, Randall, Jamie, Jacqueline and Julia; and the great-grandchildren. Richard is also survived by numerous friends and extended family.
Family and friends are invited to attend a Memorial Service on Saturday, Nov. 19, at 2 p.m. at Community United Church. The Rev. Richard Moyer, Pastor, will officiate. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Community United Church, 1011 West 38th St., Erie, PA 16508. The Dusckas Funeral Home, Inc., East, 2607 Buffalo Rd., is handling arrangements. To send condolences, visit www.dusckasfuneralhome.com .