Niles mourns loss of Bob Knoll, 77, friend, long-time councilmember

By By JAN GRIFFEY / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- Long-time Niles residents, particularly those involved in city politics and city government, today mourn the loss of Bob Knoll.
Knoll, 77, died Wednesday after a lengthy battle with cancer.
Funeral services are Monday at 11 a.m. at St. Mark Catholic Church in Niles.
Friends may call Sunday from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. at Halbritter Funeral Home. The Rosary will be recited at 8 p.m.
Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery.
In particular, Eycleshymer mentioned Knoll's tireless efforts to shore up what was once and ailing Southwestern Michigan Community Ambulance Service.
Patricia Gallagher, who serves as a first ward city council member, remembers fondly working with Knoll on the city council.
Ruth Harte, who has served as Niles' city clerk since 1989, said Knoll followed his conscience.
Robert Andrew Knoll was born Dec. 20, 1925, in Buchanan. On May 8, 1954 in St. Mary Catholic Church in Niles, he was married to Mary Jean Dickey, who survives.
Knoll was a lifetime area resident, graduating from Niles High School in 1948. In 1986, after 40 years as a pressman, he retired from Simplicity Pattern Company.
Knoll was a member of St. Mark Catholic Church and supported his community by serving on a number of boards and as a volunteer for various nonprofit organizations.
He served on the Niles Park Board for a number of years and then was elected as a Third Ward City Council representative from 1974-1995.
During his last term, he was mayor pro-tem.
Two major projects which Knoll proudly helped establish are the three city parks along the St. Joseph River and the Southwestern Michigan Community Ambulance Service (SMCAS).
He served on the boards of the Twin Cities Federal Credit Union and the Adult Literacy Council.
He and his wife Mary were active volunteers for the American Red Cross, the Fort St. Joseph Historical Association, and their parish, St. Mark Catholic Church.
Survivors include his wife, Mary; a son, Andrew Knoll of Wilmington, N.C.; a daughter, Ann M. of South Bend, Ind.; two grandchildren, Michele E. and Gerald A.; two brothers, Jack E. and Charles I.; a sister, Bernadette Spoerl, all of Niles. He was preceded in death by a daughter, Barbara L. in 1983, and four brothers, William G., Thomas E., Gerald W., and David M.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Berrien County Cancer Service or to St. Mark Catholic Church.

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