We earlier posted notice of the death on July 13 of the death of Glen Knepper in Hillsboro, Oregon. His son-in-law, Chris Hay, has provided the following text of a eulogy from Knepper’s memorial service (edited for length):
Pops began making people smile on March 27, 1931, when he was born to Harry and Lula Knepper. Glen Lee was the fourth of their six sons. He was raised in the small dairy community of Berkley’s Mill, Pennsylvania, and grew up with humble means as his Dad supported the bustling household on a coal miner’s meager earnings during the Depression.
Dad’s strong work ethic was developed at a young age as the family grew much of their daily food in a one-acre garden. And since they didn’t own a car, those stories of having to walk three miles – one way- into town were actually true!
When he was nine, the family started attending church, partly because the pastor was willing to drive them home. He also began going to church camp where he first met Adamae.
At the age of eleven Dad committed his life to Jesus Christ, a pledge he has kept and lived for all his life.
Throughout his high school years he was not able to be involved in a lot of sports or typical school activities because he needed to work, but when he had any free time it was usually spent in the woodworking shop. In the midst of work and school, he kept in touch with Adamae through church camps and youth rallies.
In 1952 Dad was drafted to serve in the Korean War as a medic. While serving with the 38th infantry in Pusan, South Korea, he earned; the Korean medal with 2 bronze stars, the United Nations Service medal, the Medical Badge, the National Defense service medal, the ROK Presidential Unit Citation and the Good Conduct medal.
While in Korea, Dad and Mom developed their relationship via long distance love letters and during a two-week R&R he called Mom and proposed. They were married on September 4, 1954, a month after their original wedding date, thanks to Uncle Sam!
They tried to settle down into their new life in Pennsylvania, but after six different jobs in the first five months of their marriage, Dad came home and told Mom “Honey, there’s more to life than punching a time clock, I’m going to college!” so they packed up their bags and moved to Grace College in Indiana where he earned his Bachelor of Science Degree and his fifth year in education.
While attending Grace, the Kneppers helped to build up the congregation of Warsaw Community Grace Brethren Church and in 1957 J.Mark was the first to join the family, followed by Dawn in 1960, and Sharon in 1962.
Dad’s teaching career allowed the family to move frequently over the years. He developed the philosophy that “there is too much of God’s wonderful creation and too many of God’s wonderful people to see, to stay in one place very long!”
He jumped at every opportunity to teach in a new place or help a struggling church. We lived in Indiana, Michigan, Washington State, Alaska and finally settled down in Oregon.
While some may attribute his greatest accomplishments to teaching or working with such incredible success with the mentally handicapped, he would say that the most important thing he did in life was to live in the light of God’s Word and raise his children to do the same.
Dad’s attitude in life was to enjoy it, not to get hung up on all the details. At one point in Alaska he owned ‘Pop’s Appliance Repair’ and the logo was “if Pops’ can’t fix it, it’s not worth having around.” Dad never knew a stranger, but kept trying to meet one.
Even in Dad’s final, painful years and days he attempted to spread joy. One day from ICU he told Mom to “ just grab him a sandwich and a glass of milk.” All in all, he never lost sight of his purpose to reflect God’s light. In and out of hospitals for the last 15 years, he never lost his desire to share the eternal hope he had.
Pops is survived by his wife Adamae, his children, their spouses and grandchildren.