Robert Otto Knecht, 85, of Vernon, NJ, formerly of Whitestone, NY, passed away peacefully at the Karen Ann Quinlan Home for Hospice in Fredon, NJ on Sunday, October 16, 2022.
Robert was born in Queens, NY, to Otto and Bertha Knecht. He and Nancy Lee Knecht (nee Thumm) were married for 59 years and had four children. A genuine people person, he has many friends far and wide.Robert attended The Stony Brook School, Lycoming College, and Waterloo Lutheran Seminary, Kitchener, Ontario.
Robert was a certified safety engineer for over 40 years, working for Rheingold Brewery, ITT, Marsh McClennan, AIG, Koch Construction, and Total Safety Consultants. His career was a calling, and he worked to protect others and improve work conditions.
An active member of Holy Counselor Lutheran Church in Vernon since 1977, Robert had a sincere and heartfelt faith in Christ. He took part in all aspects of congregational life and always maintained a genuine interest in the lives of his fellow church members.
Robert was an active and enthusiastic member of the MG Car Club, Central Jersey Chapter, and simply adored his award-winning British racing green 1972 MG-B. In recent years he volunteered his time and energy on behalf of the Sussex County Democratic Organization. Robert was a licensed glider pilot. He was an avid stamp collector and a member of the American Philatelic Society. A certified EMT, he served in the Whitestone Volunteer Ambulance Corps in the 1970’s and the Vernon Township Rescue Squad in the late 70’s. Robert was also a long-time defensive driving instructor.
Robert enjoyed traveling his entire life. He learned to find the beauty in each place he visited, whether for business or pleasure and always brought back a good story. Since retiring, he and Nancy have traveled widely in the US, Europe, South America, & South East Asia. In addition to his beloved wife Nancy and his brother Christopher, Robert is survived by his children and their families: Rev. Dr. J. David & Mei Knecht and their children Beata and Paul of Springfield, NJ., Dr. Ann Marie & Sean Potter and their children Eamon, Declan, and Jesse of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Noel and Dustin Brady of San Clemente, California, and Karin & Tom Eanes and their children Marshall and Vivian of Bluemont, Virginia. The son of German/Swiss immigrants, he maintained close lifelong ties to the Kempf family in Europe. All deeply miss him and are thankful to have Robert in their life.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial donation to Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice, 99 Sparta Avenue, Newton, NJ 07860, or Holy Counselor Lutheran Church, 68 Sand Hill Rd, Sussex, NJ 07461. A memorial service will be held at Holy Counselor Church on Saturday, November 12, 2022 at 11 a.m.. Online condolences may be offered to the family at www.pinkelfuneralhome.com.