1922 – 2010
Joseph L. Knievel was born March 2, 1922, near Clearwater to Joseph and Mary (Thiele) Knievel. Joe was married to Theresa Funk on June 14, 1949, at St. John’s Catholic Church near Clearwater. To this union 12 children were born.
Joe and Theresa owned Knievel’s Store and established a fuel and fertilizer business at Knievel’s Corner. Theresa passed away in 1975. Joe later expanded the business to a plant in Oakdale as well as enlarging his farming operation.
On Aug. 18, 1983, he married Lucille Thramer at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Norfolk. Joe and Lucille lived in Neligh and after the sale of his business in 1997, he continued working with his farming operation. Joe was an innovative and adventurous businessman and embraced new technology both in his business and in farming.
Joe was a member of St. Francis Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus. He was devout in his faith and a strong supporter of his church. He enjoyed golfing, cars, photography, and making windmill clocks. Family and friends were well informed of the superiority of his Walker® mower and his favorite pickup “Old Faithful”. He also traveled extensively and he and Lucille enjoyed spending their winters in Mission, Texas.
Survivors include his wife Lucille of Neligh; his sons, Christopher and Chong Knievel of Lincoln, Steven Knievel of Neligh, Edward Knievel of Elgin and Paul Knievel of Omaha; his daughters, Rosemary and Lloyd Schoolfield of Omaha, Connie and Mike Dvorak of Elgin, Donna Knievel-Kamas and her husband Jim of Louisville, Ky., Katherine and Kent Fry of Ewing, Theresa and Dale Mackel of Papillion, Ann Marie Bentley and Bob Cook of Omaha, and Rita and Alan Weiss of Papillion; stepchildren, Tim and Debra Thramer of Blue Hill, Ted and Rhonda Thramer of Ankeny, Iowa, Lynn and Marc Dennis of York, Annette and Dan Bentzinger of Olathe, Kan., and Terry and Penny Thramer of Norfolk. He is also survived by his sister Josephine Thiele and her husband Chuck of Colorado Springs, Colo.; 33 grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, 12 step-grandchildren and two step- great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Theresa, his son Joseph C. Knievel, his sister Rita Croteau, and his brothers Carl, Tony, John, Henry and Bill.
Funeral services for Joseph Knievel age 88 of Neligh were held Friday, June 4, 2010, at St. Francis Catholic Church in Neligh with burial in the St. Patricks Cemetery rural Clearwater.
Pallbearers were Christopher Knievel Jr., Adam Dvorak, Alec Kamas, Tyler Fry, Kyle Knievel, and Aaron Mackel.
Honorary Pallbearers were Barrett Cook, John Dvorak, Steven Dvorak, Brent Fry, Cash Fry, Keith Fry, Noah Knievel, Joey Mackel, Nathan Mackel, Sean Schoolfield, Elijah Weiss, and Ryan Weiss.