Charles P. Knopp, 91, of Winona, died Tuesday, August 31, 2021, at his home. He was a life-long resident of Winona. He was born on July 8, 1930, at home, to Paul and Agnes (Masyga) Knopp. After graduating from WSHS, he enlisted into the Marines during the Korean conflict. After being in the Marine Corps for three years, he enrolled into WSU and received his teaching degree. After teaching for a short time, he became a plumber for Local Union 6 until he retired.
He married Sherrie J. Schultz on August 12, 1961. They had five children.
Charlie was a veracious reader and enjoyed solving crossword puzzles. He also loved poetry, listening to many different types of music, spending time with his family, going for car rides, nature, walking out at Prairie Island, swimming at the YMCA and sharing a beer with family and friends.
He will be greatly missed by his family and many friends. His calm, caring demeanor and all his wonderful conversations and stories will be missed. Charlie was a great listener and never boasted about himself. All who knew him knew how special he was and enjoyed his company.
Charles was a member of the Red Men’s Club and a lifetime member of the VFW and St. Mary’s Catholic Church.
Charles is survived by his wife of 60 years, Sherrie; daughters, Nancy Knopp and Jennifer (Knopp) Thompson; sons, Bill Knopp and John Knopp; son in-law, Brian Thompson; granddaughter, Olivia Thompson; sister, Pauline (Knopp) Hernandez; sister and brother in-laws, Bill and Mary Schultz, Janice Heller and Gregg and Nancy Radefeldt; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; infant son, Charles; five brothers; and two sisters.
There will be no funeral per his request. The family will have a gathering at a later date.
The following letter was written by Charlie’s sister-in-law, Nancy Schultz-Radefeldt and was given to him on his 90th birthday:
What I Know About Charlie (Charles) Knopp
There he is sitting at the head of his dining room table. It’s Christmas (you name the year). He’s the anchor at the table and Nancy, his eldest, is at the righthand side. Sherrie’s family and Charlie’s are seated around the table, elbow to elbow, waiting for the wonderful dinner to be passed. This is at the top of my favorite memories at Charlie’s house. Gregg always enjoyed the after-dinner, lively debates and conversations with Charlie. His knowledge of so many subjects comes from his love of reading, especially history and crossword puzzles. I can see him now, standing at his big front window that looks onto Gilmore Avenue, his American flag blowing in the wind, paging through the large dictionary that he keeps on a pedestal. I’m sure those pages have a little wear on them from all his thumbing. Another image I have of Charlie is his willingness to tackle the large amounts of dishes after dinner. He was always at the sink, scrubbing away until they were all done. His sister, Margaret, was there also helping with the cleanup. Sherrie deserved a good rest after the huge dinner she put together, and Charlie made that happen. Christmas was definitely one of my favorite memories of Charlie and his generous hospitality.
Another memory that really stands out for me and a surprising one also, was a visit to Jenny and Brian’s house for Charlie’s 87th birthday. We had finished dinner, and Olivia played the piano for us. After she had finished Nancy sat down and gave us a song or two, then Charlie joined her. I had never heard him play the piano before, and he was good. It was great to see that side of him – what a talent. To continue our concert, I played a duet with Nancy, then Olivia played her flute, then Brian got out his trumpet. Olivia and Brian did a duet also. What a great afternoon with family and to celebrate Charlie’s birthday.
We are really lucky to have Charlie in our family. His lifetime accomplishments are teacher, plumber, gardener, beer and wine lover, bread maker, puzzle solver, historian, avid reader, walker, swimmer bicyclist, cook, bottle washer, pianist and most important husband, father, brother in-law, brother and friend.
We love you, Charlie! Happy 90th Birthday! Gregg and Nancy.