Melvin J. Knoerl

March 10, 1923 -

U.S. Veteran

Burial Date

Obituaries » Melvin J. Knoerl

Melvin Joseph Knoerl was born in Buffalo, New York on March 1, 1923. He was born to Lawrence and Theresa Knoerl, who owned Knoerl’s Grocery in the Lovejoy neighborhood of Buffalo.

Mel loved his family! He grew up with four siblings: George, twins Geraldine and Evelyn, and Rita. Mel was a graduate of St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute in Buffalo. He then served in the Seabees in the South Pacific from 1943-1945.

Soon after his discharge, he married Jane Frances Pernick, also of Buffalo. They had three daughters: Shirley Cane and her husband, Daniel; Cathleen Theobald and her husband, Dennis; and Patricia Johnson Knoerl and her husband, Dennis Kane. Jane and Mel enjoyed 5 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren that followed. Mel and Jane had their own successful commercial refrigeration repair business for 20 years. Mel then joined Store Fixture Services and ended his career working for TOPS Markets.

After Jane’s death in 1997, Mel moved to Vermont where he met Hilda Webster. After a whirlwind courtship, they were married and settled in their home on Crescent Lane in Montpelier. Hilda has four children: Stephen, Bryant, Debbie (Foley) and Jimmy. They, along with their spouses, children and grandchildren enriched his life immeasurably. He loved them all dearly.

Mel had so many interests that he combined with an artistic eye for impressive results. Mel did beautiful stained glass lamps and windows, oil painting, woodworking, building blanket chests, decoys, whirl-a-gigs, doll houses, SEVEN grandfather clocks, and even long-handled shoe horns. Later in life Mel took great pleasure in making and gifting his “lights in a bottle” his last simple, but beautiful craft that he took great joy in sharing.

Mel lived the last year and a half at Mayo Rehab and Continuing Care in Northfield. The amazing staff became a new family for him, where they took care of each other, bringing Mel comfort and support in the last part of his journey.

Mel had a contagious zest and love of life. He had an amazing smile that lit up any room. He was loved by all who had the pleasure to know him.

Ever the giver, Mel’s final giving gesture was to donate his body to UVM Medical School.

A celebration of Mel’s life was be held at Guare & Sons Funeral Home, 30 School Street, Montpelier on Thursday, December 22 at 4:00 pm.

In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be sent to Mayo Healthcare, Walking Path Fund, 71 Richardson St., Northfield, VT 05663.

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