Cover photo for Wolfgang Knop's Obituary
Wolfgang Knop Profile Photo
1928 Wolfgang 2023

Wolfgang Knop

April 29, 1928 — February 24, 2023

Wolfgang Paul Rudolf Knop, 94, of Abilene took his last earthly breath surrounded by family on Friday, February 24, 2023. A memorial service giving thanks for and honoring his long and eventful life will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, March 10, 2023, at Zion Lutheran Church with Pastor Clyde Kieschnick officiating.  Interment of ashes will take place on a future date. Arrangements are under the direction of the Hamil Family Funeral Home, 6449 Buffalo Gap Road, Abilene.

Wolfgang was born the first child to Friedrich and Elisabeth Knop in Stettin, Germany (now Szczecin, Poland) on April 29,1928. His family moved to Krefeld-Uerdingen, in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, when Wolfgang was a young boy.  He attended school, was an excellent student, and grew up during the turbulent years of World War II. Shortly before his sixteenth birthday, Wolfgang was drafted into non-combat service along with other groups of students to serve as an “air force helper” with the German Air Force, manning air defense search beacons at night while attending classes during the day.

After the war, Wolfgang returned to Uerdingen to pick up the threads of his education in hopes of becoming a vocational trade school instructor.  There he met a schoolmate whom he had known since first grade, Johanna Hedwig (Hedy) Grete Reinartz—his future wife. The two dated and eventually became engaged. When Wolfgang’s father accepted a job that would take the family to Brazil in 1951, his fiancée followed, and the two were married in Sao Paulo.  During nearly fifteen years in Brazil, Wolfgang worked as an engineering draftsman in various industries, including Volkswagen of Brazil.  He and Hedy had two children and, in 1966, decided on another transcontinental move in search of a better future.  They emigrated to the United States of America and settled in Michigan.  In 1973, Wolfgang became an American citizen.  He worked as a plant and equipment engineer for the Rouge Steel Division of Ford Motor Company in Detroit until his retirement, then moved to Pennsylvania.   In 2008 Wolfgang and Hedy moved to Abilene, Texas, where they have resided since. In March of 2022 they celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary.

A skilled and talented carpenter who built several large pieces of furniture, Wolfgang also improved and remodeled the family’s two homes in Dearborn Heights, Michigan, and DuBois, Pennsylvania.  He enjoyed reading, music and history and was an avid photographer, documenting countless family outings, road trips, vacations and key events in the lives of his family.  He loved exploring new places and never stopped telling stories about his experiences whenever he had a willing audience, which was nearly always.

Wolfgang was preceded in death by his parents, Friedrich and Elisabeth Knop, and his brother Joachim Knop.  He is survived by his wife, Hedy Knop; his son Michael Knop and daughter-in-law Barbara of Michigan; his daughter Cornelia Wright and son-in-law Joe of Abilene; his sister Karin Borden and brother-in-law Robert of Andover, Massachusetts; grandchildren Dale Knop, Elisabeth Knop, and Melissa Knop of Michigan; numerous nieces, nephews, great-grandchildren, and extended family in the United States, Brazil, and Germany.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to All God’s Children Child Development Center, 2801 Antilley Road, Abilene, Texas, or to the charity of choice.

The family extends its sincerest appreciation to Dr. Victor Hudman II, MD and his staff, and to the outstanding nurses and caregivers of the Hendrick Medical Center-South Intensive Care Unit.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Wolfgang Knop, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

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Memorial Service

Friday, March 10, 2023

Starts at 10:30 am (Central time)

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