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Erwin Edward Knocke 1929 - 2019
Erwin Edward Knocke 1929 - 2019

ARKANSAS CITY — Erwin Edward Knocke, 89, Arkansas City, Kan., died Monday (May 27, 2019) at the South Central Kansas Medical Center of Arkansas City. The family will greet friends 5 – 7 p.m. Friday evening at the funeral home. A memorial service is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.  Saturday (June 1, 2019) at Redeemer Lutheran Church (Central and 3rd) Arkansas City, with the Rev. David Herald officiating.

“Erv” was born, Aug. 24, 1929, near Pawnee Rock, Kan., the son of Edward and Hilda (Kruckenberg) Knocke. He graduated from Great Bend High School in 1947 and attended Wichita State University on a basketball scholarship. On Aug. 28, 1954, he married Fern Schmidt in St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, West Point, Neb.

He began his professional career in Personnel at Boeing and in 1954, he and Fern moved to Arkansas City where was as an adjuster for the Western Adjustment Co. In 1955, he became a partner in the Anderson, Guyot, & Dumenil Insurance Agency, which later became Allied Agency, Inc. In 1986, the agency was sold to United Agency, and he continued there until retirement.

Erv was a dedicated husband, father and grandfather and was committed to serving his church and community. He was a longtime member of Redeemer Lutheran Church, serving many years as a Church Council member, Bible Class Teacher, and leader in Youth Activities and the Men’s Club. He was also a weekly volunteer and discussion leader for the Inner-Change Prison Ministry located in the Winfield Correctional Facility. 

He served as Ark City Mayor and City Commissioner (1969-1973) and was a Jaycee founding officer of the Cherokee Strip Living Museum, and a leader on the Ark City Chamber of Commerce, Planning Commission and Beautification Foundation steering committee. His community service was recognized by his receipt of the Outstanding Young Man of the Year Distinguished Service Award (1964), Ark City Chamber of Commerce Presidential Award (1986) and Corner Bank’s Community Cornerstone Award (2001).

In the 1960’s, Erv successfully organized, researched, and chaired a State Jaycee project to eliminate a household goods tax, which resulted in a Constitutional Amendment passed by Kansas voters in 1965. The tax had allowed a tax accessor to come into your home and evaluate everything in it to determine the tax you owed. For this work, he won the Kansas Jaycees Governmental Affairs Award and the National Jaycee Governmental Affairs Project award. 

Erv recognized the value of good roadways to the economy of Kansas and Arkansas City and served on a number of highway and transportation related committees and commissions including the U.S. 77 KS Highway Ass’n, Northwest Passage Ass’n, and Action Committee for S.E. Kansas Turnpike bill. Between l989 and 1997, he served two terms as Chairman of the Governors Transportation Task Force.

He also served on the St. John’s College Board of Regents, Presbyterian Manor Advisory Board, and Martin Luther Homes Board of Directors. 

Survivors include his wife Fern; two daughters, Jodi (Ed) Carlson, Olathe; Jan (Mike) Van Hoomissen, Lake Oswego, Ore.; one son, Michael (Cheryl) of Wichita; eight grandchildren – Curtis and Collin Carlson, Katie and Grant Van Hoomissen, and Erin, Emily, Ellen, and Ethan Knocke; brothers, Maurice of Champaign, Ill., and Ronald of Hot Springs Village, Ark.; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; an infant daughter, Jean Ann (Jan’s twin); two sisters, Leola Miller and Marilyn Ludwig Reinke; and two brothers, Norm and Walt. 

A memorial has been established with the Redeemer Lutheran Church, Presbyterian Manor, and South Central Kansas Medical Center Auxiliary. Contributions may be made through the funeral home. Online condolences may be made at

Funeral arrangements provided by

Rindt-Erdman Funeral Home

100 East Kansas Ave.

Arkansas City, KS 67005

Great Bend (Kan.) Tribune, May 30, 2019