Harold Knepper Obituary
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In Memory of

Harold Leroy Knepper

January 26, 1922 - August 11, 2014
Obituary

Harold Leroy Knepper (92), the loyal and patriotic WWII Coast Guard veteran who devoted his life to God, family and country, picked Plant City strawberries, married his sweetheart, organized the Ocean City Wright Volunteer Fire Department, and spent a career at Eglin Field in electrical and civil engineering, died Monday, August 11, 2014, after a long twilight struggle with Alzheimer's disease. He lived in Raleigh, North Carolina at the time of his death. A child of the Great Depression whose father died when he was eight months old, he grew up hard with no brothers or sisters. Raised by his paternal grandparents, they taught him...
Harold Leroy Knepper (92), the loyal and patriotic WWII Coast Guard veteran who devoted his life to God, family and country, picked Plant City strawberries, married his sweetheart, organized the Ocean City Wright Volunteer Fire Department, and spent a career at Eglin Field in electrical and civil engineering, died Monday, August 11, 2014, after a long twilight struggle with Alzheimer's disease. He lived in Raleigh, North Carolina at the time of his death.

A child of the Great Depression whose father died when he was eight months old, he grew up hard with no brothers or sisters. Raised by his paternal grandparents, they taught him about God by reading Bible stories and taking him to church. His favorite stories were about Daniel in the lions' den and the three Hebrew men thrown into the fiery furnace. Harold learned to drive cars at age nine and wore out eight bicycles delivering newspapers. His first Florida home was a tent at Lake Placid. Later they moved to a log cabin in Homeland where he grew up.

Knepper led his family by example teaching them to serve God by taking them to church, reading the Bible, and praying with them each night. His faith in God was strong. He served as a deacon, Bible teacher, and volunteer worker at First Baptist Church in Fort Walton Beach, Florida for many years.

Having survived Marine Commando training at Paris Island near Hilton Head, SC; escorting cargo ships through the Strait of Gibraltar from Portugal to Oran, Algeria while aboard a Destroyer and later aboard an LST; then being transferred to LCI-350 dropping off scouts during Normandy invasions; kamikaze attacks while in the Sea of Japan; and other war related skirmishes in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans; Harold's faith in God was established as he survived a major typhoon near the Azores Islands. Harold told his family Normandy was "a very bad day. You couldn't comprehend it, it was so big." For three weeks, LCI-350 acted as a command ship for unloading troops on Omaha Beach. He had the privilege of serving in both the Atlantic and Pacific theaters, where he participated in the invasion of Okinawa. His best memories were that of liberating a POW camp near Wakayama, Japan and rescuing downed airmen at sea. The typhoon was the turning point of his life as he accepted Jesus Christ.

He was honorably discharged as Electrician's Mate, First Class from the United States Coast Guard Reserve on March 20, 1946, after serving in the European Theater, Atlantic Theater, Asian Theater, Occupation of Japan, and North African Campaign.

A remembrance and celebration service of Harold's life will be held, Saturday, August 16th at 11:00 AM in the chapel of Brown-Wynne Funeral Home, 1701 East Millbrook Road, Raleigh, NC.

Harold is survived by his son, Randolph Knepper and his wife, Penny, of Fleming Island, Florida; his daughter, Nancy Pearce and husband, Will Pearce, of Raleigh, NC; and three grandchildren, Nathaniel Knepper, Melinda Pearce and Justin Pearce. He is preceded by his wife of 63 years, Myrtle Lovell Knepper, and his granddaughter, Joanna Dalton Knepper.

Family will receive friends 10:00 – 11:00 AM Saturday, August 16th at Brown-Wynne Funeral Home, 1701 East Millbrook Road, Raleigh, North Carolina. (919) 876-6900.

Condolences to the family may be made at www.brownwynne.com.

Contributions may be made to Northeastern Baptist College (NEBC) in his memory at www.nebcvt.org

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"Randy, Nancy and families - my heart is with you in your sadness. We lost Mom and Dad within eight months of each other and the hurt runs deep. But what a..." Becky Kiser

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