Royce Dale Kniss, 90, peacefully went to be with his Lord from his home on March 24, 2017. He was born the youngest of six children on March 9, 1927 in Kalkaska County, the son of the late George and Eva (Benedict) Kniss.
Dale had an adventurous spirit, always loving travel and anything having to do with the out-of-doors. At 16 he left his home in Sigma to sail the Great Lakes on the ore freighters, eventually manning the ship's wheel. Still before turning 18, wanting to take part in the war effort, he joined the Merchant Marines and had many interesting stories to tell his family about the "Victory" ships on which he sailed. At 18, with World War II in its last months, he was finally able to join the U.S. Army, serving as a medic, and was honorably discharged as a sergeant.
After serving the country he loved, Dale returned home to marry his high school sweetheart, Ruth Doyle, on Dec. 12, 1947. Together they raised five children and were blessed with 12 grandchildren, 29 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.
He and Ruth were members of the Kalkaska Church of Christ and were devotedly married for 69 years. Dale was generous throughout his lifetime with his carpentry and masonry skills, undertaking projects for family and friends. The Kniss children recall a very loving couple, working hard together, setting an example in honesty and Christian values, the legacy of which will be felt for generations to come.
Dale worked until retirement in 1989 as foreman of the tool and die department of Wayne Wire in Kalkaska.
Dale is survived by his wife, Ruth; his children, Karen (Harold) Rooksberry, of Buckley, Janice Stewart, of Manton, Vicki Kniss, of South Boardman, and David (Mary) Kniss, of Rapid River; and daughter-in-law, Cathy Kniss, of Frederic. He is also survived by his brother, Percy Daryl Kniss, of Traverse City.
Dale was preceded in death by a son, Mark Kniss; his sister, Donna Jackson; and his brothers, Gordon, Boyd and Wayne.
Cremation has taken place according to Dale's wishes.
Memorials may be made in Dale's honor to Munson Grayling Hospice, c/o Munson Healthcare Foundation, 1150 Medical Campus Dr., Traverse City, MI 49684.
Arrangements were made by Wolfe-O'Neill Funeral Home.
Published on March 29, 2017