Thomas Francis Knautz, age 64, went home to be with the Lord, Sept. 2, 2017. Tom lost his 8-month battle with stage IV Melanoma Cancer. He was born Dec. 27, 1952 in Dubuque, Iowa to Milo and Margaret (Dorsey) Knautz.
Tom spent his early years in Galena, Ill. When Tom was in middle school, his family moved to Orange, Texas for 2 years then returned to Shullsburg, where Tom graduated from high school in 1972. Tom also started working at the Kelly Springfield Tire plant that year and continued to work there until he was forced to retire after a stroke in 2010. In the years he worked at Kelly, Goodyear, Titan, Tom did most of the jobs on the floor, was a labor trainer and in the latter years was the Employee Involvement Coordinator. Tom was also very active in the union serving as Union Steward, a member of the board, was on the Grievance & Negotiating Committee and the Employee Assistance Committee.
Tom married Diane Herbst in 1973 and was later divorced in 1985. He has 3 estranged sons, Ryan, Corey, and Aaron Knautz from that marriage.
Tom met Patti Haas Meier and her son Jeremy Meier in late December of 1985. Tom and Patti were married in July of 1986. They were blessed with a son, John, in 1987.
In 2002 Tom decided to purchase the Warren H & R Block tax office, also purchasing the Stockton and Savanna Block offices in 2006. Tom managed these offices with the assistance of his wife Patti, son John, and daughter-in-law Tasha Meier, making it truly a family business. He was also blessed with a wonderful staff in all three offices.
Tom played ball! If you wanted to know where Tom was in the summer, check the ballparks. He played on many teams in many towns. He even went to Macon, Ga. to the Grand National’s tournament two years in a row. In the latter years he played more golf than softball. Tom was a talented horse trainer. He raised and trained Tennessee walking horses for over 20 years. Tom loved to dance to Country Music with Patti and he enjoyed hunting and fishing with his friends.
Tom believed in public service. In addition to serving his union brothers and sisters, he also coached Little League baseball, gave horse lessons at no charge, served on the Cadiz Town Board, and became a volunteer fireman on the Browntown-Cadiz-Jordan Fire Department.
Tom is survived by his wife, Patti Haas Knautz, his “son” Jeremy Meier, daughter-in-law Tasha Meier, his sons, John Knautz, Ryan Knautz, Corey Knautz, Aaron Knautz, his grandchildren, Logan Meier, Sawyer Meier, Jacqueline Meier and Charlotte Meier, his brother, Robert “Bob” (Christine) Knautz, his sisters Pam (Tom) Leibold, Linda (Elton) Fryar, plus many Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Nieces and Nephews.
Tom was preceded in death by his parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and a grandson.
A celebration of life will be held in Tom’s honor on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017 at the Martintown Community Church, Martintown, (just North of Winslow, Ill.) at 1:00 p.m. with a luncheon to follow the service in the fellowship hall. In lieu flowers, the family asks that you make a donation to the Martintown Community Church Building Fund for the new addition.