February 4, 1927 – September 2, 2019
Ben Knaub, 92, of LaSalle, CO, passed away Monday, September 2, 2019 in Greeley, CO. Ben is survived by his loving wife, Joanne Knaub; his 3 children, Starla Knaub, Rob (Kathy) Knaub, and Jill (Rusty) Dunning; his 8 grandchildren, Mick (Jamie) Madsen, Trista (Arturo) Macias, Heidi (Dave) Schleupner, Dustin (Brooke) Dunning, Collin (Natalie) Knaub, Chad Dunning, Gentry Knaub and Bailey Knaub; his 12 great grandchildren, Arturo (Kelly) Macias Jr, Sabrina (Spencer) Davis, Victoria Macias, Elena Macias, Morgan Madsen, Ben Madsen, Chase Dunning, Carter Dunning, Cooper Dunning, Eve Knaub, Elsie Schleupner, and Myla Schleupner; his sister, Marge (Leroy) Rady; his sister-in-laws, May and Jan Knaub; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Ben was born February 4, 1927 in LaSalle/Platteville, CO to Phillip and Katherine (Bruntz) Knaub. In his youth, Ben worked on the family farm until he graduated from Greeley High School in 1944. Just 2 days after graduating high school, he was drafted to serve in the U.S. Army during WWII. After leaving the service, he went to college and obtained his teaching degree at the University of Northern Colorado and later earned his Masters Degree at University of Denver. Ben had an amazing 35 year teaching/coaching career and spent 31 of those years teaching and coaching in the Denver Public Schools. He spent 11 years teaching Elementary School Physical Education and 20 years coaching and teaching at John F. Kennedy High School in Denver, CO. There he became a very well respected coach and teacher. He will be most remembered as "Coach Knaub" to all of his wrestlers. He was hired in 1966 as Kennedy High's wrestling coach where he started from scratch and built it into a conference powerhouse. Over the next 20 years, his wrestlers won 14 Conference Championships. Ben retired in 1986. In 2017, Ben was inducted into the Colorado Wrestling Hall of Fame and also into the National Wrestling Coaches Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
He married the love of his life, Joanne McKenney on June 11, 1950. They celebrated 69.5 years of marriage together. Family will be the other legacy that follows Ben. He will be remembered as a loving husband, strong and kind father, funny and incredible grandfather, and sweet great-grandfather. Family was the most important thing to him and his love for his family knew no limits. We loved him dearly. His kindness and spirit will live forever in all of our hearts.
Ben's accomplishments didn't stop when he retired. That man could not stop competing. After retiring from coaching, he spent time traveling until Ben and Jo found their 2nd home during the winters in Mesa, AZ where Ben played senior softball until the ripe young age of 85. He earned numerous Senior Softball World Series rings which he has passed down to his kids and grandkids. He also ran Track barefoot since there were no rules stating he had to wear footwear. That didn't stop him from winning countless medals which still hang on his garage wall to this day. Ben didn't get slower with age, he just kept on running and enjoying life to its fullest.
Ben was preceded in death by his parents, Phillip and Katherine (Bruntz) Knaub; brothers, Phillip, Henry, Ed, Reuben, and Oliver Knaub; sisters, Mary Hemple, Martha McQuarters, and Mollie Moser.
A Celebration of Ben's Life will be held on Monday, September 16, 2019 at Allnutt Funeral Home - Macy Chapel, 6521 W. 20th St. Greeley, CO 80634 at 10:00 am with Lunch to follow. Graveside Service is at the Evans Cemetery at 11th Ave. & US-34-Bypass at 1:00 pm.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to a Veteran’s charity of your choosing.
A Veteran's charity of your choosing
c/o Allnutt Funeral Service - Macy Chapel 6521 W. 20th Street , Greeley, Colorado 80634
Celebration of Life
Allnutt Funeral Service - Macy Chapel
6521 West 20th Street
City of Evans Cemetery
Corner of 11th Avenue and Highway 34
September 11, 2019
Coach Knaub was such a good or great man. He saw good in everyone he met. He was always positive and would give you a hand up. I was one of many kids that was a part of his team from 1969-1972. The greatest lesson he gave me was to never give up no matter what and that has carryed into my every day life.