April 21, 1934 – May 9, 2019
Edward Knauer was born on April 21, 1934, in East New York, Brooklyn, the second son of Yetta and Ben. A bright, brash, and handsome young man, Eddie excelled at sports and especially loved playing ball in the streets of Brooklyn. He married Arleen Stromberg when they were 18, and the young couple had their first child, a daughter, Debra, two years later. Caron followed a year later, and then Tammy four years later, Benée five years after Tammy, and two years later, the couple’s first and only son Ben was born. Arleen's younger sister, Phyllis, moved in with the family when she was 11. The growing family moved from Brooklyn to Far Rockaway near the ocean to Merrick, Long Island, and then to Howard Beach.
Ed had many mouths to feed, and he developed a strong work ethic. He became a travelling salesman in the textile business, and when an opportunity in Dallas, Texas, came up, he and Arleen took their two young daughters to live there. When they moved back two years later, Ed got a sales job at Evan Picone and then at Jack Winter, and that led to sales manager and then vice president of sales positions at Bobby Brooks, a trendy junior company. He was a self-made man and a creative marketing professional; he’d often write ideas on a yellow pad while sitting on the couch after dinner, coming up with new ways of selling his product. And he was a dynamic, charming schmoozer. When he was offered an opportunity to apply his expertise in sales to the computer software business, he did, and his upward spiral was meteoric. He was made vice president, and then partner, and then he started his own company, Knauer Consulting.
Ed worked hard and played hard. He found the time to be an affectionate, loving, caring, fun, encouraging, nurturing, devoted, and generous father. He was the proud patriarch of 5 children, 14 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. He suffered a nearly fatal heart attack one night more than 30 years ago, and he made it through a very difficult night thanks to the doctors at Beth Israel. After a couple of surgeries, he received a heart transplant 19 years ago, when he was 66 years old. He bravely fought the Lewy Body Disease he was diagnosed with 3 years ago.
Ed loved life so very much, and his exuberance and sense of humor and adventure rocked. He had a passion for travel, fine dining, wine, women, song, books, movies, opera, classical music, theater, Italy, and Italian. He even caught the acting bug when he was in his 70s and appeared in several local NYC productions. Marlon Brando had nothing on him. He lived and breathed politics and American history—MSNBC was his bible and mantra in the last years of his life.
Ed personified upbeat. He loved hearing about what was going on in his loved ones' lives. He was devastated two years ago when his older brother Fred passed away as he so looked forward to their nearly daily conversations and to hear what Fred was up to. He always enjoyed talking to his younger sister and brother, Judy and Joel. When his granddaughter Ariel asked him what he was most proud of, Ed said his family. He was so proud of his children and their partners, whom he loved and appreciated: Howard, Jeff, Silvio, and Merrit. He was such a devoted grandfather. He was the greatest and most loyal fan of his grandchildren, cheering them on, telling them they could achieve anything they dreamed of and set their minds to, and never missing their events. Lonn, Ariel & Lou, Sophia & Doug, Peter, Laura, Meredith & Tosh, Tina, Jesse, Elizabeth, Renny, Natali, Adriana & Dani, Jake, Andrew, Liam, Liev, Madison, Parker, Alyssa, Zuri, and Jordan were the lights of his life. Ed Knauer was deeply loved by his family and fiercely loved them back. A dynamic and loving man, he will be very much missed by all who loved and cherished him.
Lewy Body Resource Center
750 West Broadway Suite 2R , Long Beach, New York 11561
- Memorial Service Sunday, May 12, 2019
May 19, 2019
For Grandpa, Part II
I live across the country, so I didn’t get to see him as much the last several years. The second to last time I saw him, was last year in March just before Ariel’s wedding. He was in the hospital, and I was there when they told him he wouldn’t be able to attend the wedding. There was a moment of deep sadness, he wanted so badly to be there and to celebrate with his family. Then, his eyes lit up and he joked “does this mean I don’t have to get a gift?”
The last time I saw him was several months ago in December. He was really having trouble with his eyes at this point. I introduced him to my girlfriend, and he told her how beautiful she was, how she resembled some actress from the 70’s. Of course, he was facing the wrong direction when he spoke to her and could barely see her. But that was Grandpa. The same man to the end, ever the charmer.
May 19, 2019
For Grandpa - Part I - Love, Peter
Grandpa had over 21 grandkids and great-grandkids. It’s clear we all share the same impression of him; he was generous, loving, caring, knowledgable, playful and funny, curious and attentive to us and our interests.
There are so many memories of Grandpa, but when I think of him, I think of him dancing. He had this unique, sort of shuffle-step-tap-dance, a mix of Fred Astaire and Muhammad Ali clowning around in the ring.
I remember this one time, at my father’s 60th birthday party at the restaurant Arte, Grandpa was dancing. Now, there was no dance floor at this event. Just tables and chairs. But he used the crowded space as his own personal stage. He kept doing this move, where he would dance, and then slowly lift his leg and swing it over the back of a chair, while everyone laughed and encouraged him. He’s in his 70’s at this point!
I’ve tried this move, as a man in good shape in my 30’s, and I can’t do it with quite the same style, grace and vaudevillian precision in which he did it… over and over. All eyes were on him as he entertained the room.
Grandpa was a fighter, throughout the years, through the heart transplant, all the way to the end. Perhaps the greatest compliment I could give the man, is that never once in my life did I see him in a bad mood. This is the truth, no exaggeration. I never witnessed him angry, or upset, or frustrated or raising his voice. He always maintained his humor and charm. For anybody, this is impressive. For an old Jew, it’s unheard of.
Ariel Stengel Garay
May 15, 2019
Grandpa Eddie was funny, handsome, smart, and exceptionally loving. He was the grandfather for all ages. Goofy when I was little and now as an adult he couldn’t wait to talk to me about politics, my job, my travels, and my new family. I’m so thankful he was able to meet his great granddaughter Zuri several times.
Some men are natural fathers and he was one. It is evident in this amazing family that he created, one that I am so grateful to be a part of. We are dedicated, loving, and kind.
I interviewed Grandpa two years ago and when I asked him what he is most of proud of, this was his response:
The family. The fact that it adheres the way it has. And stuck very much together. This thing that I'm going through now, who knows if I'll survive, I probably won't, but they're there as though I have 25 years more to live. Very unusual. I don't think you find that in most families.
May 14, 2019
My grandpa Ed meant the world to me. There wasn’t one day of my life that he wasn’t there for me. From banging on the plexiglass at my soccer games screaming Ren man to every time I scored a goal to arguing with the refs on bad calls, he and my dad got thrown out of more than a few games. He got me through all of my surgeries, pushing me to walk when all I wanted to do was stay in bed, never letting me feel sorry for myself. I can still hear him running his lines for his community theatre practicing his Italian and even singing at my bedside. This past January when I had my last surgery, Grandpa made sure my uncle Ben drove him into the city to NYU to see me even though the disease had already almost taken everything away from him. He wheeled up to bed and held my hand. I’ll never forget that.
My mom and dad loved him so much. They loved the Saturday adventures they had with him for years. He was the first person my mom called when something exciting happened at work. Up until 8 months ago she and he started every day together on the phone at 6 AM discussing Morning Joe and railing about Trump. When my mom was suffering from a medical problem and very depressed, Grandpa went with her to all of her doctors' appointments, and together every night they watched Modern Family over the phone cracking up and discussing every great line and every character. He loved Gloria the best. He was my dad's father for 30 years and my father is forever grateful. He fought till the end and was the ultimate champion. He never gave up. And he’ll continue to inspire us to do the same. Thanks for the memories, Grandpa,
I love you.
May 14, 2019
Grandpa, grandpa do the faces - the first thing I remember saying almost every time I saw him. What faces he would say, and immediately get stoic before his dramatic act of dualling emotions. I never knew why, but it was one of my favorite things he did. That, along with yelling at my umps, Jesse's referees, or anyone who got in the way of showing off his grandchildren. He loved us all so much.
More than us even, was his love for his children who made us. Through all the ups and downs in his life, and his family, he never wavered in his support. He never let anything keep them apart, and always modeled how to keep the laughs through the tears.
It even became almost a perfect representation of the terrible disease that took his mind and body away from us. Through the wave of a shaky hand, everything could change in a moment. That was the hardest thing to watch and deal with, especially for his children who were there for him every single second, also jumping from laughs to tears.
My mom, Tammy, reminds me of who he was to so many people. Daddy, Gramps, Slick Ed, Fast Eddie. My grandmother Pearl, my dad's mom, even remembers her canasta friends in Howard Beach talking about handsome Mr. Knauer- long before they would become in laws. He was so important to my mother through the love, warmth, and confidence he instilled and also to my dad who he loved never babied him in his last few months.
Those faces, I realize I loved so much, because they were a life lesson themself. We can never know what will affect us, how and when, and yet there's always the reminder of what can be on the other side of a tough day or an amazing week. We can always get through it, and wave that shaky hand to shake it off. Thank you Grandpa for your positivity, your love, and perseverance - and passing it all off to all of us.
May 14, 2019
Ed K and His Olympic Flames
Here's a picture of our loving, wonderful dad and his five adoring children after we had lunch at the Olympic Flame Diner.
May 12, 2019
Dear Ben - I'm so sad to hear that Ed passed away Thursday. He was my mentor, partner and such a good friend. In such a competitive world of consulting he was always a tough, insightful competitor, but also very fair and ethical in his business dealings. I learned so much from Ed and have to say the first year we were in business together (with Tammy) was so invigorating, exciting and fun. Unfortunately his heart attack dulled our momentum but we still had a great run until the business was sold to On-line Software. All of our children Kevin (1 son Zach), Peggy (son Atri and daughter Asha), and Michael (one daughter Josephine) fondly remember Ed for his generosity and famous Holiday parties.
Please pass along our condolences to your sisters and families for us. He lived a great life and we were blessed to know him.
May 11, 2019
I will always remember my grandfather as lovingly loud and energetic! When I was younger, He was my biggest fan at all my sporting events whether I played golf, softball, tennis, or swimming he followed all of them and kept up with my stats. He was also the first one to yell at the ref or ump if there was a bad call - he was never afraid of the consequences. He took me shopping, picked me up from the city for sleepovers, and always wined and dined his family at the best Italian restaurants. As I got older he became my biggest fan with all my baking and chocolates. No matter what I made he tried it and gave an honest opinion, even if I didn’t ask for “honesty”. He was a bottomless pit when it came to the sweet stuff. The best gift in life I could have ever given my grandfather were his two special great-grandsons. So silly of me to think that he was my biggest fan...the amount of love, support and encouragement he showed Liam and Liev was a once in a lifetime experience. I’m so fortunate and blessed that I grew up being spoiled by my Grandfather and it’s been just a joy to see my boys gain the same loving benefits from this man as I did. Even before he died we talked about him often. We miss him so much already and know no matter where he is, he’s following all of our “stats” in life and will remain our biggest fan. We love you great-grandpa.
Carol and Joseph Amaral
May 11, 2019
I have known Ed Knauer since i was a little girl, 12 years old. I became best friends with his daughter Debbie. I spent many times at the Knauer residence with the family including Ed during those years. He was always so kind to me, generous, devoted to his family and lots of fun. All the girls in our group were amazed how good looking he was too! He worked for a clothing company back then and he dressed Debbie in clothes that were the envy of all of us. Great style! Fortunately my friendship with Debbie and the family continues to this day, 53 years later. Every time I would see Ed over the years, he was so warm and caring, always very interested in what was happening in my life. He was a great person to talk to.
Ed was a great man, great personality and will be missed. Rest in peace!