Knell picture Web.jpg

Provided photo.

Harvey A. Knell, age 86 of Yorkville, IL passed away at his home on Saturday, November 28, 2020, surrounded by his loving family. He was born on June 27, 1934 in Crawford County, OH, the son of Myron and Toletha (Tracht) Knell.

Harvey graduated from Ohio State University with a degree in Agricultural Engineering. He then served in the U.S. Air Force where he attended Texas A & M and received further education as a Meteorologist.

On September 11, 1955 Harvey married Margaret (Peggy) Knisely, his high school sweetheart in North Robinson, OH.  The couple celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary earlier this year.

He was a longtime member of the Yorkville Congregational United Church of Christ in Yorkville, IL.

Caterpillar, Inc in Joliet and Montgomery, IL. was Harvey’s place of employment for 38 years. During that timespan, as a Design Engineer he received numerous patents for his design innovations.

Harvey also owned and operated his own manufacturing business in Yorkville that produced a variety of wire support and plant gro-light products for the greenhouse and the home gardener industry. This small business was one of his “retirement” activities and he was actively involved in its management until very recently.

A project near and dear to Harvey’s heart was the restoration of the Knell family farm in Ohio where he was born and raised. The original 1880’s farmhouse and outbuildings were all restored and there are several on going projects to be completed. The farm is currently used as a gathering place for family and friends. Harvey was very interested in the science of farming as well as  agriculture in general. On a smaller scale he enjoyed having a home garden where he raised a variety of fruits and vegetables; a sizable strawberry patch and “champion” tomatoes were featured every year. He loved to share the bounty of his garden with others.

Harvey was a loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, son, brother and uncle who will be deeply missed by his family and as well as a large network of friends and business associates.

Harvey is survived by his wife, Margaret “Peg” Knell of Yorkville, IL; his four children, Kathy (Bill) Janky of Forest, VA, Lisa Knell of Westerville, OH, Brad (Kelley) Knell of Naperville, IL, and Roger Knell of Yorkville, IL. Also surviving are six grandchildren; Jonathan (Stefanie) Janky of Charlotte, NC, Lauren (Joe) Kedra of Raleigh, NC, Natalie (Noah) Trumble of Fayetteville, NC, Tyler Knell of Chicago, IL, Andrew Knell of Chicago, IL and Caroline Knell of Naperville, IL; and five great-grandchildren; Cooper Janky, Charlotte Janky, Allie Kedra, Lennox Trumble and Zoey Trumble. Harvey has six siblings; Ruth Althouse of Roanoke, VA, Judy (Don) Smith of Bucyrus, OH, Marlene Hasen of Columbus, OH, Jeanette (Clancy) Lauthers of Lexington, OH, Lois Smith of Bucyrus, OH and  Floyd “Mike” (Marilyn) Knell of Zanesville, OH. Many nieces, nephews and cousins also survive; including a branch of ‘newly discovered’ Knell cousins from Germany that prompted mutual family visits between the U.S. and Germany which Harvey thoroughly enjoyed.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Myron and Toletha Knell and his stepmother Vivian Hart Knell.

A private graveside service will be held for Harvey followed by internment in Fairview Cemetery in Galion, OH.  A Celebration of Life event is planned for a date to be determined in 2021.

Arrangements by Nelson Funeral Homes & Crematory,  or (630) 553-7611.

(1) entry


Lisa, So sorry to hear about your father. I hope your memories of him will help you through the days to come.

Anna Braun (YHS Class of 77)

Sign the guestbook.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.