Cover photo for Frederick C. Kniggendorf's Obituary
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Frederick C. Kniggendorf

July 20, 1950 — February 14, 2022

Merriam

Frederick C. Kniggendorf, Ph.D.


Frederick C. Kniggendorf died at home on February 14, 2022, with his wife of 50 years by his side. He and Rosemary met in Dr. Richard Dowell’s English class at Indiana State University when they were freshmen and have been together ever since.


The family that grew from that marriage was what he treasured more than anything in the world.
He didn’t leave any doubt in the mind of each family member that he or she was the most important person in his life. While they were growing up, Fred told his daughters, Anne and Leslie, that they were his best friends. Throughout their childhoods, he repeated that to his grandchildren, Ellis, Henry, Arlo, and Juniper. He was a big fan of his son-in-law, Duane Cunningham, as well.


Fred was born in and grew up near Gary, Indiana, and is survived by his sisters — also his best friends — Linda (Bruce Berner) and Gail (Shawn Straney), his brothers-in-law Jim Fuller and Andy (Nina) Fuller, and his much-loved nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by his parents, Fred and Betty.


Partly because his family was so beloved, he wanted to be home as much as possible, particularly after spending many years travelling the world like a rock star teaching ballrooms’ full of people about, for instance, how to be a better manager, how to work with difficult people, and how to communicate more effectively. Audiences loved him for the reasons everyone did: his sense of humor, compassion, and ability to listen to individual’s questions and concerns.


As a business trainer, Fred felt lucky to have seen so many cities, many of them with Rosemary. Memories of that travel became increasingly important to him; for the final six years of his life, he was homebound after an autoimmune disease caused pulmonary fibrosis, permanently tethering him to an oxygen tank or a concentrator.
When Fred received his diagnosis in July of 2015, doctors predicted he would live for about 18 months. But he didn’t want to leave his best friends.
Until he no longer had the breath, he continued making weekly meals for the family and, almost continually, baking bread and cookies. Rosemary took over in the kitchen once he was unable to stand for more than a minute at a time.


Fred loved to read and loved listening to music, which kept him occupied in the years he spent confined to the house. For as outgoing as he appeared, he was very introverted; books and music were his comfort zone and company throughout his life, particularly when he felt too bad to receive guests.


One of the final sociable things he did was take up the guitar and bass again, both instruments he’d played in high school and college. After his fingers could no longer work the strings, he spent hours browsing YouTube for new music that he’d later share when the family was visiting.


He would like anyone reading this to know that his death was not a “senseless tragedy.” He would also encourage anyone who’s received a seemingly insurmountable diagnosis not to give up, but to try to adjust to the condition while keeping in mind that someone else always has it much worse. Fred never gave up, it’s just that suddenly on Valentine’s Day, his body did.
If you plan to join us, please wear a mask to protect those who are immunocompromised.


The family suggests donations to the St. Luke’s Episcopal Church Agape Fund (5325 Nieman Rd, Shawnee, KS 66203), the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation, or the Steps of Faith Foundation.

A closed casket visitation will be held from 2:00 to 3:00 pm, Friday, February 18, 2022 at the Amos Family Funeral Home, followed by a service at 3:00 pm also at the funeral home.

Donations:

Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation
230 East Ohio Street Suite 500, Chicago IL 60611
Tel: 1-888-733-6741
Web: https://www.pulmonaryfibrosis.org/get-involved/ways-to-give/tribute-program

Steps of Faith Foundation
31 West 31St. Street, Kansas City MO 64108
Tel: 1-615-426-6034
Web: https://www.stepsoffaithfoundation.org/support

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Frederick C. Kniggendorf, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

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Visitation

Friday, February 18, 2022

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Central time)

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Funeral Service

Friday, February 18, 2022

Starts at 3:00 pm (Central time)

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