COLUMBIANA - Rev. Merlin Homer Knauff was called to the church triumphant Tuesday, February 16, 2021. He was 88 years young. He passed away as a result of a fall on black ice, which caused irreversible brain trauma. He passed away peacefully at Hospice House in Poland, OH. Merlin was born Thursday, November 3, 1932 in Beaver Falls, PA, the son of Rev. Homer J. Knauff and Christina A. (Elsass) Knauff.
In 1950, he graduated from Dola High School, Dola, OH. In 1954, he graduated with a BA in English from Capital University in Columbus, OH. In September of 1957, Merlin married Katherine Grace Schmidt. In 1958, he graduated with an MDIV from Capital Lutheran Seminary, Columbus, OH. He went on to serve Lutheran parishes in the American Lutheran Church and its successor the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Those churches were St. John’s, Marion IN, (1958-1967) Town Line Lutheran Church, Townline/Alden NY. (1967-1997). During his retirement, he served as an interim pastor in many Lutheran parishes throughout Western NY.
He was a talented softball pitcher, avid gardener, family history enthusiast, gifted choir member, Buffalo Bills fan, and a wonderful storyteller. In 2014, he and Kate moved to Columbiana, OH, where he became an active member of Greenford Lutheran Church. He also became a regular volunteer for the 3C’s food pantry.
He is survived by a sister, Nelda (Carl) Adcock; two daughters; Christina Simmons and Kim (Pete) Penzone and a son, Rev. Michael (Deborah) Knauff. He also leaves nine grandchildren: Rebecca Knauff, Arlynn Knauff, Mitchell Simmons, Casey Simmons, Spencer Simmons, Adam (Courtney) Knauff, Stephen (Rachel) Knauff, Caleb (Ali) Knauff, and Samantha Penzone.
He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Kate; his brother, Roland Knauff and son, Kenneth R. Knauff.
A memorial service will be held at Greenford Lutheran Church on Sunday, February 21, 2021 at 3:00 p.m. with visiting hours prior to the service starting at 2:00 p.m. Please observe COVID-19 protocols.
A funeral service will be held at Town Line Lutheran Church on Tuesday, February 23, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. Burial will be at Town Line Lutheran Cemetery., Alden, NY.
Visiting hours will also be Monday, February 22, 2021 from 5:00-8:00 p.m. at Town Line Lutheran Church.
Memorial contributions can be made to Town Line Lutheran Scholarship Fund, 1159 Town Line Rd., Alden, NY 14004 or Greenford Lutheran Music Fund, P.O. Box 104, Greenford, OH 44422 or South Range Council of Church and Community Food Pantry, (3C’s) in North Lima.
Funeral arrangements are being handled by Stark Memorial Funeral Home and Cremation Services.
To view Merlin’s obituary or send condolences visit www.starkmemorial.com.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Rev. Merlin Homer Knauff, please visit our floral store.
Town Line Lutheran Scholarship Fund
1159 Townline Rd., Alden NY 14004
Greenford Lutheran Music Fund
P.O. Box 104, Greeford OH 44422