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John A. Knechtel

March 4, 1939 ~ November 2, 2018 (age 79)

November 4, 2018

John A. Knechtel

ORANGE- John A. Knechtel, 79, of West Orange Road, died peacefully in his sleep at home on Friday, November 2, 2018.

Born in Gardner on March 4, 1939, he was a son of the late Alwin and Barbara (Mowry) Knechtel and grew up in Orange, graduating from Orange High School in 1957.

John enlisted into the United States Army on October 14, 1957 and was honorably discharged on October 7, 1960. He later transferred to the Air Force Reserves for 20 years.

In 1963, John married Linda (Dodge) at the Orange Central Congregational Church and have enjoyed 55 years together.

John was employed by Massachusetts Electric which later became National Grid as a lineman and became a lineman supervisor before taking early retirement.

After retiring, John did work for Steven Canning Electric, Hillside Plastics, Lyman Trucking as well as plowing snow for the Town of Orange.

John loved farming and animals, including haying, wood cutting and tending to his sheep.

John will be sadly missed by his family and friends who considered him to be a great husband, father, grandfather and friend to many.

John also served the Town of Orange on the Elementary School Committee and as an Animal Inspector.

A member of Bethany Lutheran Church in Orange for many years, John also attended the North New Salem Congregational Church. He also was a life time member and Director of the Orange Historical Society and worked on many projects at the society.

Survivors include his loving wife, Linda Knechtel of Orange; children, Andrea Gale (Mark Day) and Karl Knechtel (Salli), all of Athol, and Greta Carey (Tom Jr.) and Dana Knechtel (Caroleann) all of Orange; grandchildren, Derrick Knechtel (Erin), Katie Carey, Heather Carey, Tommy Carey III (Amanda), Garrett Gale, Devin Knechtel, and Dominick Knechtel; great grandchildren, Trevor, Brody, Lucy and Taylor; a brother, Brian Knechtel (Lawanda) of Athol; sisters, Janet Johnson (Richard) of W. Boyalston and Doris Knechtel of S. Newfane, VT; a sister in law, Cyn Dodge of Greenfield; many nephews and nieces; and friends.

There are no calling hours.

A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, November 10, 2018 at 11 a.m. at the North New Salem Congregational Church, 60 Elm Street, New Salem.

Interment in West Orange Cemetery will be private.

In lieu of flowers, donations are suggested to Orange Historical Society, P.O. Box 28, Orange, MA 01364 or to the North New Salem Congregational Church, 60 Elm Street, New Salem, MA 01355.

Witty’s Funeral Home, 158 South Main Street, Orange, is directing the arrangements.

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