Wayne Knisley
1927 - 2018
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Wayne Knisley recently passed away at Mercy Hospital, he was 91. The eldest of 3 brothers, he was born to Roy and Opal Knisley in South Charleston, Ohio on August 11, 1927. At 17, he joined the US Navy in the Pacific and served on the USS Captaine, Point Cruz and the USS Nereus. After an honorable discharge from the Navy, Wayne went back to Ohio and began his career as a machinist, building diesel engines and carrying a federal badge for the Ohio Division of Wildlife for 14 years. In 1954, he met and married the love of his life, Anita Rhoades and they raised 2 children together. A trip west to visit relatives, brought the family through Colorado and their love ensued and they would soon call these beautiful mountains, home. Wayne was privileged to work for the Colorado Division of Wildlife for 31 years and considered his D.O.W. fellows part of his family. After his "retirement" he worked for the Florida Mosquito Control for 20 years.

Wayne was a lover of all God created in nature. He constantly amazed all with his knowledge of animal habits, law enforcement and the appreciation of all the miracles around us. He loved serving his family, his church and his community.

He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 60 years, Anita and his son, Lt. Colonel Gordon Harper (whom he was extremely proud of), as well as his brother, Marvin Knisley. He is survived by daughters: Alice Harper and Tad (Johnny) Frank; grandchildren: Glenn, Velvet, Elisa and Tawni; his great grandchildren: Morrgan, Wyatt and Warren and his brother, Donald (Freda) Knisley. WE LOVE YOU DAD!

A graveside service will held at Greenmount Cemetery on Thursday, October 18, 2018 at 2pm, with a reception following at the Durango VFW Post#4031.

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Published in The Durango Herald on Oct. 11, 2018.
Graveside service
02:00 PM
Greenmount Cemetery
Funeral services provided by
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5 entries
October 20, 2018
I was a rookie WCO in Cortez when Wayne came to work for Game, Fish and Parks in 1964. We had many opportunities to work together. My best memory was when we took a packtrip with Allison Mason, our mentor, into what is now the Hermosa Wilderness. May God comfort each of his family with the comfort that only He can give.
Glen HInshaw
October 17, 2018
I have many fond memories of this man and his family during my youth in Durango-

Condolences to the family.

Dave Haukeness
October 15, 2018
I was sorry to hear that Wayne died. He had a full life. Proverbs 12:10 says the righteous one cares for his animals. Wayne left a fine legacy of caring for animals. Condolences to the family.
October 13, 2018
My condolences to the Knisley family. I knew Wayne when he worked for the DOW with my father, Allison Mason. That was when the Knisleys were new to Durango. Wayne always had a smile for everyone. May God be his comforter now.
Charlene (Mason) Dimacali
October 12, 2018
I knew Wayne from working at DOW, after he had already retired. He would stop in and regale us with amazing stories of his past with the agency. He loved to share his vast knowledge from his many experiences, and it was always a joy to spend that time with him. He is greatly missed.
Heather Morris
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