Cover photo for William J. Knisely's Obituary
William J. Knisely Profile Photo

William J. Knisely

June 1, 1935 — April 1, 2023

William J. Knisely, Jr., 87, of Rochester Hills, passed away Saturday, April 1, 2023 at Besser Senior Living in Alpena, MI. Born June 1, 1935 to William “Joe” and Hazel (Frye) Knisely Sr., in Mannington, WV, he was raised in Pontiac. Bill graduated from Pontiac Central High School in 1953, He served in the U.S. Army from 1955-1957. On July 14, 1956, he married Carolyn Smith in Pontiac. They resided in Rochester Hills. Bill worked for 42 years at General Motors Truck and Bus in Experimental Engineering. The highlight of his career was his work on the GMC Motorhome. He was a member of St. Luke’s UMC in Rochester Hills, where he served as treasurer, and was a longtime member of the Wednesday Willing Workers. Bill was known as a “Mr. Fix It” and was a collector of all things western. He was a big fan of John Wayne. Bill is survived by his wife, Carolyn, his daughter, Kimberly (Bob) Fleming, his sister, Donna J. Carter, his brother-in-law, Robert (Barbara) Jenks, five grandchildren, Matthew Mercier, Travis (Amber) Fleming, Erin (Jamie) Pons, Alex Knisely, and Lily Smith, five great grandchildren, and many dearly loved nieces and nephews, as well as extended family in West Virginia. He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister, Carolyn “Sue” Jenks, his son, Randall W. Knisely, his brother and sister-in-law Charles and Jean Smith and his brother-in-law Ray Carter. Visitation will be Saturday, April 22, 2023 from 1:00 PM until the Memorial Service at 2:00 PM at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, 3980 Walton Blvd, Rochester Hills, MI 48309. Cremation arrangements were made through Gillies Funeral Home, Lincoln. To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of William J. Knisely, please visit our flower store.


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