John Albert Knuppel, age 93, passed away Sunday, December 13, 2020 at Mercy Health Center in Oklahoma City due to complications of COVID Pneumonia.
He was born July 9, 1927 in Oklahoma City. After the death of his mother, he and his siblings were raised by his step-mother, Ruby Bruce Knuppel. The second of twin boys, he attended Grace Lutheran School, Harding Junior High and before graduation from Central High School in Oklahoma City, he and a group of young men enlisted in the Navy at San Diego. He served on the USS Parris Island as ship’s fireman. After the Navy, he returned to Oklahoma and completed high school. John then went to work for the ZP Meyers Photography Shop in OKC, and later worked with photographers Johnny Melton and Barney Hillerman.
In 1951, he joined the Oklahoma City Fire Department. He served at several stations, later becoming the first official photographer for the OCFD. At the time of retirement, he was a Captain in the Fire Prevention Bureau at 428 W. California. He then helped establish the Oklahoma Firefighter’s Museum in OKC, being the first curator. Many of his photographs are on display at the museum along with some of his firefighting memorabilia.
In 1952 he married Carol Jewell of Oklahoma City.
The family moved to Yukon in 1973, and he went to work for the Yukon National Bank for many years, meeting many people in Yukon. He was a member of the Yukon Historical Society, the Lum and Abner Society, Yukon Czechs, being the parade Grand Marshall a few years ago. He was active with the Yukon Farm Museum and the Yukon’s Best Railroad Museum. John was named Yukon’s Volunteer of the Year for his efforts (along with many) in re-lighting the Yukon’s Best Flour sign.
John was preceded in death by his parents, Johan and Winfred Knuppel; stepmother, Ruby Knuppel Reeves; sister, Johanna Bentley, and brother, Hans Knuppel.
He is survived by his wife, Carol of the home; sister, Marie Queen of Newcastle; daughter, Katie Reynolds (Eric) of Oklahoma City; grandsons: Jonathan Buckman of Seminole, Christopher Buckman of Oklahoma City and Thomas Buckman of Layton, UT, as well as several nieces and nephews.
Memorial donations may be made to: The Oklahoma Fallen and Living Firefighters Memorial in OKC at https://www.osfa.info/memorial/donations/.
Interment will be in the Yukon Cemetery, but there will be no services at this time due to the COVID virus.
Online condolences may be signed at www.yandafuneral.com. Arrangements are under the direction of Yanda & Son Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Yukon, OK.