Larry Knafel, 69

COLUMBIA CITY — Larry T. Knafel, 69, of rural Columbia City, died unexpectedly at 1:20 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4, 2011 at Parkview Hospital, Fort Wayne from complications following surgery.He was born Aug. 22, 1942 in Fort Wayne, a son of Omer Cleland and Bernadine M. (Witte) Knafel.His formative years were spent in Churubusco and later Jefferson Township, Whitley County.He graduated from Columbia City High School.From 1960 until 1962 he served in the U.S. Navy on the U.S.S. Hancock as a machinist mate. On Jan. 23, 1965, he married Marjorie Mason. They made their home in Hoagland for five years and Venedocia Ohio for two years before moving to their home in Jefferson Township in 1972.He retired in 2001 from Slater Steel with more than 36 years of service.He was the serving commander at the Navy Club Ship 48 on Wells Street, Fort Wayne and a member of American Legion Post #82.Surviving relatives include his wife of 46 years, Marjorie; two daughters, Kimberly (Ronald) Benson of Fort Wayne and Laura (Tony) Wendt of Avon; beloved grandchildren who had his heart, Victoria and Jackson Wendt and Mason Benson; two brothers and a sister, Jim Knafel, Mark Knafel and Coryne Radke, all of Columbia City; and several nieces and nephews. Visitation will be from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Smith & Sons Funeral Home, Columbia City. There will be no public funeral service.Preferred memorials are to Navy Ship Club 48.Condolences may be sent to