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John Andrew Knippel

May 29, 1951 ~ September 27, 2023 (age 72) 72 Years Old

John Knippel Obituary

John Andrew Knippel, age 72, passed away peacefully at his home in Columbus, North Carolina on Wednesday, September 27, 2023 after a short yet courageous battle with cancer.  Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on May 29, 1951, John and his family relocated to Florida in 1963 where he would spend his teenage years and later attend the University of Florida and earn his Bachelor of Science in building construction in 1973.

John’s career in building construction would prove to be a fortuitous choice as it provided not only his means of gainful employment, but more importantly the avenue through which he would meet his later wife, Teresa Reis Mira.  After building the home of Teresa’s parents, John was later commissioned as an employee of his father’s construction business to build the factory for Teresa’s father’s new business venture, TekTone Sound and Signal. 

It was in the latter stages of this construction job in 1973 that John first caught the attention of Teresa, the doe-eyed Portuguese daughter of Manuel and Lourdes Mira.  While initially non-committal, John appeared more smitten after Teresa had returned from an overseas trip to Portugal in 1975.  Shortly upon her return, Teresa knew without question that John was prepared to commit as he took on the arduous task of sitting through two consecutive Elvis Presley films with her.  It seems that much like the waves that supplied favorable surfing for Elvis in Blue Hawaii, John soon found himself carried away by the charms of Teresa.  A more continuous period of dating would follow before their marriage in 1976.

After a period of another fifteen years, John and Teresa, along with their growing family that now included son, Johnny, and daughter, Melissa, relocated to Franklin, North Carolina in 1991 where John would soon continue his new position as operations manager at the new headquarters of TekTone Sound and Signal.  John would also go on to receive his Master of Science in industrial engineering from Western Carolina University in 1998.  He would remain in his position at TekTone for twenty-eight years until his retirement in 2016.

In addition to his accomplishments as a father of two children, which included his participation in numerous coaching responsibilities and attendance at dance recitals, John would continue to harbor a great desire to work towards social justice efforts and the advancement of equity for people of color.  To advance this interest, John was most recently led to participate in an organization known as No Exceptions NC, a group which seeks to abolish antiquated language in the North Carolina State Constitution related to involuntary servitude.  John often indicated that his greatest desire was to leave a positive and enduring impression in advocating for the equity and equality of all people.  He wished to leave a “thumbprint” that would serve as a reminder and signpost to others of our collective calling as a society in extending assistance to others.  It is in the spirit of this sacred significance that we are reminded of one of John’s favorite film lines: “The world moves for love.  It kneels before it in awe.”

John Andrew Knippel is survived by his wife, Teresa Mira-Knippel; two children, Johnny Mira- Knippel (Karmen) and Melissa Mira Knippel Faetz (Tyler); six grandchildren, Braxton Mira-Knippel, Savannah Mira-Knippel, Kendall Reis, Dominic Faetz, Patrick Faetz, and Kamden Reis; four siblings, Debbie Knippel, Kathy Roberts, Barbara Gawlas, and Patti Shoemaker.

A Celebration of Life ceremony will take place at First United Methodist Church in Franklin, NC at 2:00 P.M. on Friday, October 6th.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donation checks can be made to No Exceptions NC and mailed to Teresa Mira-Knippel.

Online condolences may be made at

Bryant-Grant Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the Knippel family.


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Celebration of Life
October 6, 2023

2:00 PM
First United Methodist Church Franklin.
66 Harrison Ave
Franklin, NC 28734


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