Kenneth A. Knopke, OFM
1915 – 1996
Fr. Kenneth Knopke, OFM, was born May 12, 1915 in Denver. He was received into the Order at St. Bonaventure Friary, Paterson, N.J., in 1937 and professed temporary vows one year later. He made his solemn profession in 1941 and was ordained in 1943.
He went as a missionary to Brazil in 1944 and remained there for 44 years. Fr. Ken’s priestly ministry took him to Catalao, Pirenopolis, Anapolis, Pires do Rio, Ceres and Goiandria. While in Catalao and Ceres, he was director of the Ginasio. While in Anapolis, he served as Secretary of the Custody, and in Goiania, he served as chaplain of the Goiania General Hospital.
Fr. Ken retired to St. Anthony’s Residence in Boston in 1988, where he was appointed vicar and continued to minister to the Portuguese community. After he retired to St. Anthony Friary, St. Petersburg, Fla., he assisted at St. Jude’s, St. Mary’s and other local parishes.
He suffered a heart attack and died on April 10, 1996 during a flight over Georgia while accompanying his brother, Fr. Roch Knopke, OFM, from St. Petersburg to Ringwood, N.J. Fr. Ken was 80 years old, a professed friar for 57 years and a priest for 52 years.