Walter H. Kneece, Jr., 84, well-regarded public speaker known for his vibrant personality and sense of humor

Walter H. Kneece, Jr.

Walter H. Kneece, Jr.

Walter H. Kneece, Jr. served in the U.S. Army in the Korean War and was awarded the Purple Heart for injuries he sustained in combat.

Mr. Kneece died Monday, Feb. 3, 2014.

He graduated from Furman University in 1952 and later earned a master’s degree at the University of South Carolina. Shortly after graduating college, Mr. Kneece married Betty Jane Asbill of Ridge Spring, a marriage that spanned almost 60 years until her death in 2012.

Mr. Kneece began his career as a high school teacher and athletic coach. In 1958, he joined Southern Bell Telephone Company (now AT&T) as a Yellow Pages advertising sales representative. He held a variety of positions during a long and successful career at the company until his retirement in 1992 as general manager for residential services in South Carolina and North Carolina.

Throughout his life, Mr. Kneece was actively involved in numerous community organizations in the Midlands. He was a member of the Columbia Civitan Club for many years and served as a District Governor for Civitan International. He was also a past president of the Columbia Executive Club. Mr. Kneece served on the boards or held other volunteer leadership positions for organizations including the United Way, Wil Lou Gray Opportunity School, SC Educational Resources Foundation and Junior Achievement. Mr. Kneece was a member of Emmanuel Baptist Fellowship.

A well-regarded public speaker, Mr. Kneece specialized in delivering inspirational messages that often included humorous anecdotes. His most popular program featured the story of his Monetta high school football team, a group of determined boys who, with homemade uniforms, little experience and no official coach, managed to win the S.C. Class C state championship in 1946.

He was an avid Furman Paladins fan and attended many of the Furman home football games each season. He also enjoyed playing golf and spending time at Edisto and Folly Beach.

Mr. Kneece was known for his vibrant personality, generosity, sense of humor and always-positive attitude. He will be remembered as a devoted husband, loving father and faithful friend.

Mr. Kneece, a native of Monetta, was preceded in death by his parents, Gladys Fallaw Kneece and Walter H. Kneece and sister, Joretta Scott Crow.

He is survived by his sons, Mitchell Kneece and Dr. Martin Kneece.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7, 2014, at Dunbar Funeral Home, Devine Street Chapel. The family will receive friends immediately following the service.

The family extends sincere thanks to the caring and compassionate staff of Carroll Campbell Place.

Memorials may be made to Pets, Inc., 300 Orchard Dr., West Columbia, SC 29170 or to Emmanuel Baptist Fellowship, 4766-B Sunset Blvd., Lexington, SC 29072.

Please leave online condolences for the family at Dunbar Funeral Home.


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