Sunday, May 27, 2018
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Timekeeper was devoted to Toledo hockey

Chuck Knierim, 70, whose role as a timekeeper for Toledo's professional hockey teams extended for more than a half century, died yesterday at Mercy St. Charles Hospital in Oregon, of complications from diabetes.

Mr. Knierim, who lived in Northwood at the time of his death, was born April 26, 1940, to Marguerite and Arnold Knierim.

He grew up in South Toledo and attended Libbey High School, where he participated in football, basketball, and track, said his stepdaughter, Kim


During the 1954-1955 basketball season, he scored 166 points for the Cowboys, who went undefeated in conference play, Ms.

McKibben said.

After graduation, he spent four years in the Army, serving in Korea, said his half-brother, Duane Pribe.

Mr. Knierim did not have any children from either his first wife, Joyce Worley, whom he married in 1955, or from Patricia, whom he married in 1981, although he was involved in raising Ms. Worley's four children and two children from Patricia Knierim's previous marriage, Ms. McKibben said.

Mr. Knierim himself was raised in a family of nine stepbrothers.

His stepfather, Robert Pribe, Sr., was a Toledo police officer who wore badge No. 1 until he retired in 1979 after 31 years with the department.

Ms. McKibben said her stepfather always enjoyed power boats, including ownership of a 43-foot wooden vessel, and served two terms as fleet master for Harborview Yacht Club.

"He had big boats, and he loved to go fishing," Duane Pribe said.

Mr. Knierim ran a construction business and worked in maintenance for other companies, including Miller Oil Tag Chemical, before he decided he needed a steady job and began working for Spartan Chemicals from 1984 to 2005, Duane Pribe said.

In addition, Mr. Knierim owned or managed several nightclubs in Toledo, including the Peppermint Club on Jefferson Avenue in downtown Toledo and the Beaver Club on Broadway, Mr. Pribe said.

Mr. Knierim apparently never played hockey, according to people who knew him, but the game became a major focus of his life from age 15, when he visited the old Toledo Sports Arena in 1954 and watched the Toledo Mercurys play.

In 1963, he began working as the timekeeper in the penalty box for the Blades, Hornets, Goaldiggers, Storm, and the Walleye for half of their inaugural season.

Toby Oothoudt, long-time colleague who is crew chief of the off-ice officials for the Walleye and the official scorer, said Mr. Knierim's illness prevented him from completing the season with the Walleye.

"He was unflappable," Mr. Oothoudt said.

Mr. Oothoudt said officials like Mr. Knierim are meant to be invisible.

In a game where a lot of action happens on the ice and at times in the penalty box where Mr. Knierim ruled, "nothing made him nervous.

"He knew the game very well. Chuck knew the rules cold," Mr. Oothoudt said.

"He was a funny guy to be around, a humble kind of guy. He didn't rattle," he said.

He is survived by his first wife, Joyce Worley; his widow, Patricia Knierim; stepdaughter, Kim McKibben; stepson, James Momany; stepbrothers Duane Pribe, Daniel Pribe, John Pribe, Jimmy Pribe, Jean Pribe, and Roger Pribe, and four step-grandchildren.

Funeral arrangements were incomplete and were being handled by the Freck Funeral Home in Oregon.

Contact: Jim Sielicki at:

or 419-724-6050

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