Dr. William E. Knaus

Dr. William E. Knaus, 96, of Belleville, IL, born Sunday, April 19, 1914, in East Saint Louis, Illinois, passed away Sunday, October 24, 2010 at his residence.

Dr. Knaus was a Physician specializing in Pediatrics and sub-specialty in neonatology. He had a private practice from 1947 to 1961 in E. St. Louis and from 1961 until his retirement on July 1, 1986 in Belleville, IL.

     He received his education from St. Louis University, Premedical from 1933 to 1935 and Medical from 1935 to 1939 when he received his M.D. degree. He was a member of Alpha Omega Alpha Honorary Medical fraternity and Phi Beta Pi Medical fraternity. He did his internship at St. Louis City Hospital from 1939 to 1940 and his general residency at St. Mary's Hospital in E. St. Louis, IL. Dr. Knaus was a U. S. Army Veteran serving in the 30th Infantry Division. He served as Surgeon from 1941 to 1945 and obtained the rank of Lt Col. in 1945. He served five campaigns in the European Theatre receiving the Purple Heart in December of 1944 in the Battle of the Bulge and Bronze Star with one Oak Leaf Cluster in 1945. He did his Pediatric residency from December 14, 1945 to December 15, 1947 at St. Mary's Group Hospitals, where he received his Masters degree. He received his diploma from the American Board of Pediatrics, February 22, 1953.

    Dr. Knaus was an Emeritus member of the Illinois Chapter of American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Medical Association.  He was a past president of St. Clair County Medical Association and Southern Illinois Medical Association. From 1947 to 1957 Dr. Knaus was a pediatric instructor for St. Louis University, and from 1948 to 1981, Director of the Premature Intensive Care Center of Christian Welfare Hospital in East St. Louis, IL. He served on the staff of Centreville Township, Memorial and St. Elizabeth's Hospitals as well. He achieved Life Member status at St. Clair Country Club, was a Fifty Plus member of St. Louis University Medical Alumni Association, Dr. Knaus was also a proud member of Knights of Columbus #592.

He was preceded in death by his:

  • 1st Wife: Helen Collins Knaus
  • Parents: William T. and Lillian M. nee Link Knaus
  • Brothers
    • Robert J. Knaus
    • Richard F. Knaus

Surviving are his:

  •  Wife: Bobbie nee Wilkerson Knaus of Belleville, IL
  •  Daughters
    • Carol Eckert of Belleville, IL
    • Pat (Ken) Cange of St. Albans, MO
    • Mary (Chris) Raming of Belleville, IL
    • Terri Ptasnik of Belleville, IL
  • Grandchildren
    • Bern (Julie) Plassmeyer
    • Dr. Matthew (Dr. Leigh) Eckert
    • Craig Leinauer
    • Chris (Jamie) Leinauer
    • Jessica Doerr (Jack Pointer)
    • Andrew Raming
    • Elliot Ptasnik
  • Great-Grandchildren
    • Colin, Connor, Kyle, and Caroline Leinauer
    • Will and Ben Plassmeyer
    • Silas Leinauer
  • Nephew: Brian Knaus
  • Nieces
    • Debbie (Dennis) Rabe
    • Barbara (John) McFadden 

A special thanks to the Hospice of Southern Illinois nurses, Denise and Renee and Caregivers, Trina and Sharon. 

Memorials: Memorials may be made to Our Lady Queen of Peace, Hospice of Southern Illinois or Memorial Hospital Foundation 

Visitation:  Friends may call from 4-8 pm on Friday, October 29, 2010 at the Kurrus Funeral Home, Belleville, Illinois. 

Funeral:  Funeral procession will leave at 9:45am on Saturday, October 30, 2010 for a 10:00am Mass of Christian Burial at Our Lady Queen of Peace, with Fr. Jack McEvilly officiating. Interment will follow at Mount Carmel Cemetery, Belleville, IL.

Condolences left for Dr. William E. Knaus:

    A great man with a great heart!
    We're fortunate to have shared part of his great adventure, and love him so much.

    Jessica Doerr Winooski Vermont 05404

    Dr. Knaus was pediatrtion for both of my children. What a great doctor and wonderful person. He made the world a better place!

    Candace LaCroix Dupo IL 62239

    Dear Knaus family,
    My sympathy and prayers to all of you.
    Dr. Knaus took care of my three children . He was a wonderful pediatrician;I trusted him unconditionally with my kids' well being.
    What a legacy he leaves behind. He made such a difference to so very many.
    Surely, he left this world a better place..........may he rest in peace !

    mary mareshie belleville illinois 62226

    To Mrs. W.E.Knaus & Family -- Such a long and distinguished career in relieving others' pain ! Truly a credit to his profession, his religion, and his family --- and a life that could serve as a model for any of us.

    Betty&DonRice Belleville Illinois 62223

    I was not fortunate enough to meet William but am fortunate enough to know and love Jessica Doerr. She shares many of his qualities and after reading this inspirational obituary, I can clearly see where much of Jessica's essence stems from.

    Sending the entire family and community much love and support from Raleigh, NC

    Ahana Richards Raleigh NC 27614

    I first knew Dr. Knaus after starting a solo gen'l practice in Cahokia Ill after returning form U S Army duty in Korea in 1957-8. I was a "greenhorn" and somewhat "unsure" young MD, and often received advice from him in the care of my difficult pediatric patients. He was a generous and compassionate doctor to be sure. He was truely an exemplary member of THAT GREATEST GENERATION to which his obituary testifies. Good work, Bill. and Peace Be With You!-Dr. Bob Snyders.

    Robert V. Snyders Wildwood Mo. 63021

    Dear Knaus Family, my sister and I are sad to learn of your Father's passing. We new your Dad from the old days at the Club. Our folks, now both deceased, were good friends. Dr. Knaus saved my life, or at least avoided a nasty operation when I was a little boy. He was an excellent man and a credit to his profession and communtiy.
    Dede Davis Clark, Swansea, Ill.
    Doug and Carmen Davis, Houston, Texas

    Doug Davis Houston Texas 77459

    Dr. Knaus took care of our five children from 1968 until his retirement in 1986. We appreciated all the care that was given to them. We had no idea that he had such a very distinguished career, especially in the military. We still recall some of his lines that he used in treating our children. We'll never forget him.

    Karl and Barbara Bretz Mascoutah Illinois 62258

    I am so sorry for your loss. Dr. Knaus, or Willie as my mother called him, was a wonderful person. More than once he came to our home when myself or my brother was ill. I think of him often and how they don't make doctors like him anymore. He was such a gentle and kind person. My brother and I were never afraid of our visits to him, he was one of a kind, and will always be in my thoughts, prayers and memories.
    God Bless Him and You His Family.
    Kitty Delaney Williams

    Kitty Delaney Williams pinckneyville Illinois 62274