William Knoop dies after suffering stroke

Times-Herald Newspapers

DEARBORN — Longtime businessman and lifetime Dearborn Country Club member William Knoop died Tuesday following a major stroke which had left him paralyzed on the left side.

He was 81.

Jack Bianco, 79, who knew Knoop since their teenage years at Dearborn High School, recalled some fond memories of their time together at the club.

Bianco said they took numerous golf trips to places up north, and that they also would play on weekends at the country club. They also were partners in a Tuesday night golf league.

Off the course, Bianco said, Mr. Knoop enjoyed his food.

“He liked to eat a lot,” he said. “After he ate, he would top it off with dessert and a game of gin rummy.”

Calling his friend a “master communicator,” Bianco remembered one instance when Mr. Knoop spoke so long that Bianco fell asleep.

When his friend called him out on it, Bianco told him, “Bill, you never stop.”

Mr. Knoop, a city resident all his life, graduated from Dearborn High in 1948. In high school he was very active in sports, playing baseball and football. After graduation he went into the Air Force, where he served as an air policeman during the 1950s.

On his return from the service, he began selling cars. That venture ended, however, during a breakfast meeting with Earl Keim, who said Mr. Knoop should get into real estate. He took that advice, and after Keim retired, he became owner of Earl Keim Realty and from there one of the most successful businessmen in the city.

Mr. Knoop is survived by his wife, Gloria; his daughter-in-law Lisa; and two grandchildren, Kelsey and Hannah. A memorial service was held Friday at First Presbyterian Church in Dearborn.