Harold Knoll Jr. ’57

MONTAGUE – Harold Knoll, Jr., 88, was born on December 16, 1934, and died on September 29, 2023.

Harold attended Holland Public Schools, Hope College, and Western Michigan University. He was an educator, teaching Special Education classes in Ottawa Area Intermediate Schools, and Elementary Education in Holland Public Schools. He was also a turkey farmer working at the Knoll Turkey Hatchery, as well as having a commercial and residential rental business. He enjoyed traveling the United States and Canada with his family, on month long vacations involving fishing and rock hounding, as well as sightseeing in America’s spectacular National Parks.

After retirement he began pursuing his dream of sailing around the world. He made it as far as Eritrea in Eastern Africa before trouble with the diesel engine and inability to obtain parts combined with the threat of pirates caused him to sell the boat and return home. Harold wrote Sailing Around the World the Wrong Way with Harold Byler, Jr., seven volumes, telling the story of his seafaring adventures, and along with Harold Byler, Jr., he also wrote A Missionary’s Daughter in India: The Autobiography of Ruth Cordell.

Harold is survived by: his wife of 40 years, Vondalee Knoll and his ex-wife and good friend, Patti Schierenga; as well as their children, Paul ’80 Knoll ( Barb), Rochelle Knoll, Vonna Moreno, Leanne Van Den Berg ( J. P.), and Jeffrey Beekman; grandchildren, Jenna Moreno, James Moore, Jaeliana Moreno, Dylan, Elleah, Braden Van Den Berg, Daniel Ridlington (Alisha), Deanna, and Darryl Knoll; great- grandchildren, Elizabeth Scudder and Elliot Moreno; brother, Tom Knoll (Helen); and sister, Donna Allen.

Harold was preceded in death by: his sons, David, Kerry and Kurt Knoll; sister, Hazel Whittaker; parents, Harold Knoll Sr. and Mary Edith (Cook) Knoll of Holland and Quartzite, Arizona.

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