Actively involved in Newberry from the time he moved there in 1984 until his death in 2008, Curt served on the Village Council as well as the Newberry Water and Light Board. He was one of those "politicians" who truly represented the people by listening, going door to door, and was not afraid of voicing the opinions of his constituents. As a young man straight out of Marion Purcell Catholic High School in Cincinnati, Oh., Curt joined the United States Marine Corp following in the footsteps of his dad, Frank "Bud" Knierim. He proudly served his country in combat in Vietnam. He continued to be a Marine upon his honorable discharge, proudly serving his country, his community, his employer and his family.
His family brought him his greatest joys; he basked in their love and returned it generously. There was always time to get together and have a little fun and nothing made him happier. His bride of 19 years, Rita, is a retired teacher from Tahquamenon Area Schools and lives in Newberry. His oldest daughter Trina, her husband, Frank, and their three daughters Aimee, Abby, and Avery live in Barrington, Illinois. Katie, daughter number two, lives in Valparaiso, Indiana with her husband Octavio and their children Kaylee, Dylan, Vanessa and great-grandchild Sophia. Kevin, his oldest son, lives in Novi, MI with his lovely wife, Michelle and daughter Mackenzie. The youngest son, Chris lives and teaches in Manistee, MI., with his wonderful wife Jessica.
Young people in the Village of Newberry reaped the benefits of Curt Knierim. Name the sport and he was there, either as a teacher or self appointed cheerleader. He served on various administrative boards and coached hockey, baseball and football. He was one of the founders of the Junior Knights football league, actually purchasing 100 sets of gear, so the young men (and women) of the community could learn the fundamentals at an early age. As a coach and spectator, he followed the youth hockey teams from the mini-mites through midget levels. He was president, coach and umpire in Little League, enjoying every minute of it. Long after his own children graduated from high school, spectators could still find him on the sidelines or in the bleachers cheering and encouraging the athletes. For several years he wrote a column for the Newberry News called Something to Cheer About, which featured student athletes, their accomplishments and dreams.
Family, youth, community and country were Curt Knierim's greatest passions. Though he was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, he took to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and the small community of Newberry as if he were a native, becoming a "Yooper" with pride. He was "a one of a kind" guy everyone enjoys knowing with a smile and a kind word for everyone he met.