Harlow August Kneser
July 6, 1924 — July 10, 2016
On July 10, 2016, heaven embraced a new band leader. The family of Harlow August Kneser mourns the loss of their beloved husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. His engaging smile and joy of music will be remembered and cherished by all those who knew him.
Harlow was born on July 6, 1924, the son of Edwin and Alona (Staatz) Kneser.
At the age of 6, he learned to play the accordion. At 14, he began playing with Milwaukee area bands. Thus began his long and fulfilling life of music.
Harlow married Geraldine Heckel in 1948, and shortly thereafter, moved his family to Waukesha. A professional musician, accomplished on many instruments, he was the proud owner of the Waukesha Music Center, serving the community for 45 years. His musical career brought joy to countless people, including his many young band students. Harlow was a hit at family gatherings, playing his accordion or piano as everyone sang along.
Polka music and Harlow became synonymous.
Harlow was a veteran of World War II, receiving his Wings in the Army Air Force. Being able to participate in the Honor Flight brought his service full circle.
Always humble, Harlow was known for his smile and his honesty. He was a man of great faith and was generous to a fault. He loved deeply and was most proud of his family. His affable nature and kindness won the hearts of his friends and family, especially his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
He will be profoundly missed.
Harlow is survived by his wife of 68 years, Geri, and his four children, Kathryn (Joseph) Arena, Karolyn (Regge) Krueger, Susan (Thaddeus) Kearney and Peter (Chris) Kneser. He is also survived by his grandchildren Rebecca (Martin) Cheman, Clare (Scott) Haden, Amy (Wade) Kolman, Katie (Thomas) Sam, Jeff (Rachel) Krueger, Jane (Nathan) Mathes, Maura (Alan) Cosgrave, Ellen Arena and Patrick Kearney, and his great-grandchildren Luke and Molly Cheman, Benjamin Haden, Ava, Maya and Leo Kolman, Kiefer Sam, Skylar and Shep Krueger, and Julian Mathes. Harlow also leaves a sister, Marie Mueller.
Harlow was preceded in death by his parents; his sister Doris; his cherished 5-year-old son, John; and a great-granddaughter, Ella Kolman.
Visitation will be held on Thursday, July 14, at St. Mary Catholic Church, 225 S. Hartwell Ave., Waukesha, from 1 p.m. until the time of the Mass of Christian Burial at 3 p.m.
A private family burial will be held at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Harlow’s name to: St. Mary Catholic Church, Waukesha Catholic, the Harlow and Geri Kneser Endowment at Catholic Memorial High School, or Avalon Square.
Randle-Dable-Brisk Funeral Home, Crematory and Preplanning Services is honored to serve the family. For further information, please call the funeral home at 262-5474035 or visit our website at www.randledable.com for directions or to leave the family an online tribute message.