Joseph Kneer and Phyllis Kneer

Joseph Kneer, 71, and Phyllis Kneer, 77, both died on March 5, 2017 in a tragic fire at their home in Clayton, GA. They were born on Long Island, NY, and raised their three daughters in Smithtown, NY. They loved living by the ocean, going to the beach, and fishing on Joe’s boat. In 1983 they relocated to Escondido, CA, to their avocado ranch with mountain views. In the early 1990s they found Clayton, Georgia and fell in love with the dramatic beauty of the area. They loved to watch the seasons change on the mountainside across from their home in the woods.

Joseph Noel Kneer was born to Philip X. Kneer and Theresa (nee Ballings) Kneer in Astoria, NY. Joe was a gifted mechanic, who grew up working in his dad’s Auto Repair shop. He owned Joe’s Auto Repair in NY, and was the owner of Small Motor Repairs in Clayton. Joe served in the Navy in the 1960s on the U.S.S. Shangri-La. He was generous, kind, and devoted to his wife and daughters, and also to his customers, who knew that Joe could fix anything. Joe is survived by his brother, Philip G. Kneer of Bay Shore, NY. He was predeceased by his parents.

Phyllis Marie Stadtmiller was born to Alexander Stadtmiller and Agnes (nee Moran) Stadtmiller in Central Islip, NY. She had a doctorate degree in education and taught 5th grade for 20 years in the Smithtown Central School District in NY. She later taught education at San Diego State University in CA. Phyllis was a talented artist and was a member of the Rabun County Artists Guild. She was an excellent cook, and her paintings and recipes are cherished by her daughters. She is survived by her two sisters, Helen Reilly and Carol Michaud, both of Arizona. Phyllis was pre-deceased by her parents and her sister Muriel Brown.

Phyllis and Joseph are survived by their three daughters and their families, Linda Uckert and her husband Kevin of Hackettstown, NJ; Kathryn VanDyke and her husband Bob, of Islip, NY; and Bonnie Griffin of Tempe, AZ. They had three grandchildren, Kaitlyn (and Tyler) Breiner of Los Angeles, CA; Kyle Uckert of Tujunga, CA; and Thomas Uckert of Portland, OR.

A private memorial service will be held in NY.