Obituary: Carl Ludwig Knitter III

Penn Yan

Reverend Doctor Carl Ludwig Knitter III, Lieutenant Commander (Retired) Chaplain, U.S. Navy, born October 3, 1934, died peacefully November 26, 2020 in his home surrounded by his loving wife of 58 years, Sandra, and family.

nullCarl was born in Maryland to Consuelo May Lusk and Dr. Carl Ludwig Knitter Jr. He grew up on Staten Island and spent many years at Keuka Lake. His life was devoted to the service of God, his country, his family, and the countless others he inspired through scripture and music. Carl served in the Army for two years and then retired from the Navy after 20 years serving as a Chaplain. He served as Senior Pastor at Garden of Peace Lutheran Church in St. Petersburg, Fla., and finally, as a pastor at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church in Wellsville.

Carl graduated from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, N.J. with a Bachelor of Arts in Voice and a Master’s degree in Choral Conducting. He also graduated from Hamma School of Theology in Springfield, Ohio with a Master’s of Divinity, and from the United States International University in Los Angeles, Calif. with a Ph.D. in Human Behavior.

Carl had many gifts that he generously shared with everyone. His amazing tenor voice and his talent as a choir conductor added immeasurable musicality to countless worship services. He expertly prepared and preached from the pulpit throughout his 50 years as a pastor. He set an example of what a loving, devoted, and disciplined husband and father should look like.

For 45 years, Carl resided with Sandra in a house on the western branch of Keuka Lake in Branchport; an idyllic location where he enjoyed hosting his family, friends, and parishioners in the summertime. His love of sailing and boating was demonstrated by participating in regattas and cruising around the lake. A consummate woodworker and craftsman, he painstakingly created personalized masterpieces for his family and friends. An Eagle Scout, Carl not only served at scout camps for several decades, but inspired others to pursue scouting adventures too. In his spare time, he was a voracious reader and a life-long Yankees fan.

Most impactful was Carl’s physical presence in the lives of those he loved. He took great pride in planning, travelling to, and attending all events and milestones. With his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren all over the world, this was a very powerful testimony of his enduring love for his family.

Carl is survived by his wife, Sandra Knitter; children, Brian Knitter (Barbara), Kevin Knitter (Kelly), Holly Adams (Jason), Tammy Knitter (George), Allen Knitter, and Mindy Starson (Mike); grandchildren, Matthew (Jessie), Erin (Thomas), Hannah (Michael), Levi, Thomas, Chelsey (Wesley), Asia (Ben), Jeffrey, Amber, Kristen, Courtney, and Ashley; and five great-grandchildren.

Memorials may be made to the Lutheran World Relief at

“Now I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” - 2 Timothy 4:7

Faith Chapel Funeral Home North, 1000 South Highway 29, Cantonment, Fla. is entrusted with arrangements. You may express your condolences online at

Posted online on December 08, 2020