Larry E. Knilands, 81, of Piper City and formerly of Roberts and Thawville, passed away on Thursday, January 5, 2023, at Gibson City Hospital.
Larry was born on February 23, 1941 in Fairbury, the son of John Charles and Ina (Johnson) Knilands. He married Shirley Yana on March 30, 1963 in Thawville and she survives.
Besides his wife, Shirley Knilands of Piper City, he is survived by three children, Helen (Chris) Ciani, Robert E. Knilands, and Jennifer (Scott) Meiss; and two grandchildren, Lydia and Jonathan Ciani.
He was preceded in death by his parents; one brother; and one sister.
Larry graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University and University of Illinois. His degrees in English and Journalism led him to a career journey that included teaching and newspaper reporting, photography, and editing. A favorite highlight included his annual coverage of the Indianapolis 500.
His interests and hobbies kept him always curious and talkative. He enthusiastically shared knowledge of history and trivia, particularly classic movies and music.
Larry served on the Ford County Republican Central Committee from 19781988 as well as Ford Central School Board from 1984-1992. He was a member of Lions Club and Masonic Lodge.
Cremation rites have been accorded by Knapp-Redenius Funeral Home in Gilman. Graveside services will be held at a later date at Ridgeland Township Cemetery in Thawville.
To honor his memory, the family suggests memorial gifts be made to the Carle Cancer Institute of Normal or the Paxton Masonic Lodge #416.
Condolences or a memory of Larry may be shared at www.knappfuneralhomes.com.
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