The 81-year-old Miami Township man was nominated for the honor by his son, Gary Knepp.
“Dad is only the fifth Clermont County citizen to be inducted into the hall, joining Ralph Shepherd, Don Patton, James Sauls, and General Ulysses S. Grant. Those selected for membership are veterans who have honorably served their county through military service and community service,” said Gary Knepp.
The senior Knepp sat quietly as his son ran down a long list of community service projects Bill Knepp has been and continues to be involved with in Clermont County.
“He has spent over 60 years giving back to the community by organizing seniors groups and parades, raising money to pay for sidewalks and a community ambulance; he also founded the Miami Glen Performing Arts Association. His most recent project is the Spirit of 76 Park in Miami Township that includes memorials to Korean War veterans; he began that at the age of 80! I am very proud of him.”
“Service to your country doesn’t end when you leave combat,” said Knepp, who served with the U.S. Army in Korea. He credits four women in his life for encouraging his amazing community spirit.
“I was a depression-era kid. My family didn’t have much, but my mom found a way to feed others who needed it. I saw her passion to help others and I felt it. My mother-in-law, a Sunday school teacher, and my bride of almost 60 years have also greatly encouraged me to do all I can to help others,” he said.
Knepp will be inducted into the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame during ceremonies at the Franklin County Veterans Memorial. A bronze plaque bearing his name will be permanently displayed at the Vern Riffe Building in Columbus.
“There are some impressive individuals in the hall, including astronauts Buzz Aldrin and John Glenn, Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas, and restaurant entrepreneur Bob Evans,” said the younger Knepp.
To watch an interview about the Knepp induction, visit the website www.clermontcountyohio.gov/video10282011knepp.aspx.