Larry Joseph Knievel was born on March 9, 1941 on a turkey farm in Orchard, NE to Henry and Marie (Woslager) Knievel. Larry attended school in Tilden, NE until the family moved to Wyoming when he was fifteen years old. Early in life, he learned a great deal from his father. He instilled in Larry a great work ethic and a knowledge for the need to be organized.
Speaking about work, Larry was known for his hard work and dedication to doing a good job. Larry’s first job was a paper route in Tilden, NE. He also worked several jobs while he attended high school. Larry joined the U.S. Army after high school, and was stationed in Fort Ord, CA and in Augsburg, Germany. When Larry came back from his military service, he came back to Wyoming where he found jobs working on several ranches. More importantly, Larry found the love of his life, Gayle Jolovich. They met at a dance the very first weekend he returned from the service. Gayle and Larry were married on February 23, 1963.
Most of Larry’s work life was in the trucking business. He started by hauling heavy loads of cement, coal, or logs up in Montana and Wyoming. Larry’s attention to detail was recognized and he was appointed the Safety Coordinator while he worked at Big Horn Coal in Wyoming.
Larry may have spent a lot of time on the road, but he wasn’t alone. Gayle, his wife, was right there with him, as team drivers. Working together might be the secret of a successful marriage. Larry and Gayle were married for fifty-six years.
When Larry and Gayle moved to Mesquite, NV, they continued to work together, this time at the Oasis Casino in the Security Department. Later, Larry worked in the cart barn at Falcon Ridge Golf Course until he had to retire for health reasons.
Larry and Gayle’s life together was filled with many blessings, but there was one tragedy, one test of faith. Their oldest daughter, Lynn was murdered in 1990. They learned that “the trials of this life, the rain, the storm, the hardest nights are His mercies in disguise.” Larry’s faith got him through those dark days. He was rewarded with even a deeper faith.
One of Larry’s greatest moments was to hold and touch the eight relics of the True Cross. Larry was responsible for bringing the relics to his church, la Virgen de Guadalupe Catholic Church in Mesquite, NV, while they were on tour in the United States. Larry was very active in his church. He was a choir member, and usher, a Eucharistic Minister, and past Grand Knight, Faithful Navigator, 4th Degree.
Larry was an active member of the Knights of Columbus, Elks, and the American Legion where he held leadership positions. Larry is responsible for establishing the Knights of Columbus September 11th Memorial, honoring Mesquite’s First Responders. This event has turned into a large multi-denominational gathering each year. Larry also led the Elks Naturalization Program for ten years, and was a member of the American Legion Color Corp.
Larry is survived by his wife of fifty-six years, Gayle Marie Jolovich Knievel, his daughter; Michelle Knievel Longwedel (Chad), his granddaughter; Misty Knievel (Josh), his brothers; Don (Louise) of Sheridan, WY, Tom (Diane) in Pocatello, ID, Robert in Reno, NV, and Ron (Belinda) in Casper, WY. Preceding him in death were two children; Lynn and Lawrence.
Larry went home to the Lord on Monday, July 15, 2019 surrounded by his family and friends. There will be Viewing and Rosary Services on Sunday, July 21, 2019 at the Virgin Valley Mortuary from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. and Mass Intentions will be held on Monday, July 22, 2019 at 10:30 a.m. at the la Virgen de Guadalupe Catholic Church on 401 Canyon Crest Blvd, Mesquite, NV. Graveside Services will take place at the New Mesquite Cemetery on 1362 Hardy Way following Mass. The family invites you to leave a message or memory in their Guest Book at www.virginvalleymortuary.com.