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Stuart James Knickerbocker

March 10, 1925 December 14, 2019
Stuart James Knickerbocker
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Obituary for Stuart James Knickerbocker

Stuart J. Knickerbocker, 94, of East Lansing, formerly of Fenton and Grand Blanc, died Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019 at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing. Born March 10, 1925 in Flint, Stuart was the son of Francis Edward and Pauline (Button) Knickerbocker of Mt. Morris. Stu was a graduate of St. Mary's Catholic High School in Mt. Morris and a 1951 graduate of Michigan State University, where he earned a bachelor of arts degree. Stu served as a pharmacist's mate in the United States Navy on LST 467 in the Pacific Theater in World War II. Stu married M. Ellen Piggott Dec. 29, 1951, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Mt. Morris. Stu was a substitute teacher in Detroit before he began his career in commercial art at the Jam Handy Organization in Detroit. He spent most of his career at Portafilms in Drayton Plains, where he animated commercial and educational films, and television commercials, including an ad for National Coney Island in Detroit. After retirement in the late 1980s, he did freelance animation for the Bill Sandy Corp. in Troy. Stu and Ellen lived in Detroit, Huntington Woods and Birmingham before building their dream house, which Stu designed, in Fenton. There, they raised their children, Matthew, James and Susan. Stu enjoyed skiing, and designed additions to the lodge at Kandahar Ski Club in Fenton. He was a member of the National Ski Patrol and a certified ski instructor and started the ski school at Kandahar. He also helped design ski trails and runs at the club and was for many years on its board of directors. Stu self-published a memoir, a mystery novel and two cartoon books. Stu began painting in his youth, continuing to create various styles of abstracts the rest of his life. He was an avid golfer, and participated in track at St. Mary's, often joking that he held a school record, only because it closed a year after his accomplishment. Stu liked to perform magic tricks with cards and string, and loved meeting new friends. Stu was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 66 years, Ellen; parents, F.E. and Polly Knickerbocker; sister Barbara Knickerbocker; brothers and sisters-in-law Bruce and Jewell Knickerbocker, and Joseph and Marian Knickerbocker; sister-in-law Nayda Sanquist; and brother-in-law Donald Piggott. He is survived by his children, Matthew (Adrienne Thompson) Knickerbocker of Bethel, Conn., James (Linda) Knickerbocker of Lathrup Village, and daughter Susan (Matthew) Field of Mt. Pleasant; grandchildren Alyssa (Jeff Steele) Knickerbocker of Suquamish, Wash. and Devin (fiance Kristen Spitaletta) of Seattle, Wash.; great-grandchildren Rowan Steele, Remy Steele and Mari Knickerbocker of Suquamish; nieces and nephews Beverly Knickerbocker, Sharon (John) Gunnels, Nancy (John) Lamers, Mark (Mary) Sanquist, Skip Sanquist, and Debra, Tom, David, Mike and Greg Knickerbocker. Stu will be interred with Ellen at the Great Lakes National Cemetery in Holly. A memorial service and one-man art show is being planned for a later date.

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