Max Knauer III Obituary

Max  R. Knauer III
Max R. Knauer III

January 13, 1949 - August 2, 2019
Born in Des Moines, Iowa
Resided in Des Moines, Iowa
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Max R. Knauer, III, 70, passed away Friday, August 2, 2019, of cancer at The Life Center.

Max was born January 13, 1949, in Des Moines, Iowa to Doris E. and Max R. Knauer, Jr. He graduated from Lincoln High School in 1967, then Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, IA where he received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science in 1971. Max completed his Master of Education in Secondary Social Studies from Northeastern University in Boston, MA, in 1973.

Max married Kittie D. Weston on October 4, 1975. To that union was born two sons - Max R. Knauer, IV and Joseph Patrick (JP) Knauer. He possessed and expressed unconditional love for his family.

This commitment was borne out in his life-long career as an educator and community volunteer and activist. Max capped a 35-year career in the Des Moines Public Schools District - nine years as a New Horizons work experience advisor at East High School and 26 years as a teacher of mathematics at Hiatt and Weeks Middle Schools. He was a proud member of DMEA, ISEA, and NEA. He continually advocated within these organizations for improving the education of our youth throughout Des Moines, Iowa, and the United States. Max was also a highly respected real estate agent with Iowa Realty.

Max was a proactive member of the Des Moines and State of Iowa community. He was an active participant in the following organizations: NAACP, LULAC, AMOS, Asian & Latino Coalition, One Iowa, Iowa Autism Society, League of Women Voters, WILPF, Des Moines Neighbors, Des Moines Mayor’s Task Force Citizens Cemetery Advisory Committee, Older Iowans Legislature, the Iowa Democratic Party, the Iowa ACLU Candidate and Issues Campaign Committee and a selfless volunteer to many charitable and quality of life endeavors that involved the betterment of society.

Max is survived by his wife of 43 years, Kittie Weston-Knauer; sons Max R. (Kelli Kilgore) Knauer, IV of Lake Barrington, IL, and Joseph Patrick (JP) Knauer of Des Moines; grandchildren Zari S. Knauer and Max R. Knauer, V (Ciel) of Lake Barrington, IL; brother Michael (Kathy) Knauer of Burlington, VT, and sisters Jennifer (Kim) Doughty of Clear Lake, IA, Melody (Scott) Nelson of Des Moines, Melissa (Raymond) Bazley of Lexington, MO, and Julia (Roger) Morgan of Durant, OK; brothers-in-law Saber (Miriam) Muslim of Greensboro, NC and John (Lisa) Weston of East Hampton, NY; sister-in-law Rachael Weston (Kang) Ukawa of Tokyo, Japan; and, a host of nieces and nephews, great-nieces and nephews, aunts and uncles, and cousins.

Max was preceded in death by his father, Max R. Knauer, Jr.; mother, Doris E. Knauer; and, sister Joydine Knauer.

Max always strived to learn as much as he could and in turn, teach others the knowledge he had acquired. He generously donated his body for medical research to Des Moines University.

His Celebration of Life Memorial Service will be held at 10 AM Saturday, September 7 at First Unitarian Church, 1800 Bell Avenue in Des Moines. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be directed to the ARL (Animal Rescue League of Iowa, Inc.), Attn: Donations, 5452 N.E. 22nd Street, Des Moines, IA 50313-2528 ( and Autism (ASD) Services, Easterseals of Iowa, 401 N.E. 66th Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50313 (

Max will be remembered for his belief in dignity, justice, and respect for each of us. And to that end, he gave tirelessly of himself to ensure this for all humankind. Kittie D. Weston-Knauer, Wife





First Unitarian Church, Des Moines, Iowa
1800 Bell Avenue
Des Moines, IA US
Saturday, September 7, 2019
10:00 AM
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Animal Rescue League Of Iowa
5452 NE 22nd Street
Des Moines, IA 50313
Autism (ASD) Services: Easterseals of Iowa
401 N.E. 66th Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa USA 50313