Longtime NIRSA Member passes away
Ronald S. Knisley, former NIRSA Professional Member, died Thursday, October 13, 2005, at his home in Normal, Illinois. He was 52 years old. Mr. Knisley joined NIRSA in 1981 and was an active member of both NIRSA and the Illinois Intramural-Recreational Sports Association, holding the position of State Director of Illinois from 1989 to 1991 while at Illinois State University in Normal.
In 1991, Knisley left campus recreation to work for Special Olympics Illinois housed on the Illinois State University campus, where he filled the role of Director of Sports and Competition. Talking about Knisley's dedication to the Special Olympics, Michelle Henson, Director of Communications and Publications for Special Olympics Illinois, recalled that at the 1995 Special Olympics World Summer Games in New Haven, Connecticut, Knisley competed in an event that partners Special Olympics Athletes with community members; Knisley and his partner gold medaled in golf. Henson also recalled Knisley's penchant for fun as she recalled his participation in the March 2005 Polar Plunge fundraiser for Special Olympics where he took the plunge wearing a pink tutu.
NIRSA Members remember Knisley fondly:
David Lochbaum, Associate Director at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, was a graduate student at Illinois State University when he met Knisley and recalled with a smile that "Ron was a guy you couldn't not like."
Dale Carruthers, Director of Recreational Sports at University of Wisconsin in Madison, said that "Ron was a true professional who did everything well. He was always willing to share his ideas and his successes."
Services for Ronald Knisley were held in Morton, Illinois on Tuesday, October 18. Contributions in his memory may be made to Special Olympics Illinois at 605 E Willow St, Normal, IL 61761-2682, or to the American Cancer Society at 4234 N Knoxville Ave, Peoria, IL 61614.