Funeral, Cremation, & Burial Services | Michigan Memorial

Walter Johann

Knoch, Jr.

November 15 , 1935 - October 09 , 2020

Walter Johann Knoch, Jr.
Walter Johann Knoch, Jr.
1935 - 2020


Thursday, October 15, 2020
2:00-8:00 PM
Michigan Memorial Funeral Home


Friday, October 16, 2020
1:00 PM
Michigan Memorial Funeral Home Chapel

Private Inurnment


In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the
Alzheimer's Foundation.


Knoch, Walter J., Jr. age 84, of Taylor, October 09, 2020. Beloved husband of Wendy Knoch. Loving father of John (Julie) Knoch, April (Creighton) Gallup, and Ursula (Joe) Vaughan. Dearest grandfather of Olivia Mabel Vaughan, Vivian Pearl Vaughan, and Isabel Noelle Knoch. He is also survived by his cousins Al Knoch, Beverly Greenberg, and his dearest friends, Ray Gaddis and Roger Stevenson. He is preceded in death by his parents Walt and Amelia “Millie” Knoch. Walter belonged to the NHRA, NCOA, Kappa Sigma, and L’Apache. He will be taken in a custom-built Harley hearse for a final ride.

Highlights of a Legendary Life

Recruited by the Detroit Tigers at the age of 16, but didn’t play due to an injury
Had a choice between Michigan State for baseball, and Michigan for football, so he played Michigan Football because he liked their helmets
Self-Proclaimed “Beach Bum”
Mr. Florida, 1960
Piloted his own plane
Lived in New Orleans for a month until he ran out of money as a college student
Went on to receive his Juris Doctorate from the University of Miami, Florida
Starred in a movie and was slated to be the next Western star
Modeled, but didn’t stick with it because the clothes were too small for his physique
Broke the world record for building the first 6 second car in the NHRA
Won Junior Eliminator at the NHRA Nationals in 1961 and Middle Eliminator in 1962
Built speedboats and award-winning race cars with his father in the 50s and 60s, carrying on the legacy into the 70s after his father’s passing
Part of the ‘W’ Club at Roosevelt High School in Wyandotte, Michigan and was honored for some of his life achievements
Ski Instructor in Aspen
Member of Action Vans
Honored at the Indianapolis 500 in 2004
Horse enthusiast and Member of the Arabian Horse Association (bred and showed his own blue-ribbon mares)


I will love and miss you forever, Wally. Until we meet again, my love. Wendy Knoch

Daddy, You were always there for me when I needed you. In all of my mistakes, you laughed and told me I reminded you of yourself. That's a pretty big compliment considering the life you led. Legends never die; they become a part of you. Love, Squirt Ursula Vaughan

I have the best memories of us that I will hold forever. You lived a life people can only dream about and I had a backstage pass. I love you Daddy. Love Always, Babycakes April Gallup

My old friend, so saddened of your passing. To many years just slipped away from us. You were always a trusted friend, mentor and always good for a story. Until we meet again in the afterlife, Soft and safe my friend. Dale Konyha

Glad to have known you. Thanks for the all cruise night stories between you and Dominic Loreti from speed boats to the drag strip. Gus Kostan

Walt, Sure enjoyed the times and the great memories we had at University of Miami, boating, motorcycling, skiing, etc.etc. Used your Spico boat and my Mercury to run the Hudson River Marathon with my brother Walt. Loved it when you referred to my Harley XLCH as an Extra Large Chopped Hog while you rode your Triumph Bonneville. Great Times and great memories will happen again on the other side. See ya then, jake Steve "Jake" Jakobowski

So sorry for your loss I pray the Lord comfort and guide the family as they mourn the loss of Walt Best Joe joe