Listening Post: Remembering Bill Knoble

Bill Knoble in lambing season, 2013. Photo: Ellen Rocco

Bill Knoble in lambing season, 2013. Photo: Ellen Rocco

It has been a tough week at North Country Public Radio after word went out Monday evening about the sudden passing of Bill Knoble, husband to NCPR station manager Ellen Rocco, and a friend to countless many throughout the NCPR community and around the North Country.

Thanks to everyone who has sent condolence messages to Ellen via email and social media. We are collecting them all together and will pass your good wishes on to her. You can direct messages for Ellen and remembrances of Bill to the station at the email address, or as a comment on this post.

Bill was a potter and a farmer and a lifelong learner–working toward a geology degree at St. Lawrence University. He was also what Ellen would call a real mensch–stoic, easygoing, hardworking, always willing to lend a hand–an old-school North Country kind of “guy.” As his obituary in the Watertown Daily Times notes, “Bill never owned a cell phone, but he had two tractors.”

Bill had a quirky sense of humor that I found very appealing. I particularly liked the guidance he gave on the spelling of his name–“Noble with a ‘K.’ The ‘K’ at the beginning is silent. . . the ‘K’ at the end is invisible.”

Funeral arrangements are made with the Denesha Funeral Home. A memorial gathering will be held at First Presbyterian Church in Canton, NY on Friday at 3:30 pm.


22 Comments on “Listening Post: Remembering Bill Knoble”

  1. Naomi Weller says:

    I am so very sorry for your loss Ellen!

  2. Dorie Vallillo says:

    Please let Ellen know how sorry I am to hear this. She is in my thoughts.
    Dorie Vallillo
    Tri States Public Radio, Retired
    (another rural hamlet)

  3. Linda Casserly says:

    I only met Bill at their wedding and remember how happy they were. There are no answers for sudden deaths in some of our loved ones lives. I only know from a personal experience that there are no answers for how we die or how long we live. The memories, however long, will always be with Ellen and last forever. No one can take them away. In time, much time, she will smile when she thinks of Bill and on a stary night, he is there. Take care. Linda

  4. Pat and Dave Lennox says:

    We are so sorry to learn that Ellen’s husband passed away and will think of her kindly and lovingly.

    Just a couple of NPR listeners.

  5. My sincerest condolences to Ellen and to the NCPR family.
    Although I did not know Bill, I can imagine how special he must have been, given that he and Ellen were married and had such a wonderful life together.
    May he rest in peace.

  6. michael coffey says:

    Bill was a wonderful and rare person, “a force of nature” as my wife has said. And we remain in his presence every day, or he remains in ours: like many lucky people, we have plates, bowls, and mugs from his Red Truck party throughout our house. He was a great craftsman, and artist; equally so a great person. Becca and I are so sorry for Ellen’s loss.

  7. Teresa Snyder says:

    I am sorry to hear of Ellen’s loss. May Bill’s name always be a blessing.

  8. Ray Agnew says:

    So sorry to hear. Prayers for Ellen and the family.

  9. Jeff Couture says:

    So sorry to hear this sad news. My condolences to you all. Wishing you strength, Ellen, and the kindness and support of your many many admirers.

  10. Michael Greer says:

    I was stunned and stopped in my tracks by this news Monday, and my heart goes out to Ellen for the unexpectedness of this loss. Many of us are at an age where such things become an increasing possibility, but we all expect to at least have a hint that something is coming. Look around yourself this week, and give a hug to all in your circle of friends and family.

  11. Condolences to Ellen and to her and Bill’s family. May Bill rest in peace.

  12. Diane Colbert says:

    I am so sorry to learn of this loss Ellen and so many others.

  13. Kara Ott says:

    So sorry for your loss Ellen and the NCPR family. Bill sounds like a wonderful man. May he rest in peace. May you find peace in the love he shared in life.

  14. Susan Jackson says:

    from Susan Jackson and Rafael Quinones….We are so sorry for Ellen and the BIG FAMILY. I had a dear old aunt that would weep copiously and intone “The gods were jealous”.. That seems as much explanation as possible to such unexpected and shattering events….hugs and tears to you all and carry on love and life as Bill and Ellen and the BIG FAMILY have been living it . Thinking of you all with love.

  15. Karen Butters says:

    I met Bill when he started his pottery shop in Blue Mt. Lake. Just such a nice person…thoughts and prayers go to Ellen and his daughter Jessie and family.

  16. Mark, Saranac Lake says:

    Bill was an incredible artist and craftsman – his creations in clay at Red Truck Pottery are amazing. That is how I first knew Bill, as a fellow artist – he had asked me if I could show some of my photography in his seasonal gallery in Blue Mountain Lake that he ran for several summers a while back. He did have a quirky sense of humor, as Dale described it – Bill was quirky, in a wonderful way. My heart goes out to Ellen.

  17. Ellen, I am so very sorry. May you find peace.

  18. Kent Gregson says:

    I kind of see him heading out in his old red truck. Glad he came by. Sorry to see him go. Good wishes, Ellen.

  19. Claudia & Greg says:

    We are so very sorry to hear of Bill’s passing. He was a true gentleman and a spirit full of grace. We were all blessed to have known him.

  20. Carole Slatkin says:

    There are no words, Ellen. But there are friends to send big hugs. Much love to you, Ellen. May each day bring its own solace and comfort. As a friend once said, I hold your hand very tightly. I wish I were there to do that in person.

  21. Barbara Tam says:

    To Ellen and Bill’s Family;

    My heart goes to all of you in remembering Bill with love and admiration. Many of us clay folks in the North Country think of Bill as potter extraordinaire – and his pots live on in our many homes, studios, and workplaces. Thank you, Bill, for the years of sharing clay, mountains, and beers on the deck. You are missed beyond words.

    Barbara and Paul
    Keene, NY

  22. Ron Williams says:

    Ellen, I am so very sorry to be writing this to YOU! I truly know how you feel, having lost my Kathy in July. It is an expressible feeling of emptiness and change in ones world all at once. I feel sad for YOU and your loss. We are now, in a sense, the same. It may not do much good to get together to commiserate, but if you feel like it and want to, please give me a call. Ron

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