Joe Knollenberg, a Republican fiscal conservative who served suburban Detroit’s Oakland County in the U.S. House of Representatives for 16 years, died Feb. 6 at a memory-care center in Troy, Mich. He was 84.
Michigan State Sen. Marty Knollenberg announced the death and said the cause complications from Alzheimer’s disease.
Mr. Knollenberg worked in sales and sales management for the insurance industry and ran his own agency in Troy before winning election to the U.S. House in 1992. He had been chairman of the Oakland County Republican Party, a district chairman and president of a local GOP club.
On Capitol Hill, he served on the House Banking Committee (now known as the Financial Services Committee), vowing to reduce regulations. He also chaired the House Appropriations subcommittee on the District and other subpanels affecting military construction and transportation funding. He also was co-chairman of the Congressional Armenian Caucus.
His 2008 reelection race was affected by a national sentiment for change amid the economic crisis. Democrat Gary Peters, now a U.S. senator, defeated Mr. Knollenberg.
Joseph Knollenberg was born in Mattoon, Ill., on Nov. 28, 1933, and grew up on a farm. He graduated from Eastern Illinois University in 1955 and served two years in the Army before entering the insurance business and settling in Michigan.
Survivors include his wife of 55 years, Sandie Knollenberg; and two sons.
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