Charles E. Knisley, 73


Charles Eugene “Gene” Knisley, 73, of Hillsboro, died at 10:35 a.m. Friday, May 10, 2024, at Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, MO.
Private family services will be held. Father Daniel Willenborg, Pastor of St. Agnes Catholic Church in Hillsboro, will officiate. Burial will be in St. Agnes Cemetery in Hillsboro.
Mr. Knisley was born Nov. 23, 1950, in Hillsboro, to the late Charles Andrew and Mary Lou (Kesinger) Knisley. Mr. Knisley was a 1968 graduate of Hillsboro High School in Hillsboro and then attended Mizzou and SIUE. He worked as a Union Carpenter out of Local #725, then worked at Graham Correctional Center in Hillsboro in maintenance as a carpenter until he retired in 2002, after 22 years of service. Mr. Knisley also purchased Hillsboro Bowl in 1994 and was owner and operator until selling in 2023. Mr. Knisley was a member of Carpenter Local #725 and the Moose Lodge in Hillsboro. He was the AFSCME Union president for many years at Graham Correctional Center, before then also became active at the national level and was chairman of Hillsboro Zoning Board for many years. He also loved being outdoors.
Mr. Knisley is survived by his significant other, for over 44 years, Rhonda Sanford of Hillsboro; a son, Josh Knisley of Hillsboro; two grandsons, Charles “Michael” Knisley and Joshua Alexander Knisley; a sister, Carolyn Sue Ginos of Hillsboro; several nieces and nephews; and Gloria Sanford.
Along with his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother, Ronald Knisley; brother-in-law, George Ginos; and Cliff Sanford.
Memorials are suggested to St. Agnes Catholic Church Building Fund. Condolences may be left online at