John Knuttel, 86, comptroller

John J. Knuttel
John J. Knuttel
Posted: July 30, 2014

John J. Knuttel, 86, of Brigantine, N.J., a former comptroller for St. Christopher's Hospital for Children in Philadelphia, died of heart failure Friday, July 25, at home.

Mr. Knuttel grew up in the Kensington section of Philadelphia and worked at his parents' corner grocery, a few blocks from Episcopal Hospital near Front Street and Lehigh Avenue, before and after graduating from Roman Catholic High School.

"It was a mom-and-pop store," daughter Siobhan said, where his German immigrant parents made their own pies and salads.

Mr. Knuttel studied photography with the artist Severo Antonelli at his Antonelli Institute in Center City, training that earned him a job as a military photographer during his Army service in West Germany in the early 1950s.

"He was photographing the integration of the Army in Frankfurt," his daughter said, "photographing the incoming black soldiers and the outgoing white soldiers."

The photos weren't for publication, she said, but mostly "for the archives from the base."

Mr. Knuttel had been a member of the Marine Corps Reserve after high school graduation, she said, and earned his discharge in 1949.

He chose the Army for his full-time military obligation, from which he was discharged in 1952, she said, because "it let him have a little more leeway in what he was going to do," with his photo training.

He returned to Philadelphia to work as a truck driver for the Coca-Cola Co.

But in the early 1970s, he earned a bachelor's in business administration and accounting at Drexel University, and worked as a comptroller at St. Christopher's through much of that decade.

He chose that career, his daughter said, because "he liked things in a good system and order."

Mr. Knuttel moved to comptroller at Cooney Bros., a distributor of plumbing supplies, then at Fifth and Dauphin Streets, his daughter said.

Finally, after he had relocated his family to Brigantine, he was a comptroller for Baumgardner Construction Co. in Egg Harbor Township, N.J., until he retired in the 1990s.

Besides his daughter, Mr. Knuttel is survived by his wife, Rose; sons John-Tom and Eric; eight grandchildren; and a great-grandchild.

A Funeral Mass was set for 10 a.m. Wednesday, July 30, at St. Thomas Church, 331 Eighth St., Brigantine.

Donations may be sent to the Humane Society of Atlantic County, 1401 Absecon Blvd., Atlantic City, N.J., 08401 or to

Condolences may be offered to the family at

610-313-8134 @WNaedele

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