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Arie Orven "A.O." Knicely
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Obituary for Arie Orven "A.O." Knicely

Arie Orven "A.O." Knicely, 99 of Mt. Sidney, VA is now safe in the arms of Jesus. He passed away October 5th, 2017 at his home surrounded by his family. He was born May 19, 1918 near Centerville, VA. His parents were the late Ari Owen Knicely and the late Grace Bell Wiseman Knicely. He was the last surviving member of his immediate family. He was preceded in death by his wife of 74 years, Mary Frances Terry Knicely, whom he married on Dec. 24, 1937, 4 brothers, 4 sisters. He leaves behind his sons, Rev. A. Gene (Anna) of Bridgewater, Glen (Darlena) of Penn Laird, Don (Sandy) of Bridgewater, and daughter Deborah (Randy) Simmons of Staunton. He had 10 grandsons, Tim Knicely, Nathan and Nolan Petit, David, Danny, and Neil Knicely, Aaron Simmons, Sandon Knicely, Chad and Gabe Moyers, 2 granddaughters, Amy Tousant, and Sue Claytor, 5 great-grandsons, Caleb Simmons, Oscar and Wyatt Knicely, and Adam and Zack Moyers, 4 Great-Granddaughters, Tasha Knicely, Maya Simmons, Olivia and Gracie Moyers.

He was a role model for many, sharing his love for God, country and all he met. He will be remembered for his kindness, generosity, and love for others. His favorite saying in recent years was “I love ya, I love ya, I love ya”.

He enjoyed playing blue grass and old time country music. He played with the Knicely Family Band, the Silver Strings, the Sunrise Pickers, and the Palms Estate Pickers. He played the fiddle, mandolin, and guitar with his wife who played guitar and autoharp. They played together for over 75 years bringing joy to many in campgrounds, nursing homes and family gatherings. He taught and encouraged many family members to play various instruments. At one time, 18 members of the family played at least one or more musical instruments.

He was a member of the Summit Church of the Brethren where he served as deacon, Sunday school teacher and on the church board. He was a member of the Mt. Sidney Ruritan Club with over 60 years of perfect attendance and the Gideons.

He spent 14 years working at Wayne Manufacturing in Waynesboro, 20 years as a barber at Mt. Sidney, and retired after 13 years from the building inspection department of Augusta County. He volunteered with the Staunton Rescue Squad. For over 20 years he and his wife volunteered with the Shenandoah District Church of the Brethren disaster response.

He was honorably discharged from the US Army after serving under General George Patton in the European theater during WW II.

Family visitation will be held at the Johnson Funeral Home in Grottoes on Sunday, Oct. 8 from 6 – 8 pm. A memorial service will be held on Monday Oct 9 at 1:00 pm at the Summit Church of the Brethren. Burial will be in the church cemetery with military rites by the Dayton American Legion Post #27.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Summit Church of the Brethren, 314 Summit Church Rd. Bridgewater, VA 22812.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at

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Previous Events





6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Johnson Funeral Service Grottoes

memorial service




1:00 PM
Summit Church of the Brethren

Officiating will be Rev.Tim Craver, Rev. Steve Spire, Rev. John Glick.

Cemetery Details


Summit Church of the Brethren Cemetery

314 Summit Church Road
Bridgewater, VA 22812

Memorial Contribution

Summit Church of the Brethren

314 Summit Church Road
Bridgewater, VA 22812

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