Charles Willard "Knobby" Mauro

November 13, 1925 ~ January 8, 2019 (age 93)


Charles Willard “Knobby” Mauro was born on November 13, 1925 in Fayville, Massachusetts. He was the first of three sons born to Charles and Florence Mauro.

Willard, as he was called by his family, spent his childhood years in Fayville and Southborough, MA, graduating from South Lancaster Academy in 1943.  The following year found him at Emmanuel Missionary College (EMC) in Berrien Springs, Michigan where he was given the nick-name “Knobby.” 

With WWII at its height, Knobby was soon drafted into the army where he trained as a dental technician.  Following an honorable discharge from the U.S. Army in 1945, he returned to EMC (now Andrews University) to finish his degree in English.  At college, he met his future wife, Pat Rodenberg.  They were married in 1947, and a year later he graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree.  He then accepted his first position, men’s residence hall dean, at Cedar Lake Academy.  In 1952, he transferred, as dean, to Wisconsin Academy, and in 1959 he became principal at Andrews Academy.  He served in the Benton Harbor Public Schools from 1970 to 1991. 

In 1951 Knobby and Pat became parents to their first child, Steve.  Four years later they welcomed a daughter, Nancy, to their growing family.  Their family grew as the adult children married and had babies.  Steve, married to Mary Elizabeth Richter, has two children: Brooke Bond (Mauro), and Steven (wife, Elizabeth Stout) Mauro.  Nancy, married to Greg Gerard, also has two: Andrew (wife, Sarah Nixon) Gerard, and Allison (husband, Albert Handal) Gerard Handal.  In 2017 and 2018, three great-grandchildren entered the family: Jack Gerard, and Edward and Rosa Handal.   

Upon retiring as a teacher in 1991, Knobby worked as a painting contractor, and  became a licensed real estate agent at the age of 80.  His realty work provided the   opportunity to meet people seeking homes in Southwest Michigan, the area he loved.

Knobby was a devoted worshipper of his Redeemer, and a friend to people as he found them.  He invested heavily in the lives of his family, and folks who came into his life through church, work, recreation, and civic pursuits.  Those around him knew him as generous and helpful to a fault.

Charles W. “Knobby” Mauro passed away peacefully on January 8, 2019.  His Celebration of Life will be held at Pioneer Memorial Church, 8655 University Blvd., Berrien Springs, MI, on the campus of Andrews University on February 2, 2019 at 4:00 P.M. with military honors and folding of the flag. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Andrews Academy Worthy Student Fund, 8833 Garland Avenue, Berrien Springs, MI 49104.

Palmer Funeral Home – West Chapel is assisting the family with arrangements. Online expressions of sympathy may be left at

To send flowers to Charles' family, please visit our floral section.


Celebration of Life
February 2, 2019

4:00 PM
Pioneer Memorial Church
8655 University Blvd
Berrien Springs, MI 49103


Andrews Academy Worthy Student Fund
8833 Garland Avenue, Berrien Springs MI 49104

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