The hockey community is mourning the loss of one of the sport’s top local advocates after Vern Kneeshaw, a goalie in his playing days and one of the founding members of the Spokane Oldtimers Hockey Association, died Sunday morning in his sleep.
He was 90 years old.
Kneeshaw, who won a U.S. National senior amateur title with the 1948-49 Spokane Flyers, helped start the Oldtimers group in 1974 and was the organization’s first president and longtime secretary in the years that followed.
Kneeshaw also served as an off-ice official for the Western Hockey League’s Spokane Chiefs.
“He had a great sense of humor and was a good friend,” former Spokane Chiefs director of business operations Don Jamieson said. “He had the spirit of a young guy.”
And hockey kept him young, according to his son, Scott Kneeshaw.
“He played a game on his 80th birthday,” Scott said. “He had a long and colorful playing career.”
“He was just a guy that loved hockey,” said Don Scherza, who was also a founding member of the Oldtimers group.
A memorial service for Kneeshaw will be held on Friday at 1 p.m. at the First Assembly of God church in Spokane.