Slain Chicago missionary remembered for service to Haiti after 2010 quake

Reuters News
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Posted: May 21, 2014 7:07 PM

By Amelie Baron

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (Reuters) - An elderly American missionary who was stabbed to death last week in Haiti was a generous man who dedicated his life to the impoverished country after a devastating 2010 earthquake, churchgoers and friends recalled at a memorial service on Wednesday.

George Knoop, an elder with the Quisqueya Chapel, was attacked inside his home by an unknown assailant in the Delmas suburb of the Haitian capital on May 13.

After the attack, the 77-year-old former Chicago-area teacher managed to place a cellphone call for help but was unable to speak, said Charles Ronald, 28, who was Knoop's roommate for two years.

Friends rushed to his house and found him on the floor in a pool of blood.

""I studied the Bible with him and he helped me a lot. He was generous, helping people, paying for their school, their rents, their food," Ronald said.

During the memorial friends took the microphone to pay tribute, standing next to the Haitian and United States flags.

"We all know how special he was, a beautiful person. He loved to pray," said another roommate, Andy Ripp. "I'm sad but happy because I know now he's in deep sleep with God."

The motive for the stabbing is unknown and no suspects have been arrested, according to police. Some media reports have said that a knife was recovered at the scene.

Knoop also worked in Haiti as a volunteer in Haiti sorting mail and packages for Florida-based Missionary Flights International, a group of pilots who fly Christian charity missions to Haiti, the Dominican Republic and the Bahamas.

Joe Karabensh, a senior vice president with the group, said Knoop moved to Haiti after hearing at his church about the Haiti's earthquake.

"He sold everything he had and moved down to Haiti," Karabensh said. "He heard about the desperate need in Haiti and felt God wanted him there."

He said Knoop taught Bible classes and mentored young men. Knoop was divorced and did not have children.

(This version of the story corrects Knoop's age to 77 in paragraph three.)

(Additional reporting by Kevin Gray; Editing by David Adams, Cynthia Osterman and Eric Walsh)