January 11, 2019

Former Andrews Academy principal, Charles W. “Knobby” Mauro, dies at age 94

Charles Mauro who served as principal of Andrews Academy from 1959 to 1969 remained involved with the school until his death on Jan. 8, 2019. The cause...

Charles Mauro who served as principal of Andrews Academy from 1959 to 1969 remained involved with the school until his death on Jan. 8, 2019. The cause of death was congestive heart failure, according to his son Steve Mauro. 


Jeannie Leiterman, Andrews Academy principal says Mauro was a huge proponent of Adventist Christian Education. In the last six years since she has been principal, she said she noticed that Mauro would take the time each year to get the school yearbook and learn the names of the students. He even went further. “He would come by and eat lunch with the kids,” she said.  


Another kind gesture he liked to do was sponsor children to attend the academy. “When he couldn’t write check, he’d find ways to raise funds." Since he played an integral role at the school, the academy honored Mauro by naming a portion of the Commons, the Knobby Lobby, and a plaque was dedicated in his honor during last fall’s homecoming festivities. 


Mauro’s Life Sketch 


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  



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 in Berrien Springs, Michigan on February 2, 2019 at 4:00 P.M.   In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Andrews Academy Worthy Student Fund.