The Legend of Dr. Bruce Kleinknecht
This past April, it was our good fortune to be introduced to Dr. Bruce Kleinknecht and his lovely wife Carole. We attended a wine and cheese following a seminar in Toronto and a mentor of ours, Dr. Tom Preston, interrupted Dr. Bruce and said,” I want to introduce you to 2 amazing young docs who would love to find out more about your practice.” We had a great chat and next thing we knew we were headed to Elmira.
Dr. Bruce and Carole showed us around the practice and took us out for lunch in St. Jacobs. We immediately took a liking to them and the area. At lunch Dr. Bruce invited us on a canoe trip to Algonquin Park. Dr. Sarah couldn’t go, but I (Thom) couldn’t miss it! Even though I lost Bruce’s fish and dumped him in Lake Louisa, we remained friends and Bruce felt confident in leaving us his practice.
Imagine 54 years in private practice! Dr. Bruce grew up in Kitchener and nearing the end of high school was introduced by an aunt to a local chiropractor, Dr. Reg Daynard. He thought chiropractic could make a rewarding career and entered CMCC in the last class to be accepted with only a high school diploma. Over the next 4 years Bruce hitchhiked weekly to and from Toronto along Hwy. 5 so he could attend his classes.
In the spring of 1960, after graduating and getting his license, Bruce hung his sign above Billy Riffer’s Butcher Shop in downtown Kitchener. The office was complete with 2 rooms, one acted as a bedroom with a hotplate while the other an adjusting room. Bruce did everything from answering the phone to airing out the smell in the office after the butcher shop downstairs rendered the lard.
Bruce married his lovely bride, Carole, on September 15th, 1962. They recently celebrated their 52nd wedding anniversary. After giving birth to their eldest daughter, they decided to move just north of Kitchener to the small Mennonite farming community of Elmira. He opened his practice off the main street in 1964 and has been there ever since.
Carole was an integral part of the practice as she has a great mind for business and was the office manager for many years. She also had the pleasure of raising 4 children, one of whom went on to become a chiropractor and married another chiropractor, who now practice in Nova Scotia. Carole was a key player in the early days of the Ontario Women’s Chiropractic Auxiliary where she authored a book on the history of the Auxiliary and raised money to support CMCC and other important events.
Bruce served as president of the local chiropractic society and several years on the CMCC board. Additionally, he served 12 years on the board for the Woolwich Counseling Agency and helped raise more than $1 million for a new facility.
Dr. Bruce and his wife Carole have contributed so much to their community over the years and deserve a huge thank you. We will be forever grateful for their help in getting started and entrusting us with the privilege of continuing the great tradition of Elmira Family Chiropractic.
PS. Join us in celebrating our 50th anniversary of Elmira Family Chiropractic on November 15th from 1–4pm. Snacks will be served and cake cut at 2:30. Great door prizes to be won!