Francis 'Bud' Knapp


Posted: Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Former Juneau resident Francis Andrew "Bud" Knapp died June 7, 2007, at his home in Kasilof. He was 73.

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He was born March 10, 1934, to Frank and Nellie (Ferrera) Knapp and was raised on a fox farm on the Little Noatak River. At 13, he attended White Mountain Boarding School and graduated from Mount Edgecumbe High School in 1953. He joined the U.S. Army and served from June 1953 to May 1955, when he was honorably discharged.

He married Josephine Shaefer on April 6, 1955. He fathered eight children in the next 10½ years while working as a security guard, bus driver, fisherman, heavy equipment operator and contractor. He worked and retired from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers after 30 years. Francis was raised in the subsistence lifestyle. He enjoyed hunting and fishing until late in life.

The family wrote: "He was loved by many and was well known for his prowess at telling stories. The twinkle in his eyes kept people wondering what mischief he was up to next."

He and his wife lived in many places in Alaska, Washington and California, including Sitka, Juneau, Petersburg, Hoonah, Anchorage and Auke Bay. After living in various places around the United States, they settled in Kasilof, where they spent the last 14 years.

During his time on the Kenai Peninsula, he and his wife owned and operated A wilderness store, which was a gathering place for family, friends and neighbors. They closed the store in 2005 due to illness.

His natural music talents enabled him to play any musical instrument he picked up, said family members.

He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Dorothy "Doe Doe" Volkheimer; and brother, William "Bill" Knapp.

He is survived by his wife of 52 years; sons, Andy Knapp, of Kasilof, Joe Knapp, of California, Jerry Knapp, of Kasilof, Ross Knapp, of Kasilof, and Carl Knapp, of Palmer; daughters, Denice Knapp, of Anchorage, Nellie Knapp-Mills, of Marysville, Wash., and Natalia Knapp, of Tulalip, Wash.; 12 grandchildren; one great-granddaughter; and many nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday, June 14, at Peninsula Memorial Chapel in Kenai. He will be laid to rest at the Spruce Grove Memorial Park in Kasilof. A celebration of life will follow at the Knapp residence, mile 4.5 of K-Beach Road.

Pallbearers will include his sons, Andy, Joe, Jerry, Ross and Carl Knapp, and son in-law, Chad Mills. Honorary pallbearers will include Frank Stein, Marv Mattson, Bob Stevenson, Kevin "Bruno" Deglin and Ernie Hillman.

Arrangements made by Peninsula Memorial Chapel.

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