Richard A. Knapp, 84, of St. Joseph/Randolph, Ohio ascended to his heavenly home on May 25, 2018.
Born on August 28, 1933 to Oscar and Ollie, Richard was one of twelve children growing up on their small farm in Randolph, Ohio. There, Richard’s foundational values, unwavering faith, dedication to family, relentless work ethic, and servitude to others took shape.
In his formative years, Richard made the best decision in his life and began to pursue the love of his life, Catherine Begue. Through his stubborn determination, boyish handsome looks and rebel motorbike, Richard won Catherine’s heart and they were married in Waikiki, Honolulu, Hawaii on May 27, 1955. There, Richard served in the United States Army as a tank driver as the Korean War wound down. Richard and Catherine started their family while stationed in Hawaii with their first born, Rick.
After their return to Akron, Richard began his life’s work as an operating engineer in construction for over 46 years, 39 of those years with the Ruhlin Construction Company. Richard “Digger Dick” helped build and lay much of the infrastructure of roads and bridges across Northeast Ohio, while laying a foundational bedrock of values for his nine children of faith, family, humbleness and servitude toward others. He knew no sick day, and laced up his work boots in the heat, rain and snow to provide for all that depended on him. Richard’s work never seemed to end. He worked in the garden, greenhouse, under his kid’s cars, and caring for his mother, Ollie and mother-in-law, Ellen. He never spoke an ill word about anyone, was wise, and always had a quick one-liner to make us laugh. He instructed us to always take care of each other and not to “judge”, “until you walked a mile in another man’s moccasins.”
Richard was a loyal member of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Randolph for most of his life. He modeled the beatitudes for those around him, focusing on meekness, peacemaking, and a hunger for righteousness. He had a very deep connection with nature and a personal relationship with our Savior.
Richard’s memory and instruction will be a road map for us all. He has heard the words of our Father – “well done, good and faithful servant.”
He is survived by his adoring wife, Catherine “Katie” of 63 years; his nine children, Rick (Sue) Knapp, Diana Knapp, Beth (James) Breiding, Peggy (Brian) Pavlak, Joan Knapp, Thomas Knapp, Lisa (Jeff) Teeple, Tina (John) Byers and Scott (Kerri) Knapp. Richard also leaves a legacy of 22 grandchildren, three great-grandchildren; brother, Raymond Knapp; sisters, Betty Soboro and Rosemary Kintz.
Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, May 30, 2018 at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 2643 Waterloo Road, Mogadore (Randolph), Ohio 44260 with Father Thomas Acker, S.J. presiding. Burial with military honors will follow at St. Joseph Cemetery. Family and friends will be received at the church one hour prior to the Mass on Wednesday, from 10 to 11 a.m. The family suggests memorials to St. Joseph Church.
(Hopkins Lawver, Akron, 330-733-6271)