John P. Knapp, age 84, resident of Shelby died Sunday June 23, 2019 in Southwest Hospice in Strongsville, Ohio.
Born February 26, 1935 in Shelby to Harry and Helen (Flegm) Knapp, John had been a life long Shelby resident. He was a 1953 graduate of Shelby High School and was a veteran of the US Naval Reserve. John was employed by General Motors as a tool and die maker, retiring in 1987 following thirty one years of service. In 1986 he founded Knapp Motors Inc. in Mansfield, operating the business until retiring in 1999, whereupon his son Kevin moved Knapp Auto Sales Inc. to the same location. To many of his customers and colleagues, John was "Mr. Taurus".
John often expressed to his family "You've got to give to get" and his life reflected that motto.
In every sense of the word he believed in levity. His humor and light-heartedness brought smiles and laughter to family, friends and strangers. The levity of flight engaged him. Throughout his life he raised pigeons, designed and built kites and crafted hot air balloons. In his retirement several turkey vultures frequented his property. On a remote part of his property he began supplementing their diet with some of their favorite roadside "goodies" so he could more closely observe their effortless soaring.
John enjoyed the outdoors. Drawn to water he spent time fishing rivers, Lake Erie and the backwoods of Quebec. A day on Lake Erie in his well-worn boat 'Old Scabby' always ended by watching the sunset, an appreciation of another day given. Nature brought out his spiritual side and his faith was expressed in his belief that everything would be okay. And mostly it was okay. But many times it was extraordinary.
He is survived by his wife Jean (Flaherty) Knapp whom he wed May 19, 1956; son Kevin (Lucy) Knapp of Lucas OH; daughters Melanie (Robert) Lapmarado of Strongsville OH and Susan (Mike) Foliano of Madison AL; two grandchildren, Kyle Knapp and Sophia Foliano; sister Helene Albert of Columbus OH; various nieces and nephews and other relatives.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by brothers Howard and Chuck Knapp; sisters Wanda Weber, Marjorie May and Kay Ewalt.
Calling hours will be at Barkdull Funeral Home in Shelby Ohio from 4:00 to 6:00 PM on Monday, July 1, 2019. A celebration of John's life will be held at the funeral home immediately following at 6:00 PM.
In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to the Ohio Bird Sanctuary, 3774 Orweiler Rd, Mansfield, OH 44903.