Apple Creek — Gerald “Jerry” F. Knapp, age 94, of Apple Creek, passed away on Thursday, March 16, 2023 at West View Healthy Living in Wooster, following a period of declining health.
Jerry was born on October 31, 1928, in Harrisburg, Ohio, to the late Clarence and Mary (Schillig) Knapp and graduated from Canton McKinley High School. He married Donna M. Wright in Canton in 1945 and they were married for 38 years with four children. Donna passed in 1982. Later he went on to marry LaDeane “Deanie” Nussbaum Adams at the Methodist Church in Dalton. They shared 39 wonderful years of marriage.
Jerry and Donna worked as the owners of the Holmesville Inn. Donna and he ran the restaurant together for 14 years. He went on to work at Timken for a period of time and then as a real estate agent for several companies in Wooster. Later in life he was a car salesman for Ned Adams Chrysler and retired from Village Motors in Millersburg.
Jerry was a member of St. Mary Catholic Church. He was very involved in the Apple Creek Community. He served one term as the Mayor of Apple Creek, was on the Village Council, also served on the Civic Improvement Committee, was the cochairman with LaDeane of the Johnny Apple Seed talent show for years, and was a member of the Apple Creek Lions Club for over 50 years. During his time with the Lion’s Club he received the highest honor in Lionism the “Melvin Jones Award.” He was always very privileged to serve on the board for Camp Echoing Hills in Warsaw, OH., alongside of the founder Rev. Cordell Brown for 14 years. He also donated much of his time helping to build the Apple Creek Historical Society.
Jerry took great pride in working in his yard and always made sure to keep track of the time he spent working so he wouldn’t miss an episode of Gunsmoke or Bonanza. You could often find him looking for a good John Wayne movie to watch on the weekends. He was also a member of the Ohio Long Rifle Association and at one time in his life had quite the collection. He also enjoyed collecting Dueber-Hamden watches.
Following retirement, Jerry was an avid old car collector. He was a member of the Dodge Brothers Auto Club, and for many years after his retirement he and LaDeane would go to car shows and parades almost every weekend in the summer. Jerry would always make it to church before going to shows. He won many trophies at these shows and he passed his love of classic cars onto 3 of his grandsons, David, Adam, and Bronson Knapp. Jerry gifted them his 1917 Dodge Brothers Touring Car to keep tradition alive within his own family.
But most of all Jerry cherished time spent with his family. Nothing made him happier than when his children and grandchildren from all over the U.S. would come visit for his birthday and other special occasions.
In addition to his wife, LaDeane, surviving are four children, Michael (Gloria) Knapp of Wooster, Susan Maston of Green, NY, David (Melody Burleson) Knapp of Conway, SC, and Bette (Michael) DeBose of Grand Rapids, MI; step-daughter, Shelley (Alan) Adams Merriman of Dalton; thirteen grandchildren; twenty-two great grandchildren; three great-great grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by both his parents; first wife, Donna M. Knapp; son-in-law, Wayne Maston, and six older siblings.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 am on Wednesday morning March 22, 2023, at St. Mary Catholic Church, 527 Beall Ave, Wooster, with Father Stephen Moran officiating. A private family burial will take place at the St. Mary Cemetery in Wooster.
The family would like to thank Ohio Hospice LifeCare of Wayne County and West View Healthy Living for their special care for Jerry.
Memorials may be made to Apple Creek Lions Club, 428 N Swinehart Rd, Orrville, OH 44667, or the Apple Creek Historical Society PO Box 6 Apple Creek, OH 44606.
Auble Funeral Home in Orrville is handling the arrangements. Online registry and expressions of condolence may be made at www.aublefuneralhome.com.