‹ Return to Current Obituaries

Order Flowers now for guaranteed delivery before Richard's visitation.

Richard Knapp

Long-time Davis, California resident Richard "Dick" Knapp, age 78, beloved husband, father, brother, grandfather and uncle died at home Monday, Aug. 31, 2015, surrounded by his loving family after a long and courageous battle with Parkinson's Disease.

Dick was born May 15, 1937 in Seattle, Washington, the eldest of six children, to Ralph R. Knapp Jr. and Marjorie E. Knapp. In 1954 the Knapp family moved to Santa Cruz, California where Dick graduated from Santa Cruz High School in 1955. He then joined the U.S. Army Reserves and enrolled at Monterey Peninsula College where he met the love of his life, Joan Dutra. They were married in 1958 and moved to San Jose where their first child (Kathy) was born while Dick worked at San Jose State.

In 1960 he moved his family to Davis, where he worked at the UC Davis bookstore for 36 years in various positions including shipping and receiving, merchandise manager and buyer until he retired in 1996. He was active in the local theater, including "JayRob" in Sacramento and "West of Broadway" in Davis, performing in productions such as "You Can't Take it With You."

A passionate sports fan, he loved to play golf and bowl, and helped organize the UCD employee bowling league in the late '60s and early '70s. Dick umpired softball leagues, coached Babe Ruth baseball teams and during the 1980's served as president of the local Pop Warner football team, the Tri-City Cowboys. For 30 years, Dick worked the chain gangs on the sidelines at Davis High and UCD football games, and operated the scoreboard for the UCD men's and women's basketball games at Hickey Gym and Rec Hall. A huge baseball and football fan, he was most fond of the San Francisco Giants and Forty-Niners.

Dick also loved and is very much missed by his yellow Lab, Daisy. Dick and his wife Joan were avid enthusiasts of opera and attended many operas in San Francisco; he loved to sing and had a beautiful singing voice.

Dick is survived by his wife of 56 years, Joan; daughters Kathy Garcia and Diane Knapp (Joey Lucero) of Davis; sons Jeff Knapp (wife Deanne) of Soquel, and Rick Knapp of Davis; grandchildren Richard H. Garcia of Davis and Amanda Foster (husband Brian) of Elk Grove, Cassandra Knapp of Idaho, Jeffrey A.L. Knapp of Felton, Jacob Knapp of Seattle, and Jennie Knapp of Davis; brothers James Knapp and John Knapp (wife Muriel) of Washington, Thomas Knapp (wife Mardi) of Oregon; and sisters Joanne Bevilacqua of Pacific Grove and Mary Hanson of Florida.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his son-in-law, Richard Garcia.

Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m Wednesday, Sept. 16, at Smith's Funeral Home, 116 D St. in Davis, followed by a Rosary; a funeral mass and celebration of life will begin at 10 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 17, at St. James Catholic Church, 1275 B St., with a reception at Parish Hall and burial to follow at the Davis Cemetery.

Special thanks goes out from the Knapp family to his doctors at WHC and Yolo County Hospice for all of their care and help. The Knapp family asks that in lieu of flowers or gifts a donation can be sent to Yolo County Hospice or the Michael J. Fox Foundation.

Previous Events

Wednesday, September 16, 2015
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Smith Funeral Home - Davis

116 D Street
Davis, CA 95616

Mass of Christian Burial
Thursday, September 17, 2015
10:00 AM
St. James Catholic Church

1275 B Street
Davis, CA 95616

Yolo Hospice

To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Richard Knapp, please visit our flower store.


Hi Knapp family. I am so sorry for your loss. I moved into the house across the street on Layton in 1973. Although I didn't know Dick that well, my memories of him are how he could get up day after day so early in the morning to deliver the paper. Such a hard worker. I worked on campus and would always say hello to him when I went to the Bookstore. I had no idea he was a singer, how wonderful. Thanks for being such good neighbors. Sandy Ogletree

Sandy Ogletree Jan 19 2016 12:00 AM

Here is my memory of Richard. It was approximaely1981-82, I believe it was. I was selling a line of cookies and had stopped into the Corral, a small store within the Memorial Union at UC Davis, to see if they would be willing to let me try selling the cookies, all nicely displayed in a jar set on the counter. "No, not interested," was the gruff answer from the manager of the Corral. The guy was incredibly unfriendly and for some reason not the least bit interested in giving the cookies a chance, even on a consignment basis. Well, not wanting to take a "no" from such a bozo, I boldly sought out his boss. After asking around, I was told to go see some man named "Richard." Fortunately, Richard was very unlike his underling. Richard was friendly, casual and open-minded and almost immediately gave me the approval to display my cookie jar in the corral. Success! Thanks to Richard, who was brave enough to give a new product a chance, we enjoyed a good 2-3 years of sales in the Corral. I will always be appreciative of his "let's give it a go" attitude. Thanks, Richard! Ed Barker

Edwin Barker Sep 27 2015 12:00 AM

My deepest condolences with the passing of Dick. I worked with him for almost 20 years at the UCD Bookstore. In fact, Dick hired me as a student cashier and was one of my favorite colleagues. I have fond memories of going to Guiseppe's Pizza parlor on Olive Drive following a long, arduous day of cap-and-gown gathering and sorting. Dick used to stop by and visit me at the Bookstore once he retired when he'd come to campus to get his haircut at his favorite barber - the guy down in lower Freeborn Hall. Dick also delivered the daily newspaper to my father-in-law, ensuring the delivery was "porched". I'm sorry to have learned of his passing after the services. Please know that he will remain in my thoughts. Take care! Chris Stein Dal Porto

Chris Dal Porto Sep 22 2015 12:00 AM

To the Knapp Family, I am a long time friend of Diane's (we went to Holmes Jr. High) and I see Mrs. Knapp and Cathy at the 9:30 mass at St. James. My prayers and thoughts are you all. -Lori Paylor Carpenter

Lori Carpenter Sep 16 2015 12:00 AM

From your little brother, ,I hope you know that you are always in my thoughts all the time and will be missed very much by your loved ones. Love, Tom and Mardi

Thomas Knapp Sep 13 2015 12:00 AM