David Lloyd Knapp
Tallahassee, FL - David Lloyd Knapp (80) of Tallahassee, FL, passed away Friday August 20th at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital.
David was born in Penn Yan, NY to Mary Kathryn (Vose) and Dayton Leroy Knapp. At 14 months, David contracted Polio and spent a year in the Ithaca Reconstruction Home (some of which was in an iron lung). Despite his diagnosis, David's parents Mary and Dayton held David to high standards and treated him as though polio would not limit his potential. Even though he relied on crutches for mobility most of his life, he was never considered handicapped by his family, friends, and peers.
David graduated from Dundee Central School in 1959 where he served as President of the Dundee High Student Council, scorekeeper for basketball team, and member of the Honor Society.
David attended Syracuse University, majoring in political science. At Syracuse he served as President of Pi Kappa Alpha social fraternity and was a strong supporter of all SU sports teams. He considered himself fortunate to attend Syracuse when they won the national football championship in '59-60.
David was proud of his Keuka Lake heritage, working as the Proprietor of Dave's Gas and Oil, where he sold gasoline to boat owners on the lake during the summers off from college.
In 1963, David began his career in management information with the Department of the Navy as a civilian. He later worked for a consulting firm that transferred him to Tallahassee in 1971.
In 1972 he began his career with the State of Florida Division of Retirement, where he was promoted to Bureau Chief in 1980. While working with the DOR, he and his staff helped develop the first automated personnel system (COPES). In 1997, he was transferred to the Division of Insurance, where he retired in 2001.
Throughout his life in Tallahassee, David married, raised four children, and was a member and volunteer of many civic groups and organizations: including Tallahassee Lions Club (President), Tallahassee Corvette Club (Member), Epiphany Lutheran Church (Chairman of the Board of Elders, Member), Epiphany Lutheran Softball Team (Manager), Tallahassee Open (Volunteer), and Centel Classic and Sprint Classic Golf tournament (Marshal and Assistant Marshal Chairman for 20 years).
Music was a lifelong passion for David. He had a wonderful, deep baritone voice and was a talented accordion player. He sang bass in the Knapp Quartet, a family band in high school. Later, he (and his brother Larry) were founding members of the Hill and Valley Boys, a round and square dance band that played throughout the Finger Lakes region of New York.
In Tallahassee, he was a founding member of the Polka Dots Oktoberfest Band, playing with the group for more than 20 years at local venues across the state. After his retirement, David and his wife Rachel travelled to many bluegrass and jazz festivals where he had the chance to play music. Nothing made David happier than the times they could cruise to a festival on his three wheeled motorcycle - something he considered a dream come true. All of his life, he wanted a motorcycle but could not ride one due to polio. David and his wife also enjoyed travelling to Syracuse to attend football games and reunions with his Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity brothers.
David is preceded in death by his parents Mary Vose and Dayton Leroy Knapp and brother Larry Knapp of Penn Yan, NY.
He is survived by his wife Rachel Cotten Knapp of Tallahassee; son Dayton Parker Knapp of Tallahassee; daughter Kimberly "Kimi" Knapp Paquette of St. Petersburg, FL; daughter Elizabeth "Betsy" Christine Miller and her husband Don of Tallahassee; son David "D." Harrison Knapp and his wife Lindsay of Syracuse, NY; two stepchildren, Thomas Cotten of Hawaii, Claudia Stone and her husband Cliff of Panama City, FL; brother Robert "Bobby" Knapp and his wife Rosemary of Penn Yan, NY; sister Nancy Knapp Hedrick of Brooksville, FL; sister Sherry Knapp of Penn Yan, NY; ten grandchildren: Autumn Hilliard Knapp of Tallahassee; Campbell Paquette and Kenyon Paquette of St. Petersburg, FL; Dylan Miller and Parker Miller of Tallahassee; Abijah Bell Knapp and Ulla Bell Knapp of Syracuse, NY; Annabelle, Stephen and Edison Evans of Panama City, FL; and many nieces, nephews, and extended family throughout Florida, Penn Yan, and the Finger Lakes region of New York.
A memorial service for friends and family in New York will take place at a later date.
Posted online on August 26, 2021