Wayne Wesley Knapp

Sep 12, 1936 – Dec 31, 2016

Wayne Wesley Knapp obituary image 1



Wayne W. Knapp died peacefully, surrounded by his family, on Saturday December 31st,  2016. 

Wayne was born in Tyler, Minnesota on September 12, 1936, the third of three boys. His mother a nurse and his father a truck driver he learned from a young age how to care for his family. Growing up he quickly became known as an outstanding athlete, and went on to play baseball at University of Minnesota. In 2011 he was inducted into the University of Minnesota Baseball Hall of Fame. 

Wayne was drafted into the army and trained as a paratrooper. After his mandatory two years in the service he returned and finished his degree at U of M. Following college he was drafted with the then named, Washington Senators, now known as the Texas Rangers, as their first baseman and played for two seasons.

 Wayne received his Masters Degree in education from George Washington University. While studying for his Masters he worked for Northwest Orient Airlines. He would frequently fly back and forth between Northwest Airlines headquarters in Minneapolis and DC in order to attend classes at George Washington University. During his time with the airlines he was married to Jeanne Knapp (Boyle) and his two eldest children: Kimberly and Merritt were born. After he graduated from G.W.U. he taught industrial arts education, while continuing to work for Northwest Orient Airlines. 

In 1975, he met his wife Carly Knapp and they were married in 1979. They settled in Federal Way and his two younger children were born: Kami and Kenny. 

For the past 40 years he owned a remodeling construction company.

Wayne’s love was his family and he was an avid Mariners baseball fan. All sports were his passion, first as a player and latter in life as a fan.  He was a generous, gentle, loving man who took pride in providing for his family. He always knew how to put a smile on someone’s face and instantly connected with the people he met. He spoke fondly of his time playing baseball and shared hilarious memories of his many years and travels with the airlines. In his spare time he loved to discuss the weather, watch sports and check in daily with his children. 

Wayne is preceded in death by his mother: Vina, father: Wesley, and two brothers: Lee and James. 

He is survived by his wife Carly and his four children: daughters Kimberly Boyce (Knapp), and Kami Knapp, his sons K. Merritt and Ken Knapp, and two grandchildren: Mackenzie and Montana Boyce. 

He will be greatly missed but his memory remains a blessing to all who knew him.


Clyde Nelson
Woodbury, MN
Jan 7, 2017

My condolences the Knapp family. I was proud to have been a Gopher baseball teammate of Wayne's and of his achievement as an All- American first baseman. Wayne was a real slugger, a line drive power hitter extraordinaire. His line drives to the power alley in right field were many but I remember most his homeruns and especially the one he hit in the 1960 District tournament against Notre Dame. It was a line drive that appeared to be still climbing as it went over the right field fence and the disappeared into the darkness of the evening. Our victory in that District tournament led to our victorious appearance in the College World Series in Omaha. Our NCAA championship that year was the 2nd of three CWS championships for the Gophers and our ledgendary coach Dick Siebert. Our memories of that year continue as a life highlight for those of us teammates who survive Wayne and we are all saddened by his passing.

Clyde Nelson

Em Jones
Tacoma, WA
Jan 6, 2017

It appears we have known Wayne from about the time he started his remodeling business. He did almost all the renovations and upgrades we have had done to our house. We always enjoyed talking to Wayne and considered him a good friend. He was compassionate and honest. We admired Wayne for living life his way. My prayers and thoughts are with Carly and the family. It is so hard to lose someone like Wayne.

Cynthia and Lowell Mannering
Boise, ID
Jan 5, 2017

To Carly and her beloved family,

I know how much love there was between Wayne and all of you. What I have missed, because of living so far away in Boise, is more time spent together to really know all of you.

I know that Carly told me years ago (we go back to kindergarten) about Wayne's earlier life, but I had forgotten. It was good to hear it repeated here. Quite the guy!

Even though Lowell and I won't be able to be with you at the memorial, our hearts always will be.



Cherie Mannor Stockwell
Newcastle, WA
Jan 5, 2017

Dear Carly,

How very sad to hear of your husband's death. My deepest sympathy is with you and your family at this difficult time. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. Cherie

Molly Zweigle Emery
Mound, MN
Jan 4, 2017

Sending love with prayers for strength and healing to my best friend Kim and all her family, and Waynes many friends.

I'm glad I got to visit with Wayne a couple years ago when he made a trip back to Minnesota. He was a constant in all his kids lives, always helping them with everything large and small that life threw in their path. You are blessed to have a dad like that!

Celebrate Waynes life and journey to Heaven and know he will always be with you.



University of Minnesota "M" Club
Minneapolis, MN
Jan 4, 2017

On behalf of the University of Minnesota "M" Club, Hail To Thee

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