Marine Corps cadence. You can keep your Army Khaki, you can keep your Navy blue, I have the world’s best fighting man to introduce to you. His uniform is different; the best you have ever seen, the Germans called him “Devil Dog, but his real name is “Marine!” He was born on Parris Island, the place where God forgot, the sand was 18inches deep, and the sun was blazing hot. He got up every morning before the rising sun, he’d run 100 miles or more before his day was done. He is deadly with a rifle, a bayonet made of steel, he took the warriors calling card, and he mastered how to kill. And when he gets to heaven, to St. Peter he will say, “one more Marine reporting sir, I’ve served my time in hell!”
Frank A. Knapp, 70, of West Springfield, died peacefully at his home on Friday, December 24, 2021, following a 23-year battle with cancer. The United States Marine Corp defined his life, and he fought a valiant fight to the end.
He was born March 9, 1951, I Ashtabula, OH, a son of the late Frank C. and Margaret D. (Pass) Knapp and raised by his Aunt Grace and Uncle Mack McClughen in Geneva following his mother’s death when Frank was 26 days old.
He attended several different schools in the Geneva, Ashtabula, Cleveland and Erie areas.
Following high school, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and following recruit training at Parris Island, he deployed aboard the U.S.S John F. Kennedy (CV-67) to Europe and the middle East. Following his initial deployment, he returned to Camp Lejeune and transferred to Company B, 2nd Recon Battalion, 2nd Marine Division. After induction and training into the RECON battalion, he deployed with his team to Vietnam where the engaged the enemy at the A Shau Valley. Frank returned home from his second deployment and later honorably discharged from the Marine Corps in 1974. Frank was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, with one Oak Leaf Cluster, the National Defense Service Medal, the Good Conduct medal and the rifle and pistol sharpshooters’ badges.
He returned home and to Erie, PA where he went to work at General Electric in the machine shop. He later graduated from J.H. Thompson’s Academy as a Medical Assistant and worked for Med-Check and most recently Quest Diagnostics as a Phlebotomist, where he retired from.
Frank was a member of the Girard American Legion Post #494 and loved hunting and fishing the woods and streams of Pennsylvania. He and Linda also enjoyed many days of camping and meeting friends. He will be sorely missed by his dogs, George, Max and Cinder.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a sister, Margaret Kurtich and a brother, Edwin L. Wegmiller.
He will be greatly missed by his family, which include his wife, Linda S.(Belanger) Knapp, whom he married November 13, 1999 in Girard; a daughter, Tracy Lee (Richard); two sons, Frank Knapp and Brian Knapp (Brittany); three step sons, Bill Fails (Jen) and Mike Fails (Andrea), Tim Fails (Jen); a step daughter, Hope Hanisek; a sister, Marian Santilli (Tony); grandchildren, Zachary, Lexie, Brendan, Addyson, Caleb, Kinsley, Alex, Ben, Kyle, Zack, Aubree, McKenzie (Tucker), Mikey, Cole, Sarah, Devin, Tanner and Gage; a great granddaughter, Louisa and several nieces and nephews.
Friends may call Tuesday from 2 PM to 4PM and 6 PM to 8PM at Edder Funeral Home Inc., 309 Main St. East, Girard and are invited to attend services there on Wednesday at 10 AM with Rev. Deb Rimmer officiating.
Burial will be in the Girard Cemetery, with full military honors.
Memorials may be made to the ANNA Shelter, 1555 East 10th St., Erie, PA 16511
To send condolences go to edderfuneralhome.com
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Frank A. Knapp, please visit our floral store.