IN MEMORIAM: ‘Doc’ Knapp, 90; Oneonta Little League Benefactor


IN MEMORIAM: ‘Doc’ Knapp, 90;

Oneonta Little League Benefactor

Oren “Doc” Knapp

ONEONTA – Oren C. “Doc” Knapp, 90, a central player in the development of Oneonta’s Little League, passed away on May 10, 2017, at Fox Hospital after a brief illness.

Doc was born on Aug. 10, 1926, to Raymond and Millie Knapp and raised with his 10 brothers and sisters on the family farm on Ouleout Creek in North Franklin.

Doc lettered in baseball and basketball at the Franklin Literary Institute under the mentorship of coach and friend Wendell Cook. Like his three brothers, Doc served in the Navy during World War II in the South Pacific. He served aboard LST 699 as a cook.

Following the war, he married Ethel Wheeler and settled in the Town of Oneonta to raise his family. He worked for the New York Telephone Co. for 43 years as a cable splicer and later right-of-way agent.

His lifelong love for baseball led him to become active in the Oneonta Little League program, spearheading the construction of the baseball field in the Sixth Ward. He was always delighted when former Little Leaguers greeted him. Doc took enormous pride when the field was formally dedicated as Doc Knapp Field in 1966, regarding it as a wonderful legacy.

His other passion was golf and a highlight was his winning the Otsego County Championship Atchinson Cup in 1980. As a member of the Masonic Order, Doc served as a director of the state Masonic Golf Association.

Doc was very active in his community, serving on the Town of Oneonta Republican Committee, the Otsego County Planning Board, the Oneonta City School Board and the Administrative Board of the First United Methodist Church.

He was a Telephone Pioneer and a proud member of the U.S. LST Association, whose annual conventions around the country enabled him to reunite with his shipmates.

Doc was predeceased by his wife, his parents and siblings, Katherine, Edwin, Gladys Rosher, Raymond “Pete” Knapp, Franklin “Bill” Knapp, Agnes “Pat” Anderson, Harriet Thayer, Wilford “Spike” Knapp and Lucy Muehl.

He is survived by his sister, Mary Ann McNulty; his children, Gary (Kathleen) Knapp, John Knapp and Sharon Knapp; his grandchildren, Garrison (Kim) Knapp, Nicholas (Runa) Knapp, John J. Knapp and his mother, Nancy (Dennis) Kemmeter, and great grandchildren, Tyler, Alina, Amaya and Kalen.  Also, by sisters-in-law Ruth Wheeler, Violet Knapp, Carol Lee Wheeler and Joan (Douglas) Bush and many beloved nieces and nephews.

Calling hours will be 4-7 p.m. Monday, May 15, at the Lewis, Hurley & Pietrobono Funeral Home, 51 Dietz St., Oneonta.

The funeral service will be at 10 a.m., Tuesday, May 16,  at the First United Methodist Church, 66 Chestnut St., Oneonta, with Rev. Teressa Sivers, pastor, officiating.

Interment with military honors will follow at the Oneonta Plains Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations may be made to the Oneonta Little League Foundation, Community Bank, N.A. Trust Department, 245 Main St., Oneonta NY 13820, Attention: Shannon Hyzer.

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