The earthly journey of Larry Noel Knapman reached its end on 5 June 2018 at Liard Hot Springs Campground on the Alaska Highway in British Columbia, Canada. The gift of life was given to him on 22 January 1939 by George E. and Ione L. (Rosenbrock) Knapman when he was born in Detroit, Michigan.
At a very young age, the family moved to Wrightstown near Tucson, AZ. where Larry grew up and graduated from High school. He earned his degree from University of Arizona and immediately began his career as a Natural Resource specialist with the Bureau of Land Management. Larry’s first service was in Worland, Wy. Then he spent a few years in Prineville, OR, but his love was Alaska, moving to Fairbanks in 1973. He loved working out doors with conservation of air, soil and water, which included fighting forest fires. He took many Alaskan crews to fight fires in the lower states, as well as through out Alaska. For the last few years of his career he was also a reindeer range manager. He enjoyed working with the native reindeer herders on the Seward Peninsula.
in 1960 in Estes Park, CO, he married Susan Stevens. Together they raised their son, Kemp and daughter Cina. Both being the pride and joy of their father.
Having learned to play the harmonica at the age of eight, thanks to his Grandfather Rosenbrock, he often played harmonica as a volunteer for events in Fairbanks, Fox and North Pole. He enjoyed playing his banjo, the dulcimer he built, the Banjo Mandolin of his grandfathers which he restored and his Ukulele with the Guitar group. He taught harmonica classes for OLLI. He was most proud of being one of the founding father’s of the North Star Volunteer Fire Department and held badge #3. As a volunteer, he not only fought fires, was a Red Cross first aid instructor; served as a trained facilitator for Beginning Experiences; Booth sat at the Tanana Valley State fair for various organizations, ushered for his church, Summer Arts Festival, FLOT and Fairbanks Drama. He was an active member and past president of Men’s Igloos 4 Pioneers of Alaska, NARRFE, AARP, Tundra Rollers, Hot Denali Harps, Raven Landing Harmonicas, The Guitar Group, Polar Promenaders Square Dance club and on occasion called square dances.
In College, AK, on 29 Nov 1986, he married Ruth Jolly Carr. They enjoyed 31 years supporting each other in their respective interest, exploring Alaska, and traveling the world. Upon retirement from BLM, he joined Ruth in her Golden Enterprises business as a tour guide at which he was very good.
Larry was preceded in death by both parents. He is survived by his wife, Ruth, sister Lucille “Lee” Fairchild (Merv Thurman) of Kingman, AZ; son Kemp (Renata) Knapman, daughter Cina (Warren) Fisher, grandchildren, Jessica (Tallas) Jourdan, Jarod Keefe, Aurora Keefe, Devon (Onyx) Knapman and Nickolas (Alexis) Knapman, all of Anchorage. Step grandchildren Alex Roschin of CA, Laurin (Jacob) McKenna, William Fisher of Fairbanks. Step children Robert VanVeldhuizen of Wasilla, Jay (Debbie) VanVeldhuizen of Mead, WA, Varina (Alan) Pickett of Midvale, ID. Grandchildren, Jake VanVeldhuizen of Raleigh, NC, Matt VanVeldhuizen of Philadelphia,PA, Josh ( Sonja) VanVeldhuizen of Spokane, WA, Kristina (Kyle) Bartholomew of Spokane, WA, Melissa Pickett of MountainView CA, Joe (Annie) Pickett of Caldwell, ID, and great grandsons, Liam and Killian Jourdan, step great grandchildren: Tanner, Kaylee, June, Mirra Jourdan of Redmond, OR, Sister-in-law Nancy (Walter) Howell of Earlham, IA, son-in-law Tom Keefe, and Uncle Jack Knapman of Roseville, MI.
In lieu of flowers, it is suggested memorials may be made to UCPC (University community Presbyterian Church) or a charity of your choice. Services will be officiated by Reverend Neill McKay at 2:00 on Tuesday, 19 June 2018 at University community Presbyterian Church at 3510 College Road.
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