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Obituaries » William J. Knapper

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August 29, 1950 - January 29, 2023

Private family services will be held at a later date. The family would like to thank Centrical Hospice for their special care, support and kindness. Memorial donations can be made at Friends may leave a condolence message for the family at

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William J. Knapper II, age 72, passed away after a long illness on January 29, 2023. He was born on August 29, 1950, in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and his parents were William Jacob and Rose Marie (Schuur) Knapper. After graduating from Comstock High School, Bill earned his bachelor’s degree in social work from Western Michigan University. He went on to work in various capacities, including running programs for parks and recreation, and working in construction and business ventures. However, Bill’s passion was teaching and making a difference in the lives of others. He enjoyed substitute teaching, being a ski instructor and teaching surfing on Lake Michigan. Bill’s love of windsurfing and surfing brought him many adventures, including windsurfing off the coast of Cape Hatteras in the Atlantic Ocean. His love of the outdoors was both physical and spiritual for him. Later in life Bill re-connected with his college sweetheart, Mary Anderson, and they married on May 23, 2010. They both felt blessed to be with the “love of their life” for over 12 years of constant companionship. Nothing was more enjoyable than being together, especially when in nature and when traveling along the lake shores of Michigan. When Bill married Mary he also embraced having two grown daughters and sons-in-law, along with four lively grandchildren. Bill’s love and dedication to family was evident throughout his life, and he will be remembered for his easy manner and infectious laughter. He was a man of courage and integrity, and his loving spirit extended to all his family and friends. Bill was pre-deceased by his parents, his brother Robert, and his niece, Jennifer (Jeremy) Baker. He is survived by his wife Mary, and step-daughters Jeanette (Andrew) Hollander and Lindsey (William) Nordloh, and grandchildren Lindsey, Clare, Connor and Lily. He loved and was loved by his sister, Sandra (Ellery – deceased) Mann and nieces Darcy Mann, Dawn (Chris) Garrett, Mindy (Wayne) Julien, Marie (Travis) Law and nephew David Mann. Among his grand nieces and nephews are Brandon Klein, Sean Garrett, Andrew Julien, Kayla Julien and Grant Law.