Derek Michael “Deke” Knapp, age 42, of Lancaster, Wisconsin, passed away on Thursday, March 9, 2023, at Grant Regional Health Center in Lancaster surrounded by his loving family and friends after a courageous battle with brain cancer. He was born September 4, 1980, in Lancaster, the son of Douglas and Karen (Gensmer) Knapp. Deke graduated from Lancaster High School in 1999 and immediately joined the workforce. The majority of his career was spent with Dave Sturmer at Tri-County Structures and most recently with Todd Wolf at Wolf Construction. When not working, Deke enjoyed hunting, dog swimming, fishing, boating, arm wrestling, going for rides, shining deer, but above all, chasing coyotes.
There is nothing Deke was prouder of than his kids, always referring to them as Bud and Punkin. He was a devoted, protective, and reliable father, who enjoyed attending their sporting and school events. He also enjoyed the fun side of life with his teasing, practical jokes, and sarcastic sense of humor. Deke spent the last 12 years loving Ashley and displaying those same attributes within their relationship. Ashley never left Deke’s side during his battle with cancer and was his primary caregiver (even through all the eye rolls and sass). Deke was loyal to all his friends and family and his passing is a profound loss felt by many, especially his children Tanner and Lily.
He is survived by the love of his life, Ashley Boge; his children, Tanner and Lily Knapp and their mother, Heather Moore; his parents, Karen (Bob) Bedward; his brother, Brian (Jessie) Knapp; his sister, Kristina (Bryan) Mours; his grandmother, Barbara Bedward; niece and nephews: Noah, Hayden, Finley, Rylan, and William; Ashley’s mother, Jackie Boge, and sister Kasidi (Scott Shiveler) Boge; step-brother, Jeff (Tara) Bedward and step-sister, Bobbie Jo (Mike Shinee) McMahan and their children: Reese, Avicet, Max, Aubrie, Logan, and Bryce; as well as members of the Knapp, Gensmer, Bedward families; other relatives and many friends.
He was preceded in death by his father, Doug; grandparents, Calvin “Bud” and Dolores Knapp, Gary and Janet Gensmer, and Willis “Jack” Bedward; uncle, Gale Knapp; and aunts, Jeannie Gensmer and Dawne Mumm.
Funeral services will be held on Friday, March 17, 2023, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Clement Catholic Church in Lancaster with Father William Vernon and Pastor Mark Hoehne officiating. Burial will be in the Hillside Cemetery in Lancaster. Family and friends may call on Thursday, March 16, 2023, from 2:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at Martin Schwartz Funeral Home & Crematory in Lancaster and on Friday from 9:30 a.m. until time of services at the church. In lieu of plants and flowers, a Derek “Deke” Knapp memorial fund has been established.
The family would like to thank Grant Regional Health Center, Lancaster EMS & Fire Department, Grant County Hospice, along with his entire medical team and support system throughout his year-long battle.