Paul Knaapen

Paul A. Knaapen

Wednesday, September 25th, 1957 - Monday, September 14th, 2020
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Paul Anthony Knaapen passed away on Monday September 14th, 2020, following a courageous three-year battle with leukemia. He passed peacefully at home with Peg, his wife of 34 years, by his side. He was 62 years old.

Paul was born on September 25, 1957 in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, to parents Jim and Regina Knaapen, the youngest of seven siblings. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin Whitewater where he studied accounting, began lifelong friendships, and found his wife Peggy. Paul spent most of his career working at Liturgical Publications Inc (LPi).

Paul and Peg were married in 1986, hosting a backyard luau for their wedding reception. Paul was the most amazing father to his two children, Emily and Katie, who he loved dearly. Paul was a committed father and husband devoting much of his time to musical performances, dance competitions, and “Dad-ventures”.

Paul passionately led LPi as CFO, CEO, and ultimately Chairman of the Board for nearly three decades. His time at LPi was characterized by those same attributes he had in his personal life: honor, intelligence, pragmatism, and realism, all the while living his life with unending positivity. Paul was fortunate to share friendship, leadership, and mentorship with his colleagues at LPi.

If you were fortunate enough to know Paul, you likely heard a story or two about his love of golf. He was happy to share his love of the game with anyone who would listen, bragging about his triumphs and laughing about his blunders. Paul played the game as often as possible, occasionally playing at least one round every month of the year despite the harsh Midwest winters. A few of Paul’s most proud golf related accomplishments include playing on the golf team at UW Whitewater, making a hole-in-one and Eagle on back-to-back holes (number 3 and 4) at Edgewood Golf Course, coming in one under par at Washington County Golf Course, and qualifying for the Wisconsin State Golf Association Amateur Match Play Championship in 2018 in spite of his leukemia diagnosis. Paul was always a joy to golf with – he was a great teacher, happy to share his passion for the sport and ultimately just wanted everyone to have a good time.

Paul took great joy in life and in his family, always enthusiastic to get started on a new project whether it was building a deck, constructing a tree fort, or experimenting with an extra credit science project. He took his daughters on countless adventures, even ones that mom might not have approved of. He was as beloved at work as he was at home bringing dedication, hard work, intelligence, and humor to everything he did and everyone he interacted with – he always went above and beyond. His success in life was due to the exceptional way he treated people and his unreserved kindness. His positive spirit and can-do attitude shined throughout his illness. He fought, not only to beat cancer, but also to live life to the fullest. He had a gentle, kind, and good-natured spirit – his friends and family will miss his booming laugh and upbeat sense of humor.

In addition to Peg and his two daughters, Emily and Katie, Paul will be greatly missed by his siblings Anni Krumrich (husband Jeff), Mary Jo Swenson (Jerry), Cathy Grassl (late husband Dan), Chriss Daubner (Dan), and Jim Knaapen (Jane). Paul was predeceased by his parents, Jim and Regina Knaapen and his sister, Theresa Steeno (Bob)

Paul shared with his family that he saw his life in thirds. The first third was devoted to working on himself, the second third devoted to fostering his family, the final third to giving back to the community. Paul was charitable throughout his life and had an interest in working on issues related to safe and affordable housing for all. Please assist us in continuing Paul’s wish to give back to his community by sending memorial donations to either of his favorite charities: Habitat for Humanity or the Hunger Task Force.

A memorial gathering will be held Thursday Oct. 1 from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm followed by a prayer service at Hartson Funeral Home, 11111 W. Janesville Rd. Hales Corners WI. 53130.

A Funeral Mass will be held Friday Oct. 2, 2020. 3:00 pm at St. Leonard Catholic Church. W173 S7743 Westwood Dr. Muskego, WI 53150.
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The Polack, Bohlmann, Conway and Thompson Families, Bryan Swanson, First Midwest Bank, and other have sent flowers to the family of Paul A. Knaapen.
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The Polack, Bohlmann, Conway and Thompson Families

Posted at 06:40am
Please accept our most heartfelt sympathies for your loss... Our thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult time.
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Heartfelt Sympathies Store

Posted at 04:49pm
Our warmest condolences during this time. Paul's legacy and reputation stand as a testament of his lifelong dedication; he will be sorely missed
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Bryan Swanson, First Midwest Bank

Posted at 09:47am
Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Paul was a genuinely good man and will be missed.
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Bryan Swanson, First Midwest Bank purchased flowers for the family of Paul Knaapen. Send Flowers


Michael Hilton

Posted at 11:27am
So sad to hear of Paul's passing. He was one of my favorite golfing buddies - always smiling and so upbeat. Paul was such a kind and caring gentleman. He wil be missed by all who knew him. Sincere condolences, Mike Hilton

Bob Clark

Posted at 07:39pm
Ben Hogan once said, "As you walk down the fairway of life you must smell the roses, for you only get to play one round."
Paul made the most of that one round, smelling the roses, drinking the beer, being a die hard Packer fan, etc. We played golf together for 44 years where we laughed (sometimes at each other's shots), cried over those same shots, and discussed many, many golf theories how to improve our games. Paul always had a new theory on his golf swing and a true love for the game. While golfing, we also discussed family, work, and all Wisconsin sports teams, among other things.

Paul was very competitive. He once described my relationship with him to a friend as a love/hate relationship. He loved to play golf with me, but hated it when I beat him, lol. He beat me as many times as I beat him. Whenever I introduced someone new to Paul, they became fast friends on and off the course.

I was blessed to have Paul as a life-long friend.

Peg, Emily, and Katie, we pray for strength and peace for you, and we send our love.

A donation was made to Habitat for Humanity.

Bob Clark

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