On Sunday, March 28, 2021 Donald R. Knepp, loving husband, father, and grandfather passed on to be with the Lord at the age of 87. He was a unique person who loved people, laughter, helping others, the Marine Corps and especially his beautiful wife, Alice, his four wonderful kids, their spouses, and his grandchildren.
Born on November 12, 1933 in Lewistown, PA, Don enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1953 and on September 18, 1955 married Alice Stees. He was the model Marine rising from the enlisted ranks and achieving the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. While stationed in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in 1963, he wrote and recorded several parodies of military life on “Gitmo.” “Cuba, Cuba, Is My Home” was his most “famous.” Profits from the 45 r.p.m. records were donated to a college scholarship fund for deserving seniors graduating from the local high school. Recordings of the parodies are still available today. He retired from active duty in 1980 as the Executive Officer of the Marine Security Guard Battalion. After a successful military career, which included two tours in Vietnam, he had an equally successful civilian career before retiring in 2000 and moving to Colorado Springs where he enjoyed a wonderful, retired life that including traveling with Alice, climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, riding a mule into the Grand Canyon, salmon fishing, and visiting his children and grandchildren.
Music was central to Don life. He and Alice enjoyed singing in their church choirs wherever they were stationed. After retiring to the Springs, they remained very active in barbershop choruses. Don sang lead in the America the Beautiful chorus, as well as served as their treasurer for many years. They soon became friends with Pat and Pete Tyree, who they sang with in their respective chorus, and formed a mixed quartet, Singin’ Senior Social 4, and performed throughout the Colorado Springs area bringing joy and comfort to all who heard them sing.
Don is survived by his wife, Alice, of 65 years, brother Bob of Auburn, CA, son Randy, of Wooster, OH, son Ron and wife Kathy of Colorado Springs, CO, son Rory and wife Michele of Northridge, CA, daughter Robin and husband Greg of Peyton, CO, and 6 grandchildren. Don was preceded in death by his parents, Randall and Myrtle Knepp, and brother, Bill Knepp.
In lieu of flowers, consider a donation to Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation or Harmony Foundation International.
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