Captain Ralph E. Knapp, age 79, died Saturday, May 9, 2015 at Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital. The youngest of nine children, he was born in Waynesboro, VA. He met his future wife, Geraldine Bukowski in Wilmington, DE where he lived as a teenager. His passion was aviation and was commissioned in 1956 as a United States Naval Aviator. Over his 26-year career, he spent 19 years at sea while serving on six different aircraft carriers. He flew over 3000 hours and conducted eighty-three combat missions in Vietnam. He commanded fighter squadron VF11 as the “Ripper” Skipper and was operations officer on the USS America. His final military tour was in the Pentagon; he had a significant role in assuring the procurement of four major large deck aircraft carriers. In retirement, he followed his passion of gardening, raising Westie dogs, and spending time with his family. His loving wife of 57 years, Gerri, and their four children survive him: Greg Knapp, Lorraine Kohart, Ralph Knapp Jr. and Peter Knapp. His 10 grandchildren also survive him. Ralph will be remembered for his loyal military service and as the loving patriarch of the Knapp family. A memorial service will be held on Monday, May 25th, at 11:00 am at First Landing Chapel. The burial service will be on Tuesday, May 26th, at 11:00 am at the Horton National Cemetery in Suffolk, VA. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Ralph’s name to the Cancer Care Foundation of Tidewater.