Harold W. “Knap” Knapheide III, president of The Knapheide Manufacturing Company, died at the age of 72 on Aug. 28.
Knapheide was the fifth generation to lead the family business, which is one of the largest producers of service and utility bodies in the U.S. The company was founded in Quincy, Ill. in 1848 by Knap's great-great-grandfather, Heinrich Knapheide, who immigrated from Germany. It started as a blacksmith's shop, where workers built horse-drawn wooden wagons.
Knapheide led the company through various eras.
In 1968, he was given the project of developing and marketing the company's new service body product. By the time he took over as president in 1978, service bodies were a contributing factor to the company's success.
During his tenure, Knapheide led the company through a crash in the agriculture market and natural disasters which caused flooding in the West Quincy facility on two occasions. After a 1993 flood, Knapheide made the decision to construct a 480,000-square-foot state-of-the-art truck manufacturing facility.
Knapheide is survived by his wife Ann, son H.W. “Bo” Knapheide IV, three grandchildren, a sister, nieces, and a nephew. Bo will step in as president of The Knapheide Manufacturing Company.
Services will be held at 11 a.m. on Sept. 3 at Knapheide's Quincy manufacturing plant. For more information, click here.