Longtime Cape florist Knaup dies

Wednesday, November 3, 2004

Richard Knaup of Cape Girardeau enjoyed the spices of life. But he, himself, was a spice in the lives of those who knew him, a flavor that will now be missed.

On Tuesday, Knaup died at Saint Francis Medical Center after falling ill Monday morning. He was 75.

Most of Cape Girardeau knew Knaup as the owner of Knaup Floral Co., a business his father, John Knaup, started in 1920. Richard worked at the flower shop for his father and took over the business when John Knaup retired in 1976. He ran it until his retirement in 1999. At that time, his daughter, Katherine Landewee, took over.

In addition to his green thumb, Richard Knaup was also a self-proclaimed gourmet chef with a flair for spicy cuisine. Richard Dirnberger, a friend of over 45 years, remembered that Richard Knaup always carried around a bag of spices for use in his dishes.

His younger brother, John F. Knaup of Jackson, remembered Richard Knaup using those spices in his back yard when cooking up coolers of shrimp he brought up from visiting relatives in Long Beach, Miss. He also remembered much of his brother's cooking as being too spicy for some people.

Dirnberger said Richard Knaup also enjoyed the finer things in life, like wine, opera and classical music. But he said Richard Knaup also knew how to have fun. Dirnberger said his friend was a man of great faith, who hardly ever complained.

"That's why this is kind of a shock," Dirnberger said. "There's going to be a big void in a lot of people's lives."

Neither Dirnberger nor John F. Knaup knew exactly what caused Richard Knaup's death. They both said "everything just started shutting down."

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