A True American Hero

Written on 12/09/2022
Cheri Spottke

On November 27, 2022, Officer Frenzel was dispatched to an unattended death in his police beat. On this day, Officer Frenzel said he was “awe struck.” The individual who passed peacefully in his home, was a citizen of America’s greatest generation and a World War II hero.

Officer Frenzel said, “after 28 years of police service, I know this call for service is fraught with emotions from friends and family members. This major call for service will have a tremendous impact on the family and the attention to detail will have an everlasting impact on surviving family members. Part of my job captures the historical background of the individual who passed away.”

Officer Frenzel spoke with Nancy, who is Myron Knapschafer’s daughter. She told him after returning from walking the dog, she discovered her father had passed away. Nancy said her father, who was 98.5 years of age, had recently suffered a heart attack and wanted to be in the comfort of his home as his physical health was deteriorating. What Nancy shared with Officer Frenzel was just the beginning of her father’s story.

Myron served in the United States Army in WWII as a Combat Engineer serving with Company A, 202nd Combat Engineer Battalion. Nancy told the story of her father arriving in Normandy a month after the D-Day Invasion (June 6, 1944) due to a storm washing the Company’s Military Equipment out to sea. Myron also supported troops as the United States Army fought battles across France. Myron survived the Battle of the Bulge, which marked the last German offense on the western front. He was decorated with a Purple Heart Medal for shrapnel wounds sustained while fighting German troops in Belgium.

After his military service, Myron graduated from the University of Dayton with a Bachelors in Business Admin, and worked for New Idea as a purchasing agent for many years. When the New Idea Plant closed in Iowa, he was offered a position at the Ohio plant or an early retirement, which he chose. Myron moved to Denver with his family in 1970, where he fell in love with Sloan’s Lake and was able to buy a house nearby. He built his own sailboats and sailboards and belonged to the Sloan’s Lake Sailing Club and the Estes Lake Sailing Club. He was often seen sailing on Sloan’s Lake and had his picture sailing on Sloan’s Lake in the Denver Post.
Nancy described her father as an avid golfer and snowboarder which lead to him being featured in several articles (Westword, Powder, Summit Daily, Vail Daily). Myron is featured as one of the snowboarding founders at the Colorado Ski & Snowboard Museum in Vail, Colorado. He made Hiper Snowboards in his garage and broke his leg snowboarding in his 80’s. He loved knowing he could snowboard for free once he reached age 70.

Thank you, Nancy, for allowing us access in to your father’s personal and heroic history. World War II Veterans and their legacy are fading quickly. According to the US Department of Veterans Affairs; only 167,284 of the 16 million Americans who served in WWII are still alive in 2022.

Rest in Peace Myron, Thank you for your service sir.