ShareThis Page
Owner of supermarkets had knack for music |

Owner of supermarkets had knack for music

Brandon Keat
| Thursday, April 29, 2004 12:00 a.m

Walter G. Knopp rose during a long career in the grocery business from stock boy to owner of three Shop ‘n Save supermarkets.

And he did it without stepping on toes, said his brother, David Knopp.

Mr. Knopp, of Upper St. Clair, died Tuesday, April 27, 2004. He was 59.

“Someone made the comment to me today that he felt that no one that my brother was acquainted with would ever be able to say anything negative about him — including people that competed with him in the business,” David Knopp said. “He was very well-liked and very well-respected — someone that a lot of people went to for advice.”

Mr. Knopp grew up in West Mifflin with brothers David, Tim and Greg. David Knopp said theirs was a typical upbringing for that time. Their father, Walter, worked in a steel mill, while their mother, Sarah, tended to the home and children.

Mr. Knopp began working as a stock boy at the Thorofare supermarkets in Glassport and West Mifflin in the 1960s.

At the time of his death, he owned the Heidelberg, Century Square and South Fayette Shop ‘n Save stores.

But there was more to Mr. Knopp than his work in supermarkets. He loved to sing opera and received a dual degree in music and music education from Carnegie Mellon University in 1967, David Knopp said.

“He was always very musically talented — played the piano and the organ. He could play almost any instrument at least a little bit.”

After graduation, Mr. Knopp worked three jobs — as a music teacher at Mt. Lebanon High School, a paid tenor at Shadyside Presbyterian Church and manager of a grocery store in Bellevue.

In the early 1970s, he opened one of the area’s first Shop ‘n Save stores, in Carnegie.

Mr. Knopp also loved boating, his brother said. “One of the last fun things that we did together was we brought a boat from Jacksonville, Fla., to the Chesapeake Bay. We spent about seven days on the boat together,” David Knopp said.

He and his brother both loved boating for the thrill of being on the water and for the adventure of discovering new people and places along their journey.

“On the boat sometimes you could see the coastline … other times you run inside and you get to enjoy Americana. It was almost like exploring. It was the thrill of exploring and doing something new,” David Knopp said.

In addition to his brothers, Mr. Knopp is survived by his mother, Sarah; wife, Kathy; and three children, Melissa Hruby and Dan and Stephanie Knopp.

Visitation will be from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. today at L. Beinhauer and Son, 2828 Washington Road, Peters. Services will be at 11 a.m. Friday in Westminster Presbyterian Church, 2040 Washington Road, Upper St. Clair.

The family suggests memorial donations be made to ALS Therapy Development Foundation, 215 First St., Cambridge MA 02142.

Categories: News
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.