Randall Ruth Knappenberger

Randall Ruth Knappenberger, age 66, of Phoenix, Ariz., passed away March 10, 2012. She was the daughter of Randolph (Bill) and Ruth Soranson. Family was her first priority.


Her second passion was serving the community, where she touched the hearts of so many people.


Ran had one purpose in joining organizations, to remain in the background and serve others without recognition. She only stepped into leadership positions to facilitate and mentor others, allowing them to discover the joy in serving the community and improving the quality of their lives.


In the early ’70s Ran joined the Junior League of Phoenix and chaired the annual rummage sale for two years. She remained a sustaining member to assist others in joining and serving the community.


Ran became a Phoenix Zoo volunteer, serving two days a week, and joined the Zoo Auxiliary in 1971; she was president of the auxiliary from 1985 to 1987. She quickly became involved in the Zoo Auxiliary Aid to Zoo Horse Show, followed by ZooFari and ZooBrew. Ran was on the Association of Zoo and Aquarium Docents (AZAD) National Executive Board, starting in 1994. She also was the first president of the Volunteer Council and an active member of the Guardian Advisory Committee. She served on the Phoenix Zoo and Arizona Zoological Society Board from 2003 to 2006. She was recognized for 40 years of service at the Phoenix Zoo in 2011.


In 1980 she was named by Mayor Hance to serve on the Phoenix Youth Commission for three years.


Ran began volunteering two days a week at the American Red Cross-Grand Canyon Chapter in 1984. She earned the Clara Barton Honor Award for Meritorious Volunteer Leadership in 1988. She chaired 3,500 Red Cross volunteers, championed fundraising and was named Exceptional Volunteer in Financial Development in 1998. She was Humanitarian of the Year in 2007 and nominated for a Hon Kachina Award. All of her activity earned her the affectionate title “The Red Cross Lady.” She completed 27 years of service assisting the cause of the Red Cross.


Ran joined the Fiesta Bowl in 1988 and was named Rookie of the Year. In 1997, she was named Volunteer of the Year. In 1999, she was Woman’s Committee Chair. In 2004, she received The Frank Snell Life Time Achievement Award.


In 2009, Ran joined the Kiwanis Club of Phoenix and was named Kiwanian of the Year in 2011, along with being the First Lady for the Southwest District.


Donations in Ran’s memory can be sent to the Phoenix Zoo Auxiliary, 455 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix, AZ 85008; The American Red Cross-Grand Canyon Chapter, 6135 N. Black Canyon Highway, Phoenix, AZ 85015; or The Kiwanis Club of Phoenix Foundation, 5820 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85012.

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