Charles Robert Canapp, son of Frank and Marie (Bowersox) Canapp, was born March 24, 1936, in Baltimore, Maryland. Frank and Marie would divorce, and Marie remarried Jesse Franklin and together they would add two sons to the family: John and James. After high school he left Maryland to join the U.S. Air Force and was placed in the Veterinary Corps.
Mickey, as he was known to all who loved him, loved baseball (the Yankees) and football (the Dolphins). Mickey played baseball all his growing years and through adulthood. He aspired to be like Mickey Mantle. His teammates were impressed with his talent, so they nicknamed him “Mickey” after the great Mickey Mantle. He would later meet the man whose name he adopted in Florida where he lived for nearly the next two decades.
Mickey would meet Janice Kroll and raise two daughters, Doreen and Janeen. Together they gave him four beautiful grandchildren: Brandon, Mallory, Haylee and Bryce.
Mickey always loved the sport of Greyhound racing. He would go on to become one of so few to make a career of racing and breeding Greyhounds. His dogs would race on many tracks throughout the United States. Mickey realized a dream come true in Council Bluffs, Iowa. He bought a farm on 15 acres and transformed it into a dog kennel in his name.
He would later meet Cheryl Bantz and together they became the team that would groom the racing dogs to become champions. With the addition of Cheryl in his life, Mickey’s family increased to include a son, Nick Bantz, and a granddaughter, Alexis Bantz.
With the demands of a 24/7 operation, it wasn’t long before they took on projects of expansion, with Nick putting up fencing and doubling the runs, and building additional doghouses to accommodate over 100 Greyhounds.
When they were track ready, they entered the Greyhound Park into Mickey’s Kennel there which held an additional 70 Greyhounds. As Alexis became old enough, she became a full-time employee alongside Grandpa as Head Trainer and Grandma as his assistant. Many of the puppies that Cheryl and Mickey cared for carry on the lineage that the both of them can be proud of.
Council Bluffs dog race park closed in December 2015, and Mickey and Cheryl retired from the sport, but not without rehoming many retiring Greyhounds and supporting organizations on their behalf. They now have one “very spoiled” companion Greyhound named “Champ”.
The three of them loved to travel to far-away places on the road. Mickey and Cheryl have been fortunate enough to have had many opportunities to travel, including a month-long cruise to Jerusalem, Greece, Italy, Turkey and Rome. Other trips included Hawaii, many state parks, and baseball stadiums.
You might say Mickey was a “Lucky Dog”, as he was loved by all who knew him. He always had a quip or joke to tell and loved to laugh.
The place they decided to call home was built by their son in Auburn, Nebraska. Mickey said it was the most comfortable home he had ever lived in. The downside was those cold, frigid winters of Nebraska.
Mickey passed away on Monday, December 12, 2022, at the Nemaha County Hospital in Auburn. He was preceded in death by mother Marie Franklin, father Frank Canapp, and brother Chuck.
Mickey ran a good race, battled through health challenges, and made it to the finish line (By a Nose!). He was a winner and champion to all that knew him. He will be missed.
Mickey is survived by his wife Cheryl of Auburn; daughters and sons-in-law Doreen Marie and Kevin Rome of Tulsa, OK, and Janeen Robyn and David Courson of Pembrook Pines, FL; grandchildren Brandon and Mallory Rome, and Haylee and Bryce Courson; son Nick Bantz of Auburn; granddaughter Alexis Bantz; his beloved pet and best friend Champ; brothers John and James Franklin; sister-in-law Melva Woods of Neola, IA; nephews Paul Shafer, Clint Wright, and Tim (Cheryl) Howarth; niece LaChrista (Marvin) Stancil; other relatives and friends.
A memorial service will be Friday, January 20, 2023, 2:00 p.m. at the Auburn Christian Church in Auburn.
Memorials are suggested to the Auburn Christian Church Family Life Center.
Watch Mickey's service via Auburn Christian Church website: https://www.auburnchristian.org/live/