Emily Gladys Knapp passed away on the evening of Good Friday, April 6, 2012 in Olympia, WA at age 96, due to complications that arose waiting for treatment of a compression fracture. She was a 66 year resident of Colville, Washington and loved her town.
Emily was born March 2, 1916 to Henry and Clara (Hilker) Stoll in her parent’s farmhouse near Colorado Springs. She was the middle child of five, with two brothers and two sisters. Emily milked cows, churned butter, herded cattle on horseback, and generally ‘helped make the living’ starting at age 5 or 6. She drove a team of horses by 8 or 9. She and her siblings got to their schoolhouse, The Norton School, during the early years via horse and cart. In high school the older kids ‘batched’ during the week in Simla, Colorado since the school was so far from home. She graduated in 1934 and later attended beauty school in Denver.
Emily was married at age 22 to George Arthur Knapp on May 9, 1938 in Simla, Colorado, at the minister’s house. Emily and George had five children: Vernon (who died as a baby), Norman, Delbert, Rita, and Shirley, thirteen grandchildren and eleven great grandchildren. George and Emily met during the depression while working at the London Mines and Milling, a goldmine in the Rocky Mountains. She worked in the boarding house and he in the mining mill. During World War II they moved to San Diego where George worked in a wartime aircraft plant. They bought and sold a house and, for a time, operated a little grocery there. After the war, they moved to Washington State. George and Emily bought a house wherever they went. He switched jobs a lot in the early years. After moving several times, they settled down in his hometown, Colville. In the late 1940’s George got a job with the US Postal Service (USPS) and, later, Emily learned to drive at age 45 to take an afternoon Spokane Daily Chronicle newspaper route. Later she also served as a substitute letter carrier on a rural USPS route, sometimes working both jobs on the same day. She had a third job as a nurse aide at Mt. Carmel Hospital for over fifteen years. She worked hard and then retired at age 62. She believed in lifelong learning. In mid-life she attended night-school classes, woodworking classes, and some community college.
Emily was a great caregiver and helped several relations and others in Colville when they were ill or disabled including her father-in-law who died of cancer and her husband who died of Lou Gehrig’s disease in 1963. She took charge of the family and finished raising their last two kids at home after his death. She liked to cook: bread, fruit pies, cream puffs, fried chicken you name it. She was an expert seamstress sewing much of the family clothing and, in later years, made quilts from wool scraps with her Viking. She also loved exploring country roads and old abandoned houses. She loved her cabin at Black Lake and making a fire in the wood cook stove. She was a woodworker and made furniture, such as a dresser, hope chest, art easel, and bookshelves. She loved having her kids and grandkids visit and taking trips to visit relatives near and far. George and Emily traveled several times cross country to Colorado. After she retired she made greyhound trips across the country. She traveled with Shirley to Hawaii twice. She lost much of her short term memory in later years, but kept a zest for life and relished every day, taking pleasure in the small delights of living. She appreciated the help she received from neighbors, family, community and church and was proud of her children, grandchildren, and greats. She loved her family dearly and took great pleasure in their accomplishments.
She enjoyed driving and loved her car, a white 1977 Ford Maverick with a blue landau top, often seen around town. She drove it every day into her 90’s but the odometer reads only 58,000 miles. Emily was good in business dealings and enjoyed determining the most frugal way to live out the details of day-to-day life. She delighted in her daily radio BINGO on KCVL and in the birds and deer that visited her yard snacking on the fruit trees all around. After 54 years in the house that she and her husband had built, she spent the last year and a half with her youngest child, Shirley Stirling and husband Robert Beets in Lacey, WA.
She was a 59 year member of the United Church of Christ (UCC) First Congregational in Colville, 50+s year member of Fort Colville Grange, Eastern Star, Stevens County Historical Society, Habitat for Humanity, and in the early days was in homemaker clubs and was a cub scout leader.
Her survivors include: two daughters: Rita Picard (George) of Manville, RI; Shirley Stirling (Robert Beets) of Lacey, WA; two sons: Norman Knapp (Brita) of Columbus, OH; Delbert Knapp (Dennise) of Portland, OR; one sister: Elsie Coleman of Dighton, KS; one brother: Richard Stoll of Ramah, CO; 13 Grandchildren: Ken Knapp (Fran) of Columbus, OH; Randy Kelsey-Knapp (Shannon) of Columbus, OH; Krista Donnelly (Bill) of Beltsville, MD; Derrick Knapp (Jasmine) of Columbus, OH; Sara Ivey of Seattle, WA; Aimee Falso (Rich) of Cranston, RI; Greg Picard (Sara) of North Providence, RI; Bryan Picard of Stowe, VT; Cynthia Gouge (Lewis) of Beaverton, OR; Heather Hernandez (Nick) of Tomball, TX; Erik Knapp (Staci) of Portland, OR; Kailey Knapp of Portland, OR; Taylor Knapp of Portland, OR; 11 Great grandchildren: Claire & Camille Gouge, Alex & Atticus Hernandez, Mason & Dylan Knapp, Moira & Liam Donnelly, Joshua & Matthew Falso, Darby Knapp and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. Her descendants live all over the USA, from western Washington to Oregon, Texas, Ohio, Rhode Island, Vermont and Maryland.
She was preceded in death by her husband, George Arthur Knapp (died 1963), son, Vernon Arthur Knapp who died as an infant, sister Irma Harper, and brother Lee Stoll.
A celebration of her life took place at 2PM on Sunday, April 15, 2012 at the Colville UCC First Congregational Church. A graveside service followed at the Mountain View Park cemetery. Memorial contributions may be given to the church. Please visit the online memorial to sign the guestbook at HYPERLINK "http://www.danekasfuneralchapel.com" www.danekasfuneralchapel.com . Danekas Funeral Chapel and Crematory was entrusted with the arrangements.