Elise Ford Knapp

Born: Tue., Jul. 1, 1924
Died: Sun., Oct. 21, 2018

Services are to be announced

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Elise Trowbridge Ford Knapp, a lifelong scholar of English literature, died Sunday, October 21 at her home in New Haven. Elise was born in Honolulu, HI, July 1, 1924 to the late Brig. Gen. William Wallace Ford and Alice Trowbridge Harris Ford. Following her father’s many army postings, she had attended schools in seven states by the time she entered Duke University in 1940. She married Robert Phineas Knapp, Jr. of Manchester, CT at Fort Sill, OK in 1943 and moved to New York after the war, where Elise became the first married student at Barnard College. She graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa in 1949. After living fifteen years in Port Washington, NY, the family moved to Redding, CT, where Elise remained active in community affairs. She earned a Master’s from Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, CT in 1971 and a PhD in English from Columbia University in 1975. She went on to teach and head the English Department at WCSU for over 20 years. Predeceased by her husband in 2000, Elise is the mother of David M. Knapp (Pan), Michal Brownell (Bart), Robert P. Knapp III (Eun Soo) and Frederic H. Knapp (Donald). Elise is also survived by brothers William, Trowbridge and John Ford, 12 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. Burial was private. A memorial service will be announced.


If you would like to make a gift in memory of Elise, please give to:


1)    American Friends Service Committee:

Mail: AFSC Development, 1501 Cherry Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102

Phone: 1-888-588-2372

(for online tributes, please visit https://tinyurl.com/y9bqhnen)




2)    Barnard College (Class of 1949):

Mail: Barnard College, Box AS, 3009 Broadway, New York, NY 10027

Phone: 212-870-2520

(for online tributes, please visit https://tinyurl.com/y7vzspgu).


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Paula Berry
   Posted Tue November 06, 2018
I am greatly saddened by this news. If there is anyone who deserved immortality it is Elise.

But she will live on in the memory of anyone lucky enough to have met her. For me, she is Mrs. Knapp, the warmest, most generous, interested and interesting landlady of Big House in Sagaponack, who so kindly shared not only her house but also her terrific, and vibrant family. She also is my role model on the kind of delight a great mother and grandmother takes in her large extended family. I hope to carry her spirit forward.

Paula Berry