John Edward “Ed” Knapp passed away peacefully at home on July 5, 2020. Ed was born on May 5, 1935 in Hartford, Conn. to Hilda Melmer Knapp and Howard Frances Knapp. After graduating from high school, he attended University of Connecticut for a year then transferred to Cornell University, where he earned a master’s degree in mechanical engineering in 1959. He met his wife, Carol Sherman, at Cornell and they married following graduation.
He served as an officer in the Marine Corps in Virginia and Camp Lejeune, reaching the rank of captain in the Marine Reserve. While working for Westinghouse, he earned his MBA from Case Western Reserve University. Ed worked as a sales engineer throughout his career.
Ed was a lifelong learner, pursuing his expansive interests ranging from baking bread to photography to ham radio to researching genealogy with intensity and passion. Wherever he lived, Ed delved into new pursuits, from jumping horses in Pittsburgh; curling, shooting skeet, and fly fishing in Wausau, Wis.; beekeeping and sailing in Skaneateles, N.Y.; growing grapes for making wine and field trialing in Breinigsville, Pa.; and raising oysters and wood turning in Nobleboro.
Despite not thinking himself an athlete, he enjoyed golf, whitewater kayaking, downhill and cross-country skiing, sailing, and tennis. Ed loved jazz and classical music and read extensively about history and astronomy. He hoped for a “free open stack library in heaven.”
Ed and Carol moved to Maine in 2000 upon retirement. He volunteered in many local organizations, including as treasurer of Damariscotta Lake Watershed Association (now Midcoast Conservancy), regional coordinator for Maine volunteer lake monitoring program, Maine Department of Marine Resources phytoplankton monitoring program, education officer in the Power Squadron, and boat building at the Maine Maritime Museum.
Ed is survived by his wife of 61 years, Carol Sherman Knapp; daughter, Catherine Knapp Aspinwall (Tucson, Ariz.); and his beloved grandsons, Martin Knapp Gioannetti and Andrew Sherman Gioannetti. He was predeceased by his parents; brother, Ronald Knapp; and sister, Barbara Jarvis.
A family memorial will be held at a later date when his loved ones can celebrate his life safely.
Donations in Ed’s memory may be made to Coastal Rivers Conservation Trust, P.O. Box 333, Damariscotta, ME 04543; or Midcoast Conservancy, P.O. Box 439, Edgecomb, ME 04556.
Arrangements are under the direction and care of the Strong-Hancock Funeral Home, 612 Main St., Damariscotta. Condolences, and messages for his family, may be expressed by visiting StrongHancock.com.