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Leonard Orville Knotts
Oct. 1, 1938 - Nov. 28, 2013
Resident of Brookdale, San Lorenzo Valley
"Infamous Leonard" died of lung cancer at home, attended in his last weeks with full-time care by his beloved son, David, as well as hospice and supporting long-time friends. He is also survived by foster mom Flo, brother James, sister Helen and numerous relatives and friends.
Len will be remembered here in the valley by his "gold-bug" VW, friendly wave, sense of humor and 30-year residence here. Len's greatest gift to all he met and knew was as a practical philosopher who always questioned "given assumptions" in the spirit of the counterculture and applied them to his life's decisions as a master creative cabinetmaker, printer for the Santa Cruz Sentinel for 30 years, homeowner/repairer, genealogist, loving father and loving friend also to many in Orofino, ID, Pomeroy, WA and Effie, MN.
He will be both remembered and missed as an original, unique person who added to everyone's life, mostly with humor directed at the inconsistencies of artifact culture, but also in the daily events of fallible humans and natural events. His humor reflected his ability to not waste time wringing hands over disasters. When his home was damaged in the mudslides of '82, he put up a sign saying, "split level home - half-split, half-level!" When a tree fell, removing a roof, he put up a sign saying "open house." In both cases, he simply rebuilt it.
Leonard was born in Effie, MN, son of Leonard and Irene Knotts. He moved with foster parents Flo and Pete Phillips to Orofino at a young age, where he completed most of his schooling. He then attended Washington State College (not University until 1959) before entering the
Having first worked as a "printer's devil" at the weekly Clearwater Tribune in Orofino, he followed this trade at the Pullman Herald while at WSC and throughout his life, sometimes as an itinerate printer, working as far away as Australia at his trade, before completing his career at the Santa Cruz Sentinel in 2005.
In his lifetime printing technology changed radically, from the Linotype hot metal letterpress system of the Guttenberg era to modern, computer generated photocomposition and offset lithography. Len mastered it all.
He requested that his "celebration of life as a blast" be completed by "blasting his cremated remains from a small cannon in Effie, MN … as a last glorious blast."
Published in Santa Cruz Sentinel on Dec. 12, 2013
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"Had tried to find you again. One of the rare, unforgettable persons to have known in this lifetime. ..."
- Rosalie Oxford
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