Stonington - Theodosia "Thora" Burr Knapp, 82, died peacefully at home, surrounded by family on June 1, 2012, after a long battle with rheumatoid arthritis.
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Thora was born in New York, N.Y., on Jan. 3, 1930, daughter of Elizabeth Burr Mann and Harry K. Knapp Jr. In her youth she spent time at family homes in Manhattan, Long Island, Quitman, Ga., and dearest of all to her heart,Watch Hill, R.I., where she fell in love with the sea and learned to sail. An avid animal lover, Thora trained dogs for field trials and was elated to see her beloved English Cocker Spaniel, Smudge, win at Westminster. As a teenager she handed out trophies at Belmont Park and cried for every horse race thereafter.
Thora resided in Bedford, N.Y. for 40 years. She left behind many dear friends when she moved to Stonington, in 1983, to live near family and maintain her strong connection to the sea. She became a realtor at Pequot Properties in Mystic, joined Calvary Church in Stonington, singing in the choir alongside her brother Harry, and especially valued her membership to the Wadawanuck Club. She established many deep friendships along the way. Thora was a very social spirit; her charm, compassion, and cheer endeared her to all. She was a devoted and affectionate grandmother who felt fortunate to spend the last ten years of her life under the same roof as her two youngest grandchildren, taking part in their daily lives and cherishing their time together.
In addition to her daughter, Amanda Knapp Barnes of Stonington, son-in-law, James Fowler and their children, Lily and Leo, Thora is survived by daughter, Elizabeth McLanahan Engel of Katonah, N.Y.; grandchildren, Jasper, Gavin, and Ruby Engel; son, Duer McLanahan III of Boston and granddaughter, Zenia McLanahan. She is also survived by sister-in-law, Marie-Louise "Coco" Knapp of Stonington, and many treasured friends and relatives.
Thora was predeceased by her siblings, Harry K. Knapp of Stonington and Elizabeth Burr Bottoni of Sedona, Ariz.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, June 29, 2012, at Calvary Church in Stonington with a joyful celebration of Thora's life to follow at the Wadawanuck Club.
In lieu of flowers, donations should be made to the Visiting Nurse Association of Southeastern Connecticut or to the historic former Knapp estate Brookwood Hall of East Islip, N.Y., now serving as the East Islip Town Hall and Islip Art Museum, Friends of Brookwood Hall, PO Box 8, East Islip, Long Island 11730.
Published in The Day on June 14, 2012