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Nancy Morse Knight


1931 - 2017 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Nancy Morse Knight Obituary
March 7, 1931 - April 7, 2017 Nancy Ellen Morse, born in Boston, Massachusetts, on March 7, 1931, to Charles William Morse and Lillian Kerrigan Morse, passed away on Friday, April 7, 2017, in Newport Beach, California, from complications from COPD. She was 86 years old. Nancy grew up in Milton, Massachusetts, a Boston suburb. She and her family, mom, dad and younger brother, Charlie, loved the outdoors and spent many weekends and vacations exploring New England's White Mountains. When Nancy was only four years old, she made the steep climb to the top of Mt. Washington. She learned to ski in Vermont and spent many summers at Camp Mudjekeewis Kezar Lake in Maine. Later, Nancy worked for the Appalachian Mountain Club at Pinkham Notch for several summers and loved it. Nancy married H. Warren Knight in 1951 and graduated from Smith College in 1952. Following graduation, Nancy and Warren moved to Charlottesville, Virginia, where Nancy hosted a daily radio talk show. In 1956 Nancy and Warren settled in Newport Beach, just three weeks before the birth of their son, Andrew Ruffner Knight, in 1956. Fourteen months later Nancy gave birth to a daughter, Ellen Morse Knight, and later their family grew to six with the birth of Elizabeth Miller Knight and John Warren Knight. In 1961, Nancy's parents, Charlie and Kerry Morse, joined her in Newport Beach, living just a block away from the Knight family. Nancy was an active member of St. James Episcopal Church in Newport Beach where she served on the vestry as both a junior and senior warden. Following in her mother's footsteps, Nancy later joined the Flower Guild where she led a devoted team in creating beautiful floral arrangements every Sunday. In 1971 Nancy decided the time was right for her to go to law school. After scoring in the top three percent on the LSAT, Nancy was accepted to UCLA School of Law. She loved being back in school, studied hard and continued to raise her four children. After graduating in 1974, Nancy practiced law for over 40 years, finally retiring in her early 80s. Nancy's love of learning and passion for history made joining the Bowers Museum Docent Guild a perfect fit. She enthusiastically shared her time and knowledge with the Bowers' many curious visitors. She also served on the board of directors for the Villa Balboa HOA where she made a valuable contribution with her legal background and level head. Nancy loved to travel. She traveled to Europe several times, often visiting her Belgian son, Patrick Geurts, who was an AFS student hosted by the Knight family in 1977 and '78. Patrick and his family became treasured members of Nancy's family. Nancy also took a three-week trip to China, visited Russia and took her grandson, Garrett, on an inter-generational trip to Denali National Park in Alaska. She loved spending time with her family, gathering them together for vacations from their first trip to the top of Mt. Washington in New Hampshire, to Hawaii, Maine, the Olympic Peninsula in Washington, Normandy, France and to Sequoia National Park during the summer of 2016. Nancy is survived by her four children and six grandchildren: son Andrew Knight, his wife Meg and their children, Ben and Becky; daughter Betsy Scuderi, her husband Mike and their children, Joseph and Michael; daughter Ellen Gordon and her children, Katie and Garrett; and son John Knight. A memorial service will be held in the Community Room of the Newport Beach City Hall located at 100 Civic Center Drive, Newport Beach, CA 92660 on Saturday, June 24, 2017 at 11:00 am. A reception will follow the service. The family has requested that, in lieu of flowers, donations in Nancy Knight's memory be made to the following organizations that Nancy was passionate about: SAVE St. James the Great, 3419 Via Lido #354, Newport Beach, CA 92663 or The Bowers Museum at https://www.bowers.org/index.php/support/donate
Published in the Los Angeles Times on June 7, 2017
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