Camilla Thoron Knapp

Died: Mon., Jan. 1, 2018

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Camilla Thoron Knapp

January 1, 2018


Camilla Knapp’s unexpected death on January 1 at age 68 deprives her family and friends of a person for whom the golden years were proving truly golden. For the past two years a resident of the Lathrop Retirement Community of Easthampton, Massachusetts, she had taken on leadership roles, worked to improve environmental stewardship, fostered the arts, and made many friends. Health and relationship burdens that had plagued much of her life had resolved themselves more and more after coming to Lathrop in 2015. It is tragic that her body failed her sometime in the early hours of January 1, not to be discovered by worried friends until much later that day.


Camilla grew up in New York and New England, went to Georgetown University and New York University for undergraduate studies, and then completed a Master’s in Asian Art History at the University of California/Berkeley. A lifelong interest in books and the fine arts led her eventually to work as a freelance book production editor primarily with Cambridge University Press, with a special focus on projects that presented great challenges in layout and coordination. She lived at first near New York City, until her move further upstate in the mid-1990’s to occupy the back portion of her mother’s sizeable house in Cazenovia, N.Y., where she had spent many childhood summers. She continued her freelance work from there, in the company of a series of dogs, usually two at a time. Camilla had true talent in raising responsive and well trained dogs and caring for them as family members. 


Early onset arthritis, other health matters, and unresolved family issues made this a dark time in many ways, and saw a descent into alcohol problems. However, Camilla turned the crucial corner in January, 2011, by entering rehabilitation, and by then and there committing her abundant toughness to finding a path of recovery, a path she steadfastly pursued from that point on without interruption. 


Moving to Lathrop in Easthampton was the last move in laying to rest the ghosts of the past and opening wide the doors to a lively, engaged present. Those who knew her mourn the sudden collapse on January 1 of all she had got started in this new time and place, but also celebrate the steadily growing energy, involvement, generosity, and real joy she brought more and more to her life and the lives around her.


Camilla is survived by two brothers—Robert Hazard Knapp (of Olympia, Washington) and Michael Sturgis Knapp (of Woodway, Washington)—and six nieces and nephews, to whom she was devoted—Alexander Knapp, Emily Knapp, Malcolm Knapp, Justin Knapp, Molly Fiske, and Abby Knapp. In lieu of flowers, contributions to The Friends of Acadia ( would be most welcome, as it supports conservation and environmental awareness in the Acadia National Park, a portion of the Maine coast to which Camilla had a deep attachment. 

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