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Welcome to the memorial page for

Charles H. Knapp PhD

June 8, 1931 ~ November 23, 2017 (age 86) 86 Years Old

Charles Harris Knapp, 86, of Mansfield Center, CT died peacefully Thanksgiving Day surrounded by his family. Professor Knapp was born in New York City, June 8, 1931 to Charles and Harriet Harris Knapp.

As a young boy, his family moved to Coventry where he grew up enjoying winter and summer sports on Coventry Lake. He was active in the Boy Scouts and attained the rank of Eagle Scout and this achievement took him to Venezuela in 1947 for a tree planting ceremony.  He graduated from Windham High School in 1949 where he played varsity football; during summers, he played baseball on Coventry’s town team. In his late 20s he took up running and was an avid runner for many years. As a father, he developed a love for soccer and coached his children’s teams. His love of all sports remained with him throughout his life.  While a life long Yankee fan, he raised a family of Red Sox fans! He remained a loyal UConn basketball fan to the end.

Charlie (or “Red” as he was known to friends, and Harris to his wife and family), pursued his academic and professional career in Electrical Engineering, graduating from the University of Connecticut and Yale University. While an undergraduate at UConn he was a member of the Air Force ROTC achieving the rank of Cadet Colonel. Upon graduation in 1953 he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force and served two years of active duty. Additionally, he was a member of Tau Beta Pi, Eta Kappa Nu, and Sigma Xi, engineering honor societies. He was also honored to be recognized as the first University Scholar from the School of Engineering in UConn’s first class of University Scholars. Following active duty in the U.S. Air Force he earned his Master’s Degree from Yale University and joined IBM in New York. In 1958, he returned to the University of Connecticut and became the first candidate to be awarded a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering. He served on the Engineering faculty at UConn for his entire career conducting research, teaching, consulting, and achieving the rank of full Professor. He retired in 1992 as Professor Emeritus and was a Life Member of IEEE.

Charlie was an active member of the Storrs Congregational Church serving in various capacities during his 59 years of membership. He served on many committees and boards including the Permanent Deaconate, chairing the Church Council, and teaching Sunday school. However, his greatest enjoyment was singing in the Church Choir for over forty years.

Charlie was an avid gardener, enjoyed being outside, and more than anything loved spending time with his children and grandchildren.

He is survived by his loving wife of 62 years, Charleen Gaudet Knapp; his four children and their spouses:  Linda and Dana DelGizzi, Barry and Deborah Knapp, Jennifer Knapp, Robert Knapp and Kristin Collins; and ten adoring grandchildren: Ryan and Allison DelGizzi, Bryan, Robyn, and Ian Knapp, Julia, Matthew and Sarah Loomer, and Calvin and Josie Collins- Knapp. He also leaves his sister-in-law and brother-in-law Muriel and Phillip Crow and their families: Terry, Larissa, Corey and Kiley Crow; Rebecca, Daryl, and Tyler Chu; Wendy, Ryan, Willow and Blossom Broussard.

In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to:

The Charles H. Knapp Associate Professorship in Electrical Engineering, C/O The UConn Foundation, 2390 Alumni Drive, Unit 3206, Storrs, CT 06269-3206 or The Storrs Congregational Church Music Program, 2 North Eagleville Road, Storrs, CT   06268

The family would like to give special thanks for the compassionate care provided by Dr. Kenneth Dardick, Dr. Agnes Kim, and Hospice nurses Jackie, Chelsea, Lauri, and Holly.

A memorial service will be held on Sunday, December 3, 2017 at 2:00 p.m., Storrs Congregational Church, 2 N. Eagleville Rd., Storrs, CT. Burial will be private and at the convenience of the family. To sign the online memorial guestbook, please visit

 Service Information

Memorial Service
December 3, 2017

2:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Storrs Congregational Church
2 N. Eagleville Rd.
Storrs, CT 06268

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