David A. Knapton, 91, passed away on May 14, 2019.
Born in Washington, D.C., to Alfred Taylor Knapton and Ella Adams Johnson, David resided in Needham for 63 years. After serving in the Pacific as an Army repairman of machines decoding intercepted Japanese messages, he earned a bachelors and masters in mechanical engineering from Northeastern University. He was also captain of their ski team where he led the team to several national titles and was invited to join the US Olympic Ski Team in 1956. During David’s career, he worked with consulting firms such as Arthur D. Little; Brown & Shaw; Bolt, Beranek and Newman; and Raytheon. During the latter part of his career, David was a systems analyst for the U.S. Department of Transportation where he specialized in truck and urban mass transit.
David had many eclectic interests: spanning a love of nature and the environment--especially with meteorology, mountaineering, politics, theater, rural New England and genealogy. He was an ardent champion for criminal justice and women’s rights. He loved to share stories and was beloved by his family, neighbors and friends. Later in life, he took up running and writing poetry, and sponsored poetry readings at his church.
David is preceded in death by his cherished wife Carol, to whom he was married for 61 years. He is survived by his four children: Paul of Malden; Sally of Cary, NC; Emily of S. Salem, NY; and Cheryl of Swampscott; two grandchildren: Aubrey and Bobby; and his brother, John A. Knapton of Bel Air, MD.
On Saturday, June 1 at 12:30 p.m., a memorial service will be held at the First Parish in Needham, 23 Dedham Avenue, Needham, with a private burial for family prior. In lieu of flowers, the family requests a donation be made to the Mount Washington Observatory or to the Union of Concerned Scientists.