Nancy Susan Harris Knill |

Nancy Susan Harris Knill

New Castle, CO, native and longtime Vail resident Nancy (Harris) Knill, age 87, passed away peacefully in Fruita, Colorado, Saturday, October 28, 2017, surrounded by family. Nancy is survived by her four daughters Kathleen K. Meyer (Lexington, KY); Karen I. Brosius (and husband Kirk Brosius, Fruita, CO); Patricia L. Meredith (and husband Bob Meredith, Rio Dulce, Guatemala); Leslie K. Mangan (Lexington, KY); and her granddaughter Ty Marie Fanelli (and husband Stephen Fanelli, Seattle, WA). The fourth of five children born to New Castle ranchers George and Gladys Harris, Nancy is preceded in death by her older siblings Patsy Potter, Ted Harris and Bob Harris, and her younger brother Ron Harris.

Nancy graduated in 1952 from Colorado A&M (now Colorado State) University and after which enjoyed a 28-year career teaching English and literature to middle-school children in Glendora, California, where she resided and raised her four daughters with her husband, the late Dr. Larry M. Knill, a professor at California Polytechnic University, Pomona.

In 1981, Nancy retired from teaching, moved back to Colorado, and started a new chapter in her life in Vail, CO. She worked as an Executive Assistant and then as HR Director for a prominent Vail resort hotel before semi-retiring in 1996. She then served as a director to a philanthropic foundation for seven years before fully retiring in 2005, the year she also relocated to the more temperate climate of Fruita, CO where she remained until her passing.

Nancy loved music and gardening, and she was a voracious reader. She volunteered regularly and was active in several Vail community events, including her favorite book club within which she participated with her closest circle of friends.

Nancy will be greatly missed by family and friends, but fondly remembered for her elegance and quiet strength, her eloquence both verbal and written, her unyielding patience and fortitude, and for her unwavering kindness and generous spirit.

A celebration of life will be planned for Nancy in Vail, Colorado at a future date. In lieu of flowers, donations are welcome to Nancy’s preferred charity HopeWest of Colorado, and she wanted to specifically thank its staff members and volunteers who cared for her so well in her final days.

HopeWest of Colorado

(970) 241-2212; (866) 310-8900


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