Robert W. Knaus, 86, of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., went home to be with the Lord on Monday, Oct. 23. Born in New Britain to John F. and Pauline Ruck Knaus, Bob was raised in Newington, graduated from Newington High School in 1949, and married his high school sweetheart and surviving spouse, Janet (Reckert) Knaus. The couple celebrated 65 years together in September. They raised their family in New Britain and Kensington, and Giants Neck Beach in the summers.
After a term in the Navy during the Korean conflict, Bob continued his education at Hillyer College and Morse School of Business. Bob spent the early days of his career working closely with his father and his brother Jack (John F. Knaus & Sons), and later with his son Peter (Knaus Building Company), helping to build a significant real estate development and construction company in central Connecticut. Together they developed and built hundreds of homes, and commercial and industrial buildings in Central Connecticut.
Bob developed a life-long love for sailing on Lake Pocotopaug as a youth. He was a man of the sea, and through the years mastered the art of sailboat racing and cruising, completing numerous offshore passages to the Bahamas, and races to Bermuda on his Alden 46, “Nina.”
Bob was very active both in the business community and civic community. He was a member of First Church of Christ, NB, Shuttle Meadow Country Club and SMCC Round Table, Niantic Bay Yacht Club, and the Abaco Sailing Club. He was also an HOCC Corporator, Mooreland Hill School Trustee, CNB Advisory Committee Member, Founding Director of First City Bank, and owner of Eastern Pipe Products Company in Newington.
Although Bob’s business acumen and achievements are laudable, most important to him were his family and personal relationships. And kids. Bob loved kids. He imparted his friendliness, generosity and respect equally to all he met. He was easy to talk to, and always took a keen interest in the lives of others. He was a true friend to all who knew him.
Surviving are his three children and spouses, Robin and Stephen Bruno of East Lyme, Peter and Jane Knaus of Kensington, and Jeffery and Amanda Knaus, of Ross, Calif.; grandchildren, Jeff and Jaime Bruno, Lindsay and Rocco Flammia, Alexandra and Ross Heise, Eric and Greta Knaus, Catherine and Jeff Larson, and Jocelyn Knaus, Benjamin Knaus and Emma Knaus and great-grandchildren, Daniella Bruno, Finn Bruno, and Rocco Flammia.
Bob’s genuine love of life, completely infectious smile and wonderful nature will be cherished and missed by all.
The family expresses sincere gratitude to the staff at Greentree Manor of Waterford for their skilled care and heartfelt compassion.
Funeral services will be held Friday 10 a.m. at First Church of Christ, Congregational, 830 Corbin Ave., New Britain. Burial with military honors will be in Fairview Cemetery, New Britain. Calling hours are Thursday 4 to 7 p.m. at Carlson Funeral Home, 45 Franklin Square, New Britain. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to HOCC (Development Office), 100 Grand St., New Britain, CT 06051. Please share a memory or note of sympathy at www.carlsonfuneralhome.com .