Rosemary Knapp

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Rosemary Knapp

July 03, 1962 - February 03, 2019

Rosemary Knapp Beloved Professor of Biology, Rosemary Knapp, died at her home in Norman, Oklahoma on February 3, 2019 after a long battle with breast cancer. She was born in Queens, New York on July 3, 1962, to Margarete Eva (Frank) Knapp and Ernst Josef Knapp. Her parents fostered her strong character and instilled in her the belief that she could do anything she wanted to do in life. As a teenager her love of animals motivated her to volunteer at the Bronx Zoo. Roe, as she was known to family and friends, attended the prestigious Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan, riding the subway to school each day. After high school she enrolled at Rutgers University where she performed groundbreaking research as an undergraduate and earned a bachelor's degree. She earned a master's degree at the University of Wisconsin at Madison studying animal behavior. She then went to Arizona State University, where she studied hormonal mechanisms of animal behavior. While at ASU she met fellow grad student Richard Broughton who became the love of her life. Roe and Rich were married in 1994. After completing her PhD in 1996 she received a National Research Service Award from the National Institutes of Health to continue her research at Cornell University.

In 1998, Roe and Rich settled in Norman, where they both began faculty positions in the Department of Biology at the University of Oklahoma. They began their family at that time, welcoming children Andy in 2000 and Victoria in 2003. Her research continued to focus on hormonal mechanisms governing reproductive behavior, most recently in sunfish. She made many insightful contributions to the field of neuroendocrinology, her work was published in the most prestigious journals, and she served in elected positions in the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology and the Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology. She was passionate about science as a way of knowing and was highly regarded in the scientific community for her sharp perceptive abilities, her scientific rigor, and for maintaining the highest standards. At the time of her passing, Rosemary had served as Director of the Graduate Program in the Biology Department for more than 12 years.

Rosemary's warm and welcoming manner belied a fierce intensity that she brought to everything that mattered to her. She had an unwavering passion for her family, her work, and her friends. She was a strong advocate for women and for graduate students. Hundreds of graduate students, as well as many colleagues, attribute much of their success to her sage advice and caring mentorship.

Rosemary always loved nature and natural history, and loved spending time gardening, camping and exploring in the wild with family and friends. She was a loving mother and loyal friend and was a passionate advocate for balancing family-life and career. For all her accomplishments, perhaps her wonderful smile and cheerful laugh will be missed most.

She is survived by her husband Richard Broughton, children Andrew Broughton and Victoria Broughton; by her parents Ernst and Margarete Knapp (of North Port, FL); her sister Linda Knapp (North Port, FL); brother Peter Knapp (Phoenix, AZ); sister Ingrid Knapp, brother-in-law Lefteris Simijis and nephew Nikolas Simijis (all of Cranston, RI); mother-in-law Nancy (Roff) Broughton (Palm Desert, CA); brother- and sister-in-law Jack Broughton and Mindy Klubnikin; niece Kira Klubnikin; and nephew Michael Broughton (all of North Salt Lake, UT); and the family's ever-loyal golden retrievers Chico, Dixie and Dolly.

A celebration of her life will be held March 9, 2019 at 2:00 pm in the Beaird Lounge at the Oklahoma Memorial Union, University of Oklahoma.

Rosemary was a strong supporter of many social, scientific and environmental causes. In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to the Nature Conservancy, the National Center for Science Education, or the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
Published on February 14, 2019
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12 posts

Diana Hews
Mar 11, 2019
Roe and I began our friendship as lab mates at ASU, when I was doing my post-doc in Mike Moore's lab. We continued it as team-mates on the coed softball team (the Rookies), in the field sweating buckets and escaping (midair) from rattlesnakes in the path, restoring body core temperatures in the Barb Terkanian art bejeweled swimming pool at 905 S Roosevelt, and so many more memories. After ASU we kept up over the years, visiting each others homes during transcontinental drives to or from study sites, sharing rooms at SICB conferences, meeting and interacting with each other's graduate students.

This photo is me, my then doctoral student Maria Thaker, and Rosemary in 2009. Rosemary visited
...Indiana State University for a departmental seminar. Maria worked on tree lizards too.Read more
Mar 05, 2019
I went to Stuyvesant High School with Rosemary. We didn't know each other well there. We reconnected when we both ended up studying evolution and animal behavior. She was a treasure in every way and will be sorely missed.
Thomas Knapp with Sabine, Justin and Joanna
Mar 03, 2019
Rosemary will be in our memories as beloved cousin. We were lucky to spent time with her and Rich, Andy and Victoria in Florida with the entire American "Knappe Family" at several occasions. Her positive and warm-hearted, fun loving character made it easy to connect and enjoy our time together.
We hope you have found a peaceful place without pain where ever you are. You will never be forgotten dear cuz.
Chandra Rodgers
Feb 22, 2019
I am so incredibly sad to hear about the passing of Rosemary. I knew Rosemary as a close mentor during my masters at QUBS. I visited her in Norman a few times - she not only taught me everything I know about hormones and behaviour, but also how to be an inspiring female biologist. Rosemary was one of the strongest, most positive and optimistic people I knew. I will forever see her as a role model and someone who has influenced my life for the better. To Rich, Andy and Vickie - I hate to think of the pain you're going through right now and wish I could take some of it for you. The world lost an amazing woman. Sending love to your family from Canada. xoxo
Regina Sullivan and Don Wilson
Feb 22, 2019
As former colleagues, the passion Rosemary had for her work, her students, her family and life in general was a bright beacon. Though sadly missed, she will have a lasting impact on many. Our thoughts are with Rich and the kids.
Rhonda Snook
Feb 22, 2019
Roe's tenacity, grace, passion and fun-loving spirit has touched so many, including me. From when we shared a house during our PhD (so many laughs), to her wedding with Rich (so much love), and then trying to keep in touch with each other as we continued our academic careers, Roe has never been far from my mind. My heart goes out to Rich, Andy and Victoria and her family.
Steve Schoech
Feb 21, 2019
Roe is missed by many as she was a wonderful, spirited lover of life. As a fellow academic, I got to know Roe years ago (I finished at ASU right before she joined MIke Moore's lab) and always enjoyed seeing her at meetings (the photo with Roe, poking her head in the scene from the back and with her ever-present smile, was taken at the Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology in Lisbon 2004) and enjoyed hosting her for a departmental seminar some years back.
She will be missed by many.
Christine Lattin
Feb 17, 2019
I knew Rosemary through the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology. Her wry sense of humor, excellent research, and fierce advocacy of women scientists will be very much missed at future meetings. My condolences to her family, you are in my thoughts.
Adam Fudickar
Feb 16, 2019
I met Rosemary as an undergrad at OU when she introduced me to animal behavior research in her lab. That experience has changed the course of my life. I will forever be grateful for her eagerness to share her passion for science. I remember her as smart, curious, and kind. Condolences to Rich, Andrew, and Victoria.
Shawn Kowaleski
Feb 16, 2019
I met Rosemary during PTA car parking at Kennedy Elementary. She was always so warm & down to earth. I will hold her lil family in my prayers. What a legacy she left.
Annette and Robert Moffat
Feb 15, 2019
We are the neighbors to her sister Linda Knapp. We really never had the pleasure to meet her but we have been told wonderful things about her. Our condolences go out to Rosemary and her family. We are so sorry for their loss.
Mary Peacock
Feb 15, 2019
Rosemary and I were grad students and office mates at Arizona State University. There is always a special place in your heart for the people you share such endeavors with. Roe was upbeat and fun. I am so saddened by her passing. I will miss her wonderful smile. Rest In Peace my friend.