Charles and Rita Knapp
Charles: July 4, 1921 — April 19, 2013
Rita: May 11, 1924 — October 2, 2013
The year 2013 saw the passing of both Charles and Rita Knapp, a couple who, together and separately, influenced surprising disparate communities in the Pacific Northwest.
Charles was a minister in the United Church of Christ.
Together, the couple managed and transformed Menucha, the retreat center in the Columbia Gorge.After raising her family and managing Menucha, Rita found a career in health care, lobbying, and, eventually, as the event manager at Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden.
The Knapps are renowned in the LGBTQ community as co-founders of Parents of Gays in the mid-'70s, which eventually became PFLAG Portland.
Their pictures are below. Each picture links to a memorial page and photo gallery compiled from Knapp family archives.
Gay & Lesbian Archives of the Pacific Northwest (GLAPN) honored Chuck and Rita Knapp as Queer Heroes Northwest in 2012, for their role in co-founding Parents of Gays, the forerunner of PFLAG Portland. Follow this link to read their Queer Heroes Citation.
Chuck and Rita were also featured in a reminiscence about straight allies who were instrumental in early efforts toward LGBTQ civil rights in Oregon. Folllow this link to GLAPN's "Hearts & Voices" section to read about the Knapps' early activism.