Longtime E-Sylum subscriber Bob Knepper passed away earlier this year. Last week we discussed his "Wildman" collection being sold by Stack's Bowers. His daughter Ann provided this photo and obituary. Thank you.
Robert Curtis Knepper died on January 31, 2022 at Park Vista, Morningside, Fullerton, just
shy of his 91st birthday. His loving wife of 68 years, Sue Knepper, and his daughters were
taking care of him.
He was born on February 13, 1931 in Greensburg, Pennsylvania to Mabel and Curtis
Knepper and was their only child. He earned an engineering degree from Carnegie Institute
of Technology in 1952 and a Masters in 1953. He enjoyed his membership in Sigma Nu.
He married Susan Harmon, a beautiful nurse he met at a dance, on October 10, 1953. Bob
and Sue moved to California and began their long-term enthusiasm for the California
lifestyle of sun, surf and sports.
Bob took a job in the burgeoning aerospace industry, including over 30 years working for
Hughes Aircraft. He programmed in Fortran in the late 1950s, worked on developing flat
screen display systems, and advancing information display technology.
He had an excellent understanding, deep appreciation, and joy in the progress of computers
and other areas of technology both in his fields and in general. He was a founding member
and chairman of the Society for Information Display and participated in furthering the
organization, which grew into an international organization.
Bob and Sue traveled to many parts of the world, including Europe, the Middle East, Africa,
China and Thailand. They enjoyed and excelled in playing duplicate bridge. He collected
coins, specializing in German Wildman coins and made many trips to Germany to collect
coins and visit friends.
He valued the extended family get togethers in Carpinteria and broadened his family
genealogy charting to Sue's large and rambunctious Harmon clan. He also treasured his
friends from work, bridge, OLLI and Morningside.
He is survived by his loving wife of 68 years and their three daughters, Linda, Ann, and
Valerie. They were given five grandchildren, Diane, Tomas, William, Daniel and Calvin, and
foster grandson Steven. They loved visits with Bob's cousin Fred and his wife Patty.
He will be deeply missed by his family. We loved him very much and always knew he loved us.
Vicken Yegparian of Stack's Bowers pointed me to the bio of Bob in the catalog for their Summer 2022 Global Showcase Auction of Ancient and World Coins, which included Bob's collection. With permission, we're excerpting it here. Thank you.
Robert Curtis Knepper died in early 2022, just shy of
his 91st birthday. He spent much of his 90 years enjoying
numismatics. As with many collectors Bob's first purchases
were made as a teen, back in the 1940s. Some of his first coins
were purchased from famed coin dealer David Bullowa, and
comprised typical American series, beginning with small
cents. He soon ventured into other denominations and
eventually worked on a type set housed in old paper envelopes
and Whitman albums.
From the outset Bob was meticulous, tracking those earliest
acquisitions by keeping ledgers of purchases by hand. He
continued that practice for the remainder of his life, carefully
recording each coin bought from leading dealers around the
world. Common sources listed were Abe Kosoff, Paramount,
Seaby, Spink, Wyatt and Ponterio, Bowers and Ruddy, Karl
Stephens, Fritz Rudolf Kunker and Munzen und Medaillen,
among many others.
Bob's meticulous nature served him well at Carnegie
Institute of Technology where he earned an engineering degree
in 1952 and a master's degree in 1953.
With his formal education complete, and his career path
established, he married Susan Knepper in 1953, a marriage
that lasted for 68 years. Bob and Sue enjoyed life in California,
taking full advantage of the California lifestyle of sun, surf
and sports while tending to the joyous duties of raising three
daughters. All the while, Bob enthusiastically worked on his
The couple traveled the world together, visiting Europe, the
Middle East, Africa, China and Thailand. At some point in
the 1970s, Bob's collecting interests turned to the Wildman
motif found on German coinage of the 16th to 18th centuries,
primarily from Brunswick-Wolfenbuttel and BrunswickLunenburg. He zeroed in on these coins and over the next five
decades assembled what is likely the largest collection of this
specialty in North America.
We are delighted to have the opportunity to present
Robert Knepper's numismatic legacy to another generation of
collectors in a series of offerings from his landmark collection.
Bob was a regular contributor to The E-Sylum over the years, both asking and answering research questions. Our archives include multiple pages of references to his name, on topics including word definitions,
numismatic libraries and museums in Europe, Danish patterns, Mardi Gras doubloons, and the effects of sunlight on books. I was very sorry to learn that he had passed. He will be missed.
To read the complete catalog, see:
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
Wayne Homren, Editor
The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization
promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at coinbooks.org.
To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor
at this address: firstname.lastname@example.org
To subscribe go to: https://my.binhost.com/lists/listinfo/esylum
Copyright © 1998 - 2021 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS)
All Rights Reserved.
NBS Home Page
Contact the NBS webmaster