The Numismatic Bibliomania Society


The E-Sylum: Volume 25, Number 35, August 28, 2022, Article 11


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. -Editor

Bob Knepper 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. -Editor

Stacks Bowers Knepper catalog cover 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 coin collection.

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. -Editor

To read the complete catalog, see:

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

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Wayne Homren, Editor

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