On May 26, 2019, the Wood River Valley lost one of its richest characters. Born Feb. 29, 1940, Carolan Poett Knott lived a long and adventurous life before passing away peacefully, surrounded by family. Due to her leap-year birth date, she was still a teenager (19 and 3/4) in birthdays and in spirit.
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Carolan was born in Pasadena, Calif., to Henry and Cynthia Poett, and spent her childhood and early adult life in Hillsborough, Calif., along with her brother, Harry, and sister, Jeanne. She attended the Dominican Convent, where she played sports and, in her words, “got fat.” She went on to Briarcliff College in New York, leaving there after one year because she was “bored.”
One night in San Francisco, David Knott, from New York, switched place cards at a dinner party in order to sit next to Carolan, and that ultimately led to their marriage. After living on a houseboat in Sausalito, they moved to Long Island, N.Y., where they had three children, Jeanne, David and Carolan. Together they enjoyed boating, country club life and traveling about, visiting various Knott Hotels.
They fell in love with Sun Valley during a trip to visit friends and moved here in 1971. Over the years, they enjoyed many picnics and dinner parties. They divorced in 1974 and Carolan moved to her cozy home on the Bigwood Golf Course. She worked for the ski school at the top of Baldy before settling in with Silver Creek Outfitters, where she welcomed visitors with her fun spirit and high energy.
Carolan established a life with her ideal partner, Bill Casey, in 1989; and together they enjoyed numerous fun-filled years playing dominoes, enjoying family and friends, and traveling to Mexico, Hawaii, Tahoe, and their cabin in Pistol Creek until “Casey” passed in 2006.
Carolan’s wisdom lay in her ability to live life on her own terms. She loved her social time with her friends and she loved her peace and quiet. She was well-read, an avid gardener, adept at finding hidden destinations, an intuitive read of people, a master conversationalist, a seeker of fun, and an ardent reveler in a well-told story.
Carolan is survived by her siblings, children, grandchildren and a vast swath of loving friends. We will all miss her uniqueness, her positive demeanor, her riotous and unrelenting sense of humor, and her gift of making fun her constant mission. A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, July 20, in her garden, where we are only allowed to have fun.