Welcome to the memorial page for

Ann Emerson-Knott

May 28, 1932

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Born Ann Louis Emerson on May 28, 1932 in Warwick, RI, the daughter of Erlon Leslie Emerson and Phyllis Marjorie Emerson. Ann spent many summers with her grandmother, Rhodora Ann, in the home her grandfather, Henry, built alongside the Pemigewasset River, in Woodstock, NH.     

In 1950, Ann graduated with honors from Southern High School in Baltimore, Maryland and worked as a legal secretary until she married John Delbert Knott in 1952. Their children are Margaret (Knott) Whedon and husband John of Franklin, NH; John Knott, Jr. and wife Lisa of Canaan, NH ; Kathleen (Knott) Hitchmoth and husband Allan of Andover, NH; and Harold Knott and fiancé Angie Cummings of Hill, NH; and 10 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren. After 42 years of marriage, Ann was widowed in 1994.

The oldest of five children, Ann is predeceased by her sister, Barbara (Emerson) DiNitto and brother, Erlon Emerson. She is survived by her sisters, Claire (Emerson) Kemp of Clearwater, FL; Linda (Emerson) Cain and brother-in-law Robert of Glen, NH; brother-in-law, Nick DiNitto of Ogonquit, ME; and sister-in-law Sandy Emerson of Madison, NH. Ann’s family also includes several cousins, nieces and nephews and her Aunt Edna Emerson, who is 100 ½  years old.

Ann, her husband John, and their first two children moved to Danbury, NH in 1956. Ann’s contributions to the community began not long after. Ann and John were instrumental in bringing about the replacement of the town’s three aging one room school houses with a more modern central school for Grades 1 – 8. To save the community money, Ann drew up the original plans for the three classroom building. Ann and her husband John also organized much volunteer labor for the project and the school was built in 1961. Ann served as President of the PTA for several years. Today this school houses grades K - 5. In later years, Ann greatly enjoyed substitute teaching.

Ann became an active member of the Danbury Congregational Church, UCC, singing in the folk choir lead by then minister, the Rev. Donald Towle. She was a driving force in combining the “best of the best” when it was decided that two separate church buildings for one congregation was wasteful. The pews and the steeple bell were moved from the old “summer church” on High Street, down to the year-round church on Rt. 104. The old church was then renovated and became the Danbury Community Center.

In 1977, Ann trained at the Police Standards and Training Facility in Concord and filled the need for a female officer in the Danbury Police Department. Upon the chief’s transfer to another department, she was elected to replace him in March of 1981, making her the first female Chief of Police in the State of NH. State Troopers and local officers, as well, respected her excellent work with domestic violence and sexual abuse cases and her innovative management of punishment and / or prevention of teen crime. Ann partnered with her two faithful, trained police dogs over the years and remained as Police Chief until 1989. The former Chief returned and Ann continued as an officer until 1991, when it became necessary for her to retire for health reasons.

Realizing that the nearest ambulance was based 10 miles away, Ann recognized the need for better emergency response times to accidents and medical crises. With the help of Debbie Glidden and Phyllis Wiggin, Ann encouraged other interested citizens to take emergency medical training, and together, they formed the Danbury F.A.S.T. (First Aid Stabilization Team) to provide more immediate medical attention. For this work, she was honored as Danbury’s Citizen of the Year in 1983 by the Blazing Star Grange #71, of which she had been a member for many years.

Ann attended theology classes and became a lay minister, while serving as Senior Warden for Trinity Episcopal Church in Tilton and also at St. Jude’s Episcopal Church in Franklin.

One of Ann’s favorite hobbies has been oil painting. Her portrait of the Old Man of the Mountain, painted before he fell, has been a family favorite along with the Woodstock, NH Covered Bridge. Ann’s love of art and of the ocean turned her attention to the many art conferences offered at Star Island, Isles of Shoals. She has enjoyed creating oil paintings of White Island Light, the Chapel on Star Island and especially a self-portrait, standing among the wild roses on Smuttynose Island and looking seaward. In 1990, a small grassroots group of people from these summer conferences decided to do what they could to save the neglected and deteriorating, historic Captain Haley House (circa 1760) on Smuttynose Island. Ann became one of the original volunteer members of the “Smuttynose Rangers” and spent time camping there several days during each summer for many years, doing whatever maintenance work she could to support the restoration project. She promoted this “working vacation opportunity” to family and friends. Her grandchildren and great-grandchildren still participate in this ongoing project today. 

In 2001, Ann moved to Franklin, and continued to pursue a lifelong interest in her genealogical research, especially after discovering that she was a direct descendant of one of Franklin’s founding fathers and that in 1909 her grandfather, Henry Emerson, had operated a barber shop in nearby Tilton, where Onions Pub is now located in the Tilton Inn.

After a long illness, much of it weathered at home with care from family and the wonderful nurses and nursing assistants from the Concord Visiting Nurses Association, Ann passed away quietly in her sleep at CVNA Hospice House in Concord in the early morning hours of Sunday, July 23, 2017

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you kindly make a tax deductible gift to the Concord Visiting Nurses Association - Hospice House, addressed to: The Slusser Center, Concord Regional VNA, 30 Pillsbury Street, Concord, NH 03301  OR  if you prefer, donations may be made online at  in memory of Ann Emerson-Knott. Your gift will support the wonderful ongoing care they give to those in need.

Smart Memorial Funeral Home, 584 West Main Street, Tilton, NH will be in charge of the arrangements. Please visit the website  to visit Ann’s page and sign Ann’s guestbook. Calling hours will be held on Saturday, July 29, 2017 from 2 pm to 4 pm with a short service / remarks taking place at 3 pm. A reception with refreshments will follow from 5 – 7 pm at Danbury Community Center on High Street in Danbury. A graveside burial service will take place at 11 am the following morning at the family plot in the village cemetery on Rt. 3 in Woodstock, NH. Ann will be laid to rest beside her husband, John.

A Celebration of Life / Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, August 26, 2017 at 11:00 AM with the Rev. Ruth Martz officiating at Sanbornton Congregational Church, UCC on Meeting House Hill Road in Sanbornton, NH, where Ann became a member in 2007.

 Service Information

Calling Hours
July 29, 2017

2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
William F. Smart Sr. Memorial Home
584 West Main Street, P.O. Box 378
Tilton, NH 03276

Time of Remembrance
July 29, 2017

3:00 PM to 12:00 PM
William F. Smart Sr. Memorial Home
584 West Main Street, P.O. Box 378
Tilton, NH 03276

Graveside Service
July 30, 2017

11:00 AM
Woodstock Cemetery
Route 3
Woodstock, NH 03262

Celebration of Life
August 26, 2017

11:00 AM
Sanbornton Congregational Church, UCC
21 Meeting House Hill Road
Sanbornton, NH 03269

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