Editor’s note: I did not read this in the local media, but one-time Loma Rica Ranch owner and horse racing enthusiast Fred “Frosty” Knoop has died. Knoop’s was a leading figure in our County. Under him, Loma Rica became an internationally recognized thoroughbred breeding business. I’ve included his obituary from the San Francisco Chronicle, an excerpt from his wife’s obituary, some comments from longtime Grass Valley resident Mark Johnson (who spent much time with Fred), and a video.
“Frederick George Knoop, Jr. Of Carmel, California died peacefully on Wednesday, September 12 after a courageous battle with Pancreatic cancer,” the San Francisco Chronicle is reporting. “He was 83.
“Born and raised in Northern California, Fred (“Frosty”) was the son of the late Frederick George Knoop and the late Dorothy Sweeney Knoop Beckwith. His father was a cattle rancher and peach farmer. His mother was a homemaker and philanthropist in later years while residing in San Francisco. Following Fred’s father’s passing, Dorothy married Palmer Beckwith of the Chevron Oil Company.
“Fred attended the Thacher School in Ojai, California. From Thacher he went on to the University of California at Berkeley and was a member of the Delta Kappa Epsilon Fraternity. Following college, Fred married Grace Elizabeth Gilmore in 1952 with whom he was married for 53 years before her passing in 2005. Fred and Grace settled in Atherton, California where they raised their family. In 2006, Fred married Lynn Heatley Brown and moved to Carmel, California.
“Fred was a devoted husband, father and step-grandfather throughout his life. Fred was a former Trustee of the Santa Catalina School in Monterey, California, a Director of the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association, a Director and member of the Menlo Circus Club and a Director and member of the Burlingame Country Club. In addition he was a former member of the Pacific Union Club in San Francisco and the Eldorado Country Club in Indian Wells.
“He acted as President and CEO of Galvanizers, Inc., was the developer and owner of the Palo Alto Industrial Center and owner of Loma Rica Ranch in Grass Valley, California. Fred purchased Loma Rica Ranch in 1963, expanded the operation to an internationally recognized thoroughbred breeding business; which included many record holding racehorses.
“An accomplished outdoorsman his entire life, Fred was an excellent horseman, a skilled pilot and a fearless racecar driver. He was known to have “uncommon control” whether in aerobatics or behind the wheel in competition on the racetrack. His racecar passion began on the Monterey Peninsula in the early 1950′s. He left his mark on the racecourse through the Del Monte Forest until the races were moved to Laguna Seca in 1957. He participated at Laguna Seca in the Historic races every summer that he could, with his last lap on the track this past January in the Knoop-Mann Special. Fred was recently honored by the racing community on the final Sunday of the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion on August 19, 2012.
“Surviving Fred is his loving wife, Lynn Knoop, his four children, Frederick “Rick” W. Knoop and his wife Cydette of Laguna Niguel, Laura King Pfaff and her husband Rick of San Francisco, Robert G. Knoop of Indian Wells and Katherine Knoop Beem and her husband Dave of Fallbrook. Additional survivors are Fred’s stepchildren Leslie Brown Mack of Long Island, NY, her children James and William, Tracy Brown Goodsel and her husband Kerry, their children Charles and Grace of Reno, Nevada. He also leaves his cousins Launce Gamble and George Gamble and their families. Lastly, he leaves his beloved Abby.
“Memorial services will be private. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the charity of your choice.
•Here’s an excerpt from the obituary of Knoop’s wife, Grace, from August 3, 2005: “For 40 years Grace and Fred were passionate about thoroughbred horse breeding, training and racing. While owning and operating Loma Rica Ranch in Grass Valley, CA, summers were spent between the ranch and Del Mar for the summer race meet and yearling sales. Grace entertained with ease wherever she traveled and she will be most remembered by her quick wit and keen sense of humor.”
•From longtime Grass Valley resident Mark Johnson: “Fred was an incredibly sophisticated, soft-spoken man. I spent many hours with Fred at the barns at Loma Rica. He loved the Loma Rica Ranch, and was very pleased that the Getty trust had purchased the 432 acres. He had little patience for the bureaucrats at City Hall or the “no growthers” that thought Loma Rica should be a park with horses in the paddocks and barns. Fred and his family were great stewards of Loma Rica, and he respected Phil Carville and his plan to transform the Loma Rica ranch. Fred knew the value and importance of the airport, and I doubt he would support the City’s current action in regards to opposing the airport commission. RIP Fred “Frosty” Knoop.”
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