Marion Knott Montapert, the only member of the Knott family born on the Orange County berry farm that grew into one of Southern California’s signature attractions, has died at her Newport Beach home. She was 92 and the last surviving child of Walter and Cordelia Knott.
Montapert’s Nov. 13 death was confirmed by Knott’s Berry Farm.
The Knott family were struggling farmers who leased a small patch of Orange County land in the 1920s. To make ends meet, Walter and Cordelia Knott sold berries by the bucket, including the hitherto unknown boysenberry, the brainchild of a local farmer and former Anaheim parks official named Rudolph Boysen.
When Cordelia Knott started serving 65-cent chicken dinners in 1934, the four Knott kids, including Marion, pitched in.
“My sisters and I were the waitresses, and were really grateful for every 10-cent tip that was left for us,” she once said.
As the farm grew into one of the nation’s best known amusement parks, Knott Montapert took on various management responsibilities in design, planning and entertainment. The family sold the park in 1997 but Knott Montapert continued her civic involvement and philanthropy in Orange County, donating to Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach and Chapman University in the city of Orange, among others.
A complete obituary will follow at latimes.com/obits.