May 7, 2020
Connie Knight, a prolific freelance writer who arrived in Vail in 1968, died suddenly of natural causes on May 7 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. She placed her Catholic faith, family and friends as a life priority.
After visiting many Colorado locales, Connie, her two young children and their Persian cats landed in Vail. They set up house in an east Vail A-frame for $75.00 a month. The cats failed to keep up with the invasion of mice and chipmunks that regularly invaded the home. An eventual move to the Vorlaufer in the midst of the fledgling ski town proved to be a brilliant investment, as well as the perfect permanent home base.
An avid tennis player, hiker, skier, traveler and a fine arts afficionado, Connie loved hosting frequent parties. Her Vail condo balcony provided the ideal venue for watching fireworks, parades and concerts with friends. Connie was easy to spot in the village with her perfectly coifed auburn hair and she always attracted people into conversation. Picnics on the mountain – both winter and summer – were also a favorite pastime.
Connie’s niece, Momo Weatherby, recalls her aunt as well-groomed and poised, and had an uncanny recall of the people she wrote about. “While sitting in an elegant bar in Vail, Connie’s acquaintances would approach, and her astute recall of details from writing social columns was astounding,” Weatherby said. “The conversations were interesting, fun, lively and witty. “Skiing behind Connie on the mountain was a dream,” Weatherby added. “She bypassed all the lift lines and would shush to another trail until she saw a lift without a queue.”
Connie’s daughter, Lynne Campbell, remembers how much her mother loved to meet new people. “I teased her that she was always interviewing,” Campbell said. “Throughout her life, she met and retained friendships from around the world. “Life is short she’d say. One of her favorite sayings was ‘You can sleep when you’re dead’. Sleep well mom.”
Born in Detroit, Michigan to Thomas Francis and Margaret Kearney Bracken, Connie graduated from Lauderdale High School. She attended Florida State University, Marymount College and an intensive magazine writing course at Stanford University.
For decades, Connie’s stories were printed in Colorado and Florida newspapers and magazines, along with other major metropolitan publications. However, the pinnacle of her career was being published in the New York Times.
Connie served as a managing editor of Vail Magazine, editorial consultant of Vail Valley Magazine, a columnist and as staff writer for the Miami Herald, Ft. Lauderdale News/Sun Sentinel and Tallahassee Democrat. She taught creative writing at Colorado Mountain College and was president of Creative Concepts Public Relations firm. Listed in many Who’s Who, including International, America, the World and the West. Connie was also treasurer of the North American Snowsports Journalists, Ass.
As a volunteer, Connie served on the Town of Vail Licensing Board and Planning and Environmental Commission and was a former member of the Junior League of Ft. Lauderdale, where she served as treasurer and public relations director.
She was predeceased by her parents, son: Jim Knight, sisters: Jeanne Bracken Fitzgerald and Mary Bracken Beil and nephew: Brad Beil. She is survived by daughter: Lynne Knight Campbell of Vail, son Keith Knight of Ft. Lauderdale and granddaughter Taylor Campbell Jernigan (Brandon) of Gig Harbor, Washington, and dozens of nieces and nephews.
A Catholic mass and celebration of Life will be at a later date. In lieu of flowers donations may be made in memory of Connie Knight to the Ann Storck Center https://www.annstorckcenter.org/ or humane society of your choice.