Evan Boyd Knoll, 1995 – 2019. The world lost a brilliant, beautiful and shining star on 5/3/19. After a long and fierce battle with a ruthless and insidious illness Evan is at peace. Since early adolescence Evan fought valiantly against the ravages of Bipolar disorder, a disease as deadly as cancer or heart disease.
Evan was so much more than any illness, his family has never and will never let illness define Evan and we ask that you don’t either. The truth is it was such a very small part of who he was and most days Evan felt deep joy. Evan felt joy with his big boisterous family, joy with his friends, and joy with his great love Sara. Evan told inappropriate jokes (especially to his Nan who always laughed even when they weren’t funny).
Evan is a beloved son, brother, grandson, nephew, great grandson, cousin, boyfriend, and friend.
Evan is an amazing poet, performer, juggler, unicyclist, skate boarder, photographer, Super Smash Brothers Melee Champion, thinker, and lover. Try as he might, he was not a good bike builder and only lasted at Pedal Power for a couple of shifts (hey you can’t win ‘em all). Evan is a total weirdo. Evan is a lover of music, art, animals, and family. Anyone who ever attempted to engage in a verbal tête-à-tête with Evan knows that he was too smart for his own good. No less than a dozen people now answer full-time to a nick name that Evan gave them.
In his all too short time on this earth, Evan’s journey was like a rock thrown into a lake: sending ripples ever outward and into the future.
The ripples of Evan’s journey will always be seen: in every child he taught at Bruce Monroe Elementary School at Park View in DC and The Children’s Circus at Oddfellows Playhouse in Middletown CT. It will be seen in the friendships he made with little kids and homeless folks wherever he lived. It will be seen in the lives he touched with his writing: through mentoring, teaching, and performing, and in his family who will live in his honor. His legacy lives on in his brothers and sister, who he loved more than anything. Ripples can be seen too in the people he impacted with his friendship where his love, spirit, empathy and wry sense of humor left a lasting impact on hearts from coast to coast.
For all who are struggling with depression or mental illness, Evan never lost hope. He would always be ready to aid a friend who was struggling with wellness. If you are struggling with depression or mental illness right now he would tell you: there is always hope. Never, ever give up.
Evan is survived by his loving parents Bobbye and Evan Peterson, his brothers Hayden Brainerd and Noah Peterson and his sister Gabriella Forrest. He is also survived by his grandparents: Susie (Nani) and Mark Guckin, Rich and Lisa Knoll, Keavy and Ralph Peterson, and his great grandfather Bud Bean, his aunts and uncles: Erinn and David Smolowitz, Annie and Kurt Peterson, James and Rocio Guckin, Cady Knoll, and Eddy Guckin and his cousins Cecelia, Elliott and Jack who brought him endless joy. Evan is also survived by his loving partner Sara Bajwa.
Evan was predeceased by his great grandmother Bobbye Bean, his great grandparents Christine and Richard Knoll, his great grandparents John and Beverly Sheil, his great aunts Ellen Brown and Deirdre Bray, his great uncle Boyd Bean and his best dog Sydney. Evan was loved and adored by all of them (or will be as soon as they meet) and we know that there is a wallop of a reunion party happening right now.
Visiting hours will be Monday May 13th from 5:00 -7:00 pm at Doolittle Funeral home, 14 Old Church Street, Middletown. A Celebration of Life will be held Tuesday May 14th at 11:00 am First Church of Christ, 190 Court Street, Middletown with a celebration to honor Evan’s journey following.
Donations in Evan’s memory can be made to the Evan B. Knoll Memorial Fund, ℅ Liberty Bank. Checks can be mailed to Liberty Bank Durham Branch, PO box 326, Durham CT 06422, which will be dedicated to the Children’s Circus of Middletown. This fund is yet one more ripple in Evan’s lake -- Evan was incredibly passionate about the Children’s Circus and found great joy in learning, performing and teaching with both the summer and traveling circus programs. The fund will be used to honor his legacy by making sure that others have the opportunity to know that joy.
If you have your own ‘ripple’ to share please share it at www.doolittlefuneralservice.com.
Evan B. Knoll Memorial Fund
c/o Liberty Bank Durham Branch P.O. Box 326, Durham CT 06422