Kathryn Pettes Crandall was perhaps the oldest resident of Knowlton. She died in late July at the age of 104.
She was born Kathryn Idell Pettes in March of 1915 at 320 Knowlton Road to one of the most prominent families in town; her great aunt Narcissa Farrand Pettes established the Pettes Memorial Library in 1894. Her father was a businessman who operated the first telephone switchboard in town and had a movie theatre. Kathryn’s oldest sister, Florence May Pettes and her husband C.P. Thornton started Clairol of Canada, the plant in Knowlton now known as KDC.
Kathryn married Norman Crandall who operated a body shop in the building that now houses the Star Café. She had two children, a son Tyler, who predeceased her, and a daughter Deirdre Susan who took care of her mother for the past two years.
“She was born in 1915, but her views were ahead of her time. Until a couple of years ago she read six hours a day,” says her daughter Deirdre. Her father insisted she learn French, and for the first six years of her schooling she was taught by Les Soeurs St-Joseph at the Couvent St-Edouard. She then transferred to Knowlton High School. All her life she spoke to people in the language they spoke to her.
Since her family arrived here from the United States in the 18th century, fleeing the American Revolution, Kathryn had a love of the history of the area. She was active until the age of 102 and did her own shopping.
Along with her daughter she is survived by two grandchildren, five great-grandchildren and one great-great grand daughter.