Dr. Roger George Knipe was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba on July 1st, 1915. He was the 3rd of 4 children born to Dr. George Winfield Knipe and the former Hannah Helen Renton. His parents were born in the United Kingdom and immigrated to Canada in 1912 after the birth of their eldest daughter. Dr. Knipe’s father was a general practitioner in Winnipeg and his siblings were; Norah Helen Knipe, Una Margaret Knipe and Robert “Bernard” Knipe. In 1921 the Knipe family resided at 212 Duffield Street in Winnipeg.
Dr. Knipe attended Winnipeg Public Schools and Wesley College. In Vancouver, he obtained his teacher training certificate at B.C. Normal School in 1934.
After teaching for a number of years, Dr. Knipe returned to Winnipeg and graduated M.D. from the University of Manitoba Medical College in 1942. Dr. Knipe studied public health at the University of Toronto and received his D.P.H. diploma in 1943.
Dr. Knipe married Winnifred Lois Morgan in Cornwall, Ontario on April 24th, 1943. Mrs. Knipe was born on the 19th of May, 1914 near the small community of Wales, Stormont County, Ontario. She was the youngest of 2 children born to Fred Roy Morgan and the former Mary Lois Hanes. Her parents were farmers and her sister’s name was Emma May Morgan. After a honeymoon to Quebec, Dr. and Mrs. Knipe settled in Prince Rupert, British Columbia where Dr. Knipe had been appointed as the Medical Officer of Health (M.O.H.).
Dr. and Mrs. Knipe had 2 children, Mary Lois Knipe was born in Prince Rupert, B.C. and Robert George Knipe was born in Cornwall, Ontario.
Dr. Knipe acted as the M.O.H. for two years and then he went into private practice for one year in Langley, B.C..
Dr. Roger Knipe became the first Medical Officer of Health in Chatham-Kent in July of 1947. There were many difficulties for Dr. Knipe to overcome. The new Health Unit was located in the basement of Harrison Hall in Chatham. (The local detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police had recently given up the location for a move to 317 Queen Street). At that time, the Chatham-Kent Health Unit primarily focused on the immunization of school children, the detection of tuberculosis and baby clinics. Dr. Knipe moved to the Elgin Health Unit in July of 1950, where he served the community for 3 years before moving to the United States.
In 1953 Dr. Knipe undertook the position of Head of the Batavia District Health Department in Batavia, New York. On the 1st of January 1954, Dr. Knipe headed the newly formed Genesee County Health Department in New York. (The city of Batavia is located in Genesee County). At the same time that he headed the Genesee County Health Department, Dr. Knipe also headed the Wyoming County Health Department and served both health departments until 1956, when he became the Deputy Commissioner of the Erie County Health Department. While in New York, the Knipe family lived in the communities of Elba and Oakfield.
In 1957 Dr. Knipe moved to Everett, Washington where he was the Medical Health Director for the Snohomish Washington Health District.
Dr. Knipe belonged to the Canadian Public Health Association, the American Medical Writer’s Association, the Canadian Medical Association, and the American Medical Association. Dr. Knipe was often a featured speaker at many locations, including the University of Western Ontario located in London, Ontario. In Canada Dr. Knipe was a member of the United Church and when he moved to the U.S. he was a member of the Presbyterian Church.
Dr. Knipe was a Rotarian, a Kinsmen and a member of Kiwanis. He enjoyed music, fishing, gardening and wood-working.
Dr. Knipe died suddenly at University Hospital in Seattle, Washington on the 20th of January, 1962. At the time of his death, he resided at 780 Crown Drive in Everett. Mrs. Winnifred Knipe died on the 3rd of February, 2011 in Medina, New York. Dr. and Mrs. Knipe were buried at Evergreen Cemetery in Everett.